To mark today's World Diabetes Day Tameside consultant and diabetes specialist Professor Edward Jude is reminding the public of the action they can take to reduce the chances of developing the condition.
Nationally, there are 4.3m people living with diabetes and that number is only set to increase over the next decade.
The majority of those new cases will be type 2 diabetes, a condition that happens because of a problem in the way the body regulates and uses sugar as a fuel.
One of the reasons for people developing type 2 diabetes is obesity or being overweight, which is why doing regular exercise and watching one’s diet is so important.
Prof Jude, consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist at the Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “People living with diabetes face a number of challenges and it is important to use World Diabetes Day to raise the profile of the condition and also thank those working tirelessly to support those either living with or at risk from developing diabetes.”
Regular screening of those most at risk of developing diabetes is vital, as half of those with the condition are unaware and do not know about the steps they should be taking to reduce the risks to their health.
Prof Jude, said: “Although the focus on diabetes has been increasing, there are still many unnecessary deaths occurring in people with diabetes in the UK, that could be avoided through better management of their condition.
“The long-term consequences of poorly-controlled diabetes are numerous. Patients can develop eye problems, kidney problems or neuropathy, where nerves in the feet are damaged, causing reduced sensation and sometimes leg pain.”
Some top tips for people with diabetes include:
· Check your blood glucose regularly
· Follow the advice from your dietician and eat a healthy low-carbohydrate diet
· Exercise regularly and try to do at least 150 minutes of exercise every week
· Make sure to have regular (at least once a year) eye and feet checks
· If you notice a problem with your feet inform your GP, practice nurse or podiatrist immediately.
If you have any diabetes symptoms or concerns, contact your GP to arrange an appointment.