This year's Diabetes Week campaign, 12-18 June, aims to set the record straight about diabetes. More people have diabetes in the UK than cancer or dementia. However, diabetes is very misunderstood, with many myths and misconceptions about the condition.
Diabetes is a long-term condition that affects the body's ability to process sugar or glucose. It can have serious health consequences. However, with careful management, people with diabetes can continue to lead full, healthy and active lives. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 in the UK with 3.9million people living with the condition.
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop over a short period of time, however, they should disappear when insulin is administered and the condition is under control. The main symptoms of are:
* feeling very thirsty
* urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
* feeling very tired
* weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
* itchiness around the genital area, or regular bouts of thrush
* blurred vision caused by the lens of your eye changing shape
* slow healing of cuts and grazes
People are urged to visit their GP if they have any of these symptoms. It doesn't necessarily mean you have diabetes, but it's worth checking. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for good health and reduce the chances of developing complications in the future. Ignoring Type 1 diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including a potentially fatal coma. Type 2 diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
There are hundreds of events and fundraising activities taking place across the UK to mark this year's Diabetes Week. Awareness will also be raised through Facebook and Twitter pages, helping make the lives of people with diabetes easier. For more information about Diabetes Week see http://www.diabetes.org.uk/