Could you have diabetes? Here are the warning signs

People are being urged to have free health checks. Photo: James Bass.

People are being urged to have free health checks. Photo: James Bass. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Thousands of people across Norfolk could be living with Diabetes and unaware they have the condition.

The county has a high number of people with diabetes, with at least 52,560 people registered with the condition.

But it is feared there could be many more who may not know they have diabetes, leaving them at risk of further complications, such as heart disease or stroke.

Typical symptoms of diabetes include tiredness, thirst, weight loss and going to the toilet more frequently. Complications from diabetes can include cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, amputation, neuropathy and reduced life expectancy.

To support national Diabetes Week, Norfolk and Waveney's five clinical commissioning groups are launching a campaign to highlight how people can prevent or reduce their risk of developing diabetes along with promoting free NHS Health Checks for people aged 40 to 74 years.

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Dr Clare Hambling, a professional member of Diabetes UK and a GP in Downham Market, said diabetes was caused by a range of factors including genetics, population growth, improved life expectancy along with diet and sedentary lifestyle.

She said: 'Some people are unaware that they have type 2 Diabetes and may not be diagnosed until after they start to show signs of complications, which can be several months or even years after the onset of the condition.

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'Early diagnosis and treatment is absolutely essential if we want to prevent or reduce the risk of disabling diabetes-related complications.'

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, whereas type 2 diabetes is caused when the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it properly.

Peter Shorrick, Diabetes UK Eastern Regional Director, said: 'During Diabetes Week, we all need to talk about diabetes, we all know that it is not always easy, but the more we communicate the more we can support each other.'

People who are aged between 40 and 74 who do not have a known medical condition are eligible for an NHS health check. For more information click here.

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