World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day 2017 is Tuesday 14 November, with this year’s theme being Women and Diabetes.
Diabetes is an incurable condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.
It currently affects more than 199 million women worldwide and is the ninth leading cause of death in women.
What makes it more problematic is the fact that women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy.
Type 1, type 2 and pre-diabetes
Diabetes is split into two types:
Type 1 - People can’t produce insulin. It’s not preventable, but there are measures to stay healthy.
Type 2 - People don’t produce enough insulin or it doesn’t work properly. This can be caused by number risk factors and is often managed by lifestyle changes.
Figures from Public Health England show that 82,816 people over the age of 17, who live across the Pennine Care footprint, have been diagnosed with diabetes (2015/16).
There are also an estimated seven million adults in the UK who have pre-diabetes, which means they have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not quite high enough to be classified as being diabetic.
Without intervention, many people with pre-diabetes could develop type two diabetes within five years.
Spot the signs early
If you have diabetes, it’s important to get diagnosed as early as possible to reduce the risk of further complications and to help manage the condition.
There are a number of symptoms that could indicate that you have diabetes. These symptoms are common in both types, although they appear quickly in type 1:
- Urinating more often than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very tired
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent episodes of thrush
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision
You may also be at higher risk of developing diabetes if you:
- Are overweight
- Are Caucasian and over the age of 40 years
- Are African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian
- Have a parent, sibling or child with diabetes
- Have ever had a heart attack or stroke
- Have a condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar or depression, or if you are receiving treatment with antipsychotic medication
- Are a woman who has polycystic ovaries, if you have ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 10 pounds.
Click here to take the NHS self-assessment tool to see if you’re at risk.
If you are worried that you have diabetes, you should contact your GP.
More information about diabetes, the symptoms and risk factors is available on NHS Choices
People who have been diagnosed with diabetes, or who are at risk of developing, can make lifestyle changes to help manage the condition or prevent further complications.
- Regular exercise
- A healthy, balanced diet
- Limiting alcohol
- Stopping smoking
- Regularly checking your feet
- Regular eye tests
More information about fighting diabetes is available on NHS Choices.
Pennine Care provides the following services to provide care and support for people with diabetes. Click on the hyperlinks to find out more information:
Bury Children’s Community Nursing Team (includes specialist diabetes nurses)
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Children’s Diabetes Specialists (part of the Children's Acute and Ongoing Needs Service)
Trafford School Nursing Service (includes a diabetes specialist)