What should you know about diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where a person is unable to control their blood sugar level, resulting in it becoming too high.

There are two main types of the condition:

Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and eventually completely destroys the cells that produce insulin (the hormone that regulates sugar levels)

Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells are resistant to insulin. Type 2 is by far the most common type in the UK, affecting around 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes.

In addition some pregnant women develop Gestational Diabetes, which increases their risk of developing of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in later life.

If you treat Pre-Diabetes with dietary modification and exercise as soon as you are diagnosed, it can delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes significantly. The NHS Health check, available to all aged 40-74 will do a screening test for Diabetes. Please make an appointment with your practice for this.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes put you at increased risk of:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • dementia
  • nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
  • foot ulcers
  • blindness – caused by diabetic retinopathy
  • chronic kidney disease
  • skin lesions
  • circulation problems – which, in the most serious of cases, can lead to gangrene (tissue death)
  • muscle-wasting and damage to ligaments and joints

Contact details for sources of help

Diabetes UK

The largest charity focused on diabetes research in the UK, providing guidance and support, whether you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, whatever your age, or if you just want to know more about diabetes. Webpage: Diabetes UK

NHS Choices is evidence-based and has reliable information about Diabetes as well as loads of information on Healthy living, Diet, Exercise and Stopping Smoking

Diabetes.co.uk (not to be confused with Diabetes UK) is a global network of diabetics and more of a blog but full of useful information and practical experiences of fellow Diabetics and contains useful advice.

You can also find lots of helpful resources on the diabetes pages of Frimley Health and Care.

Local sources of help

North East Hampshire and Farnham

Locally there is now a Diabetes Specialist Nurse - Vanessa Middleton - who is based at Fleet Community Hospital.