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( Video : A simple explanation of what diabetes is, complications that can arise from it, and ways to manage it. )
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood gets too high because the body cannot use it properly. This happens because the body is not producing enough insulin (a naturally-occurring hormone) to deal with the amount of glucose.
Diabetes is a common health condition. There are two and a half million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and about half a million who have the condition but don't know it. Diabetes is a life-long condition once acquired.
There are are two types of diabetes:-
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is where the body is unable to produce any insulin at all, and is treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is where the body is able to make some insulin, but not enough. It is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this, medication and / or insulin is often required. It is far more common than type 1 diabetes.
Some people with diabetes are at high risk of developing foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. It is important for people with diabetes to look after their feet and to have them checked regularly by a doctor or podiatrist.
The Patient.co.uk website provide detailed information on Diabetes, Foot Care and Foot Ulcers.
Diabetes can be more common for people in some ethnic groups than in others. The reasons are not fully understood but people from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia are at higher risk than people from other ethnic groups.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then it might be a good idea for your GP to refer you on to a dietician for specialist advice on what to eat.
One You Westminster and One You Kensington and Chelsea aim to help you get back to a healthier you, supporting you to make simple changes towards a longer and happier life. Providing stop smoking and cardiovascular services, Man vs Fat football clubs, as well as One You clubs enabling you to come together through healthy activities and helping you make healthy lifestyle choices.
Find out more about the service by calling on 020 3434 2500.
The NHS website provides a full range of medical and other details about the condition. It has two areas of information, for Type 1 diabetes and for Type 2 diabetes. The website contains a handy self-assessment guide to see if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK is the largest national diabetes charity which campaigns, does research, and has a wide range of information and resources.
They also provide BSL videos offering advice to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Know Diabetes houses numerous resources – videos, games, online courses and leaflets to help you self-manage your diabetes for people with diabetes living in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Ealing, Hounslow, Brent, Hillingdon and Harrow.
Their community groups are a chance for you to meet other people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for support or exercise together.
Diabetes.co.uk is a national website linking up the global diabetes community where there are forums and chat areas to talk to others with the condition, as well as a wealth of useful information.
Consult your GP if you are concerned about your own or another person's health. A full list of GPs is available on the NHS website - use the 'Find and choose services' option and click GPs.