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​​​Living well with diabetes ​

Diabetes can sometimes feel like an uphill battle – but with the right help, information and care you can still get the most out of life. This year national Diabetes Week runs from 15 June and reminds people with diabetes that they are not alone. This year’s campaign is focusing on all the things that people who have or care for someone with diabetes can do to make the most of life. 

D
ata from 2013/2014 collated by Diabetes UK shows that in Lambeth over 15,000 people are living with diabetes. 

Diabetes is a condition which causes a person's blood sugar le
vel to become too high. There are different types of diabetes but the most common form is ‘type 2’ diabetes, which affects approximately 2.8 million people. There are also thought to be around 750,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes in the UK.

The main symptoms of diabetes are: feeling very thirsty; passing more urine than normal; feeling very tired; and unexpected weight loss. Type 2 diabetes is also more common if you are overweight or you are of a South Asian, African or Caribbean background.  

Dr Neel Basudev, a local GP and Lambeth CCG Clinical Lead for Diabetes said: “If you have any of these symptoms, go and see your GP – especially if you have a history of diabetes in your family.

“The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner your doctor or nurse can help you to manage the condition and prevent you developing the health problems associated
with diabetes.”

Later this month, Ramadan the holy month were Muslim
s fast from sunrise to sunset will commence. Those sustaining from food or water for most of the day and are diabetic are encouraged to visit Diabetes UK​ – where useful information on managing diabetes during Ramadan can be found. 

If you are living with diabetes there is a lot that you can do that will help you to take control of your diabetes and avoid future problems. Your GP or practice nurse will advise you on monitoring your blood sugar levels. If you have type 2 diabetes you do not usually need to test yourself at home – you will have blood tests arranged by your practice. 

Key steps to managing your diabetes are:

  • ​Take your medication and insulin properly
  • Maintain a healthy weight – this will help control your blood glucose level
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet 
  • Stop smoking
  • Stay active 
  • Have the flu jab every autumn
  • Go to your regular check-ups

When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the amount of information that you need to understand and the impact of diabetes on your life can be quite overwhelming. You are not alone; there are local services to support you. 

Diabetes UK also has advice, information and support including peer support and online support forums. Find out more by visiting the get involved pages on Diabetes UK. ​

Recognising that you are not alone and sharing your experiences can help you to find the inspiration you need to achieve your dreams no matter how small or how large.