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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 national average of 7.1 per cent.

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.

Most common types of diabetes

Common symptoms

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Going to the toilet a lot, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired/more tired than is normal for you
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Cuts that take a long time to heal
  • Genital itching or thrush that keeps coming back
  • Blurry vision

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 sugar levels as normal as possible to control your symptoms and minimise health problems developing later.

If you have any symptoms, you should contact your GP who will perform a simple finger prick blood test. If you are between 40 and 74 you are eligible for a free NHS health check which also tests for Diabetes. If your doctor thinks you have diabetes, they may refer you to hospital for treatment.


Some people may have a blood sugar level that is higher than usual, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – this is known as prediabetes. Having prediabetes means you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Am I at risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

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

  • overweight or obese.
  • white and over 40, or over 25 if you’re African Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi).
  • related to someone who is diabetic.
  • of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Black African descent (even if you were born in the UK).
  • if your waist size is too large.
  • have a history of high blood pressure, heart attack, strokes, gestational diabetes, or severe mental illness.

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.

Find out your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes by completing this tool from Diabetes UK.

Support for those with 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.

Leicester Diabetes Centre provides information and support for people with diabetes in Leicester

The Healthy Living for people with Type 2 diabetes is a free online service for people with Type 2 diabetes and gives advice and information on your diagnosis and how to manage the condition

My Type 1 Diabetes is a public information website for people with Type 1 diabetes and provides an e-learning course to help people understand their condition and how to manage it properly.