Each year, Diabetes UK launches Diabetes Awareness Week, to help raise awareness of the disease. This year’s event will take place from 11-17 June and everyone is invited to join the conversation and get talking about diabetes. With better awareness, more incidents of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, and the money gathered from fundraising initiatives can help fund research and better treatment for sufferers.
Diabetes in the UK
According to Diabetes UK, more people than ever suffer from the condition in the UK, potentially affecting 5 million people by 2025 if nothing is done to reduce the number of new cases each year. There are two types of diabetes, with Type 1 accounting for around 10% of sufferers, and Type 2 accounting for a huge 90%. Type 2 diabetes is preventable through healthy lifestyle changes, so Diabetes Awareness Week becomes even more important for helping to prevent more people from getting type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Awareness Week 2018
This year’s Diabetes Awareness Week campaign encourages everyone to join the conversation and share stories about diabetes. People have a lot to say about diabetes, from the sad and angry to the funny, and it’s important that those conversations are open and widespread. By speaking to others about the disease, conversations will be easier to have, making it easier to seek diagnosis or prevent diabetes altogether.
Using the hashtags #diabetesweek and #talkaboutdiabetes, you can help to raise awareness on social media. You can also have conversations with the people in your life about diabetes, while also getting involved in fundraising activities. Keep an eye out on the Diabetes UK Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for posts about the week that you can share, or join the discussion.
Preventing Type 2 diabetes
Around 60% of Type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed. If you want to reduce your risk, you should make some essential lifestyle changes that will not only prevent diabetes but other serious health conditions which could change your life. Some of the things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes include:
Eating a balanced diet
A balanced diet is essential for healthy living, and can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. By cutting out processed foods and eating more fruit and vegetables, you’ll be giving your body what it needs to stay healthy. Reducing your sugar, salt and fat intake and cooking from scratch can also help.
Exercise is great for improving your overall health. It can increase your energy levels, build stronger muscles, reduce your blood pressure and stress levels. If your fitness isn’t great you can improve things by starting off with gentle cardiovascular exercise such as walking or swimming to help you build up your fitness levels and get your heart rate going before building up to more high-intensity training.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese is a significant cause of diabetes. You can significantly reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight to reduce your waist size. A combination of healthy diet and exercise can help you lose weight over time. NHS Choices has some excellent resources to help you get started with weight loss.
With better awareness and more people talking about diabetes, the number of sufferers in the UK can start to fall. This helps prevent problems associated with diabetes which costs the NHS a significant amount of money each year. Remember that there are resources in East Berkshire, such as the Berkshire East Diabetes Group, while your local GP surgery can also provide you with more information about diabetes and reducing your risk. Do your bit to spread the word for Diabetes Awareness Week and join in the conversation about diabetes.