Monday, 13 September 2010

You May Not Know You Have Diabetes

You May Not now You Have Diabetes

NEARLY 2,000 people in the town have diabetes and know nothing about it according to the latest figures released by a leading health charity.

Diabetes UK says there are 10,142 people in Swindon who have a form of diabetes – but nearly 20 per cent of those have not yet been diagnosed.

And a total of 98,300 people, almost a third of the diabetic population, in the South West Strategic Health Authority area are now thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, putting themselves at risk of devastating complications, including blindness, amputation, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease.

It is the greatest proportion of undiagnosed Type 2 cases in the country.

Graham Cooper, Diabetes UK South West regional manager, said: “This new estimate of 98,300 undiagnosed Type 2 cases in the West Country is truly alarming.

“PCTs need to better prioritise screening of at risk groups and improve uptake of programmes such as NHS Health Checks.

“We also urgently need more initiatives in our area such as the Diabetes UK Measure Up campaign to raise awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and encourage people at risk to go to their GP for a simple diabetes test.

“We face a bleak future of spiralling NHS costs and worsening public health if diagnosis rates for Type 2 diabetes do not improve. Diabetes is serious but once people are diagnosed and start managing it, there is every reason they can live long and healthy lives.”

The main risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or having a large waist, being aged over 40, or over 25 in black and South Asian people, and having a close relative with diabetes.

Symptoms include going to the toilet more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts and wounds and blurred vision.

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