Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of diabetes for World Diabetes Day today (November 14).
The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day is ‘women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future’. It is reported that one in 10 women live with diabetes but not all women have the same access to education, treatment and care.
The annual awareness day marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
Margaret Daley, team leader and community diabetes specialist nurse for Mersey Care, said: “Although the theme is women this year, our team want to raise general awareness and encourage local residents to adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle.”
Around 199 million women around the world live with diabetes and it is the ninth leading cause of deaths in women globally, causing just over two million deaths per year.
Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose in the blood. There are over three million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition, but are undiagnosed.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition which means the immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake; in this case it attacks the cells in the pancreas resulting in the body not producing insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes have to replace the insulin by injections.
About 85-90% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, although there are people of a healthy weight who also have type 2 diabetes. It can be managed through diet, exercise and often medication which might also include insulin therapy.
People who are overweight are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who is a healthy weight. The main signs and symptoms of diabetes include: feeling very thirsty, tiredness, urinating frequently (particularly at night), and weight loss. If you are concerned please speak to your GP or practice nurse.
“Our message is no matter what diabetes you have it is important to know about your condition and how to look after yourself,” added Margaret. “For women it is especially important if you are considering starting a family. If you are planning a family please speak to a health care professional about what changes you may have to make before becoming a pregnant.”
The ‘diabetes and you’ course is for people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and is available to residents in the borough of Sefton. The sessions discuss aspects of diabetes and are presented by a nurse, dietitian and podiatrist and aimed at helping people to manage their condition.
Please contact the community diabetes service on 0151 475 4085 for further information or speak to your practice nurse to request a referral. You can also speak to your doctor if you are at all concerned about diabetes.
Alternatively you can contact the Living Well Sefton team on 0300 323 0181 to find out how the Living Well mentors can help support you to set lifestyle goals which can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. You can also email them on LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk