The leading charity for Diabetes in the UK have stated that poor diabetes care in England is leading to avoidable deaths, record rates of complications and this is having massive cost implications to the NHS.
Their research says that diabetes is the fastest growing health threat of our times and current care models are not working to get on top of the problem. Furthermore, the NHS spends around 10% of its budget on diabetes, but most goes on managing complications not preventing them.
Furthermore, some care has got worse with the numbers of people with Type 1 diabetes receiving annual checks falling from 43 to 41 per cent.
Treatment targets for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol are only being met for a third.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
In 2010, there were approximately 3.1 million people aged 16 or over with diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in England.
By 2030, this figure is expected to rise to 4.6 million, with 90% of those affected having type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK estimates that around 850,000 people in England have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed.
Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.
This is sometimes known as prediabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.
It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
Feeling very thirsty;
Urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night;
Feeling very tired;
Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk;
Cuts or wounds that take a long time to heal;
Itching around the penis or vagina, or regular episodes of thrush and,
Blurred vision which is caused by the lens in the eye becoming too dry.
You should visit your GP as soon as possible if you have symptoms.
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.