Updated: Jun 8
What is it?
From the 13th to the 19th of June this year, Diabetes Week is an annual UK-wide initiative devoted to raising awareness of diabetes and raising money to help fund research into the condition. Set up by the British charity group 'Diabetes UK', this special week is now the annual focal point for all of the charity’s diabetes awareness, campaigning and fundraising activities as well as fun workshops across the country.
What is Diabetes?
The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life, and type 2 is mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time. They are both serious conditions where the production of a hormone called 'insulin' is affected.
Type 2 symptoms and risk factors
Worried that you or someone you may know might have type 2 diabetes? Here are some common signs to watch out for:
Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.
Being really thirsty.
Feeling more tired than usual.
Losing weight without trying to.
Genital itching or thrush.
Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.
Increased risk factors include:
Your risk increases with age. You’re more at risk if you’re white and over 40 or over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian.
You’re two to six times more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes.
You’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
You’re more at risk of type 2 diabetes if you’re carrying extra weight, especially if this weight is around your middle.
For more in-depth information, visit Diabetes UK.
Type 2 prevention
The good news is that more than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by introducing healthier habits:
Move more! We all know that exercise is good for both our body and mind. This can include jogging around the block, doing yoga in your own home, walking your pet dog or even just walking up and down the stairs a few times!
Healthy eating: Simple things such as choosing drinks without added sugar, incorporating more fruit and veggies in your diet, including healthier carbs such as chickpeas, beans and lentils, cutting down on salt and sugar, cutting down on red and processed meat can all lead to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
All of the information and statistics above were used from Diabetes UK, the official UK website for reliable information surrounding diabetes.