A Calderdale GP and diabetes lead is urging people to check whether they are at risk of the condition as part of World Diabetes Day (November 14).
The theme of the worldwide event is education and prevention and Dr Steven Cleasby, diabetes lead at NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, says it is important that people are aware of the signs of diabetes and steps they can take to prevent it.
“We have seen a rapid increase in the number of people suffering with the disease over the years, particularly in Type 2 diabetes, which is largely related to lifestyle factors, so it is vitally important that people understand what steps they can take to avoid the condition.
“World Diabetes Day has a crucial role in raising people’s awareness so I would ask people to find out more about the condition and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families.”
Approximately 9,000 people in Calderdale are knowingly living with the disease but thousands more are thought to be unaware they have it.
Diabetes, which affects the way the body processes sugar, can be caused by unhealthy living, such as lack of exercise and being overweight or obese, and can lead to a wide range of health problems.
Type 1Diabetes, previously called “juvenile” diabetes, or “insulin dependent diabetes”, is a disease in which the body stops making insulin, while the more common Type 2 Diabetes is where the body becomes resistant to insulin.
The main symptoms of diabetes are:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Urinating frequently, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over weeks or even days. Many people have Type 2 diabetes for years without realising because early symptoms tend to be general. There are believed to be approximately 3,000 people in Calderdale who have diabetes and it hasn’t been diagnosed.
People over 40 years of age are encouraged to attend for their “NHS health check”, and can contact their GP practice for details. If you think you have symptoms of diabetes then make an appointment with your GP.
To find out more about diabetes and whether you could be at risk of type 2 diabetes visit: