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Reduce your risk of diabetes

Leicester has a high incidence of diabetes with 9.4 per cent of the adult population, registered with a GP, living with diabetes.

This is above the English average of 7.1 per cent. The condition can have severe health implications if left undiagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is serious and can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness or amputation. But, if managed properly, people with type 2 diabetes can live long, healthy lives.

You could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are

  • Overweight or obese
  • Over 40 (or over 25 for south Asian)
  • Related to someone who is diabetic
  • Of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK).

How to reduce your risk

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset of diabetes.

By maintaining a healthy weight (this will mean losing weight if you are overweight or obese), increasing your activity levels and eating a well-balanced diet, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How can I get tested?

If you are concerned or are displaying all or any of the symptoms of Diabetes then it is important to get yourself tested. Diabetes cannot be cured, but good management can keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible to control your symptoms and minimise health problems developing later.

You can get tested at your GP surgery. If you are between 40 and 74 you are eligible for a free NHS health check which also tests for Diabetes.

Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes.

Silver Star is a diabetes awareness charity with its headquarters in Leicester.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood. If your blood sugar gets too high then it can cause problems such as damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs. In severe cases this can lead to organ failure, blindness and limb amputation.

There are two types of diabetes

  • Type 1 occurs when the body doesn't produce any insulin at all.
  • Type 2 occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. This is more common than type 1.

Symptoms of diabetes include

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Urinating frequently, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle
  • Cuts that take a long time to heal
  • Blurry vision.