This week is Diabetes Week, and Diabetes UK are campaigning for people to #KnowDiabetes and #FightDiabetes. Diabetes occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body can’t control it properly. There are two main types; Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, meaning no insulin is produced. This causes glucose to quickly rise in the blood.
Type 2 is where the body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin isn’t working properly which causes glucose to build up in the blood. This is caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors, however up to 58 per cent of Type 2 diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented through a healthy lifestyle, i.e. eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, only drinking alcohol in moderation and keeping active.
There are five main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, you are more at risk with:
Age: You’re more at risk if you’re over 40, or over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian.
A family history: You’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes.
If you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
If you’re overweight: Especially round the waist, you have a higher risk if your waist measurement is more than 80cm/31.5 inches in women, more than 94 cm/37 inches in men, or more than 90cm/35 inches in South Asian men.
Ethnic background: Type 2 diabetes is 2 to 4 times more likely in people of South Asian descent and African-Caribbean or Black African descent.
Alongside Sirona Care & Health, GP Care provides Bristol GPs with the Sirona Diabetes Advice and Learning Link Service (DiALL). This is a telephone service which aims to support GPs and other practice based health professionals with immediate and direct access to the Diabetes Specialist Nurse Team. It enables GPs to get quick and valuable advice on topics such as:
- Diabetes management
- Treatment plans
- Diagnostic results
- Referral information
For more information on risk factors and how to decrease your risk, head to DiabetesUK.org.uk. Or, for more information on the DiALL service, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.