Diabetes UK are raising awareness about diabetes during their annual Diabetes Week, taking place from the 11th-17th June.
The key message from this year’s campaign is “know diabetes, fight diabetes”. The charity is encouraging those who suffer from diabetes to share their experiences and knowledge in order to help others with the condition, and to unite in the fight for continued research and a better understanding of the condition.
The number of people in the UK currently living with diabetes is around 3.5 million, but it is estimated that a further half a million people are yet to be diagnosed. This means that a staggering 1 in 16 of us living in the UK have diabetes – that’s about 6% of the UK population.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, accounting for around 90% of the cases in the UK. Type 1 diabetes is less common, forming just 10% of the cases in the UK. Generalisations tend to be used to differentiate the two types, as many symptoms and causes can present themselves in either type.
Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood, whereas type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in the over 30s. Type 1 diabetes is not generally associated with being overweight, but many cases of type 2 diabetes are diagnosed in people who carry excess weight. Generally, type 1 diabetes will be controlled by taking insulin, as opposed to type 2 diabetes, which in the first instance may be treated by changing diet or lifestyle.
Some factors will be true for both types of the condition, and there are certainly exceptions to the general rules – for instance, cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in adults, type 2 diabetics will not necessarily be overweight, and type 1 diabetics may be overweight.
You can find out more about this year’s campaign and how you can get involved via the Diabetes UK website at https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/diabetes-week