Diabetes Awareness Week – know Diabetes, fight Diabetes

occupational-health-tree-300x180What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a common health condition caused by either inadequate or absent levels of the hormone insulin, which then results in high levels of glucose in the blood.

Did you know?…..The word diabetes is derived from Greek and means ‘a siphoning of water through the body’.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 – This develops when the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed by the body’s immune system and the body is therefore unable to produce any insulin. It usually appears before the age of 40, especially in childhood and may be triggered by a viral or other type of infection.

Type 2 – This develops when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that it does produce doesn’t work properly. It usually appears in people over 40, though in South Asian people who are at greater risk, it can appear from the age of 25.  It is becoming increasingly common in children and young people of all ethnicities.

This is treated with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, but medication and/or insulin is often required.

You are more at risk of Type 2 diabetes if:

  • You’re overweight or have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You have a large waist (more than 80cm/31.5 inches in women, 94 cm/37 inches in men or 90cm/35 inches in South Asian men)
  • You’re from an African-Caribbean, Black African, Chinese or South Asian background and over 25
  • You’re from another ethnic background and over 40
  • You have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • You have ever had high blood pressure, a heart attack or a stroke
  • You have a history of polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby over 10       pounds/4.5kg
  •  You suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or you are taking anti-psychotic medication

Diabetes UK has an online self-assessment regarding risk.

Symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes

  • passing urine frequently (especially at night)
  • increased thirst
  • increased lethargy
  • unexplained weight loss
  • slow healing of wounds
  • blurred vision

While a lot of people have a good understanding of their condition and how to manage it, many others aren’t in receipt of the appropriate help and support to look after themselves.

The campaign aims to encourage people with diabetes to share their experiences and knowledge because this shared knowledge could help someone else with the condition.  The charity would like to know how you learned more about your condition, to inspire others to do the same, using their hashtag #knowdiabetes

If you have a family history of diabetes or are concerned regarding any symptoms that you feel may be linked, Occupational Health are running Mini Health M.O.T lifestyle appointments.  A urine test is an optional part of this mini-health MOT which can identify diabetes.  If you’d like to put your mind at rest, just give us a quick ring on ext 3187 to arrange an appointment.

If you feel that your health may be affecting your work please speak to your line manager and ask for a referral to Occupational Health.

Further information:

For food, recipe, lifestyle advice and information of managing and monitoring diabetes, the Diabetes UK website has a wealth of information:

Healthy eating


Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle:


Managing your Diabetes:


Fasting and Diabetes:


Managing diabetes during Ramadan:


Carb counting and insulin adjustment:


Glycaemic Index:




Getting active and staying active:


Enjoy food:


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