From the 11th until the 17th of June, it’s Diabetes Awareness Week 2017. This year’s theme is ‘Know Diabetes. Fight Diabetes’ and is run by the charity, Diabetes UK. The intention is to bring people together around the country to raise crucial funds and awareness through campaigns and activities.
Diabetes Awareness Week is an essential campaign. It is more important than ever due to the fact that there are currently 4.5 million people living in the UK with the condition and a further 11.9 million in the increased at-risk group of being diagnosed.
Diabetes is a serious health condition for which there is no cure. The condition occurs when there is too much glucose (more commonly known as sugar) in the blood. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which, during the digestion process, plays a vital role in transferring glucose from the blood into fuel for energy. People with diabetes are not able to produce the required amount of insulin to convert glucose into energy. This leaves them with a dangerously high amount of sugar in their bloodstream. If left untreated, high glucose levels can lead to very serious and life-altering health issues.
There are two main strains of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. There are a few differentiating factors between the two, but the main distinction is that Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes is where the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells are unable to react to insulin.
Signs and Symptoms
These are some of the symptoms that could be an indication of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:
- Constant, extreme thirst
- Unusually frequent urination- especially at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle mass
- Genital itching and re-occurring thrush
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing of cuts/grazes
It is vital that you make an appointment to see your GP if you are showing any signs of these symptoms.
Support in East Berkshire
If you are living with diabetes in the East Berkshire area, there is plenty of support available to you. Whether you’re struggling to deal with a recent diagnosis or have been living long-term with this lifelong condition and would like to meet with others who have been doing the same, you will find no shortage of organisations to get involved with. Diabetes Awareness Week 2017 is the ideal time of year to make this step and reach out to one of the following groups:
Berkshire East Diabetes Group is a great place for people living with diabetes to get advice, support and meet with others in the same situation.
Anyone who has diabetes or is at risk of being diagnosed with diabetes must look after their health very carefully. This includes eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. If you need additional help sticking to a healthy lifestyle, have a look at some of these healthy eating initiatives.
Know Diabetes. Fight Diabetes
To get this year’s message out to as many people as possible, there will be hundreds of fundraising events taking place up and down the UK between the 11th and 17th of June, giving you the opportunity to get behind the campaign and share your support for this important cause.
You can help spread awareness on social media by sharing the hashtags; #DiabetesWeek, #KnowDiabetes and #FightDiabetes.
You can also download a campaign poster from the Diabetes UK website and put it up in your local community or place of business. The website has a number of different posters to choose from to get the ‘Know Diabetes. Fight Diabetes’ message across. Some are themed on the event itself while others have been designed to encourage people to know the symptoms.
These are just a few of the ways you can give Diabetes Awareness Week your backing. Have a look at the site for even more inspiring ideas.