Diabetes – Are You at Risk?

Published: 22/05/2019

With cases of Type 2 diabetes on the increase, our blog looks at the symptoms to look out for and what you can do to lower your risk of getting diabetes.

The number of people with diabetes has increased sharply in recent years. It’s estimated that by 2025 more than 5 million people in the UK will have the condition. Through our experience as homecare providers, we know that living with diabetes can be very challenging. The health problems it can cause can be life changing, but there are things we can all do to lower our risk of becoming diabetic. As it’s World Diabetes Day on November 14th, we’re looking at the causes and symptoms of diabetes and what preventative measures might keep the condition at bay.

Types of Diabetes

When we eat carbohydrates, our bodies break them down, releasing glucose into our bloodstream. In a healthy person, the pancreas will produce insulin to regulate the glucose and allow it to penetrate our cells to be used as energy. With diabetes, the insulin-releasing system isn’t working properly which means glucose levels aren’t regulated. There are 2 types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes
This is an auto-immune condition where the pancreas is not able to produce insulin at all. It can develop at any age but is commonly diagnosed in younger people. It’s not yet known why some people will develop Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes
This is by far the most common form of diabetes. In Type 2, the body can’t produce sufficient insulin, or the insulin produced doesn’t interact with the body’s cells in the normal way. This form is generally linked to lifestyle and often goes unnoticed for years before the person realises they have a problem.

Common symptoms of diabetes

There are a number of things that could indicate you might need to go and see your GP for a diabetes check-up. They include:
  • Frequent urination
  • Being unusually thirsty
  • Recurring bouts of thrush and itching around the genitals
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Poor wound healing
  • Weight loss
  • Eye problems like blurred vision
If you're experiencing these symptoms, getting help early is important as it could help prevent more serious health complications like sight loss, kidney failure, poor wound healing and infections.

How can you reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes?

There are some risks you might be unable to do anything about, like your ethnicity, family history or age, for example. However, factors like being overweight and inactive or having high blood pressure can significantly increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. According to Diabetes UK, an estimated 60% of cases could be prevented or postponed if people made healthier lifestyle choices - eating healthily and taking enough exercise are two of the most effective measures you can take. 

If you want to check out whether you might be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk online questionnaire is a handy tool that’s easy to use.

Giving practical help with professional homecare

While many people are able to manage their diabetes, it can be difficult for others, particularly if they have a disability or other health conditions that complicate matters. At Bluebird Care Wandsworth, our care teams have the training and experience to help people with diabetes live comfortably at home. We provide all the help needed to eat properly and take medications in order to stabilise blood sugar, as well as helping our Customers stay fit and active.

If you’d like to know how we could help you or someone you love to manage diabetes at home, send us an email or call us for a chat on 020 8877 4950.