Diabetes is a life-long condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.
There are two types of diabetes - type 1 and type 2. Both are equally serious.
Type 1- affects people under 40, who are not able to make any insulin
Type 2- occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body's cells don't react to insulin
Looking out for symptoms
The main symptoms include feeling thirsty all the time, tiredness, weight loss and blurred vision. It may take a while for sores to heal and you may have genital itching, episodes of thrush and frequent urination.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, discuss your concerns with your GP or practice nurse. They will be able to advise you and if necessary carry out further tests. Early diagnosis will enable you to get correct treatment and help prevent long-term health problems.
Living with diabetes
It's important to learn how to take control of diabetes so that you can continue to lead an active and healthy life.
Make sure that you eat a healthy diet. Taking part in regular physical activity and giving up smoking is important. Don't miss your medication and have regular check ups with your GP or diabetes clinic. They can help you manage living with diabetes as they can spot problems before they become serious.
The Redbridge Diabetes Service provides support for people over the age of 17 living with type one and type two diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you will be invited to have your eyes tested once a year. This is because you are at risk from diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to sight loss.
Regular examination of your feet should be carried out, as diabetes can lead to poor circulation and loss of sensation in your feet. This can mean that foot injuries do not heal well. You may want to consider visiting a private registered podiatrist (chiropodist) for advice and treatment.