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Diabetes: Find out what help and support is available

Diabetes Awareness Week takes place between June 12-18, and this year the theme is ‘Know Diabetes, Fight Diabetes’.

To support this, doctors at NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are educating local residents on what help and support is currently available for those who suffer from diabetes.

The majority of people have a good understanding of diabetes; however, many others are not getting the right support to look after their condition.

This is why it is important for people to know exactly what help is available for them in order to manage their diabetes.

The two main types of diabetes include type 1 which is when the body’s immune system destroys the cells which create insulin, and type 2 which means the insulin produced is not effective as it should be. Lack of production (as in type 1) and lack of effectiveness (as in type 2) of insulin lead to high levels of blood glucose seen in Diabetes.

The majority of people in the UK with diabetes suffer from type 2, a total of 90% of people are diagnosed with this condition.

The main symptoms of diabetes include:

• Urinating more frequently (especially during the night)
• Blurred vision
• Feeling very tired or thirsty
• Cuts/wounds which heal slowly

People who are diagnosed with diabetes need to make sure they eat healthy, exercise regularly and carry out frequent blood tests to ensure blood glucose levels stay balanced. Treatment for diabetes varies depending on which type you have been diagnosed with.

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes you will need to take daily insulin injections for the rest of your life. Whereas, with type 2 diabetes medication may eventually be required depending on how severe the condition becomes.

Dr Rahul Thakur a local GP and clinical lead at both CCGs, said: “Diabetes is a condition which can be controlled given the correct medication as well as leading a healthy lifestyle.

“We just need to educate people and make sure they are aware of the help available so that they can control their condition.
“I would advise local residents to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of diabetes, so they can arrange an appointment as soon as they think there may be an issue.”

Call the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399 for any help or advice on diabetes. 

Visit the NHS Choices website for more information on diabetes including the symptoms and the treatments available.