'i Can' Diabetes Awareness Week 2014


Sunday the 8th of June kicked off Diabetes Awareness Week 2014, which runs until Saturday the 14th of June. The theme for this year is 'i Can', concentrating on what people with diabetes can do rather than some of the restrictions that may hold them back.

Diabetes Awareness Month

Adults and Diabetes

In the UK, there are an estimated 2.9 million people living with diabetes, but other than seeing people administer insulin you wouldn't know they had the condition. According to the NHS, 850,000 people are living with the condition undiagnosed.

There are 2 types of diabetes: type 1 which is insulin dependent or early onset diabetes and type 2, which is insulin resistant. Type 1 diabetes requires you to take insulin for the rest of your life whereas in some cases, type 2 can be regulated by changes in lifestyle and diet with the aid of insulin substitutes.

90% of adults with diabetes in the UK have type 2 diabetes. If caught early enough, treatment can reduce the risk of developing later complications. Getting the right care for your diabetes is essential because left untreated, it can have serious consequences. There is a national standard for treating those who suffer from diabetes and you can get advice and support through an agreed care plan. Specialist care is also available to combat and treat other complications of diabetes such as problems with eyes and feet.

Despite this, people have trouble accessing these resources, leading to needless deaths and the worsening of the condition. Unnecessary amputations , blindness and kidney failure are all the result of poor care and attention by medical health professionals.

However, it's not only adults that suffer from diabetes. Children are at risk as well.

Children with Diabetes

If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, it will most likely be type 1, sometimes known as juvenile diabetes. Parents will feel disheartened that their child has been diagnosed with an incurable condition, however, many children continue with their regular lifestyle. To do this, support needs to be in place, especially when they go to school.

An integrated approach between schools and parents is needed to ensure that a child with diabetes can have as much of a normal school life as possible – this is sometimes neglected or shunned by schools as they don't know how to manage the condition. As time goes on, both parents and teachers will become experts in administering insulin and how to determine if the child needs any extra support, but taking the initial step is often the hardest.

While developing diabetes is life changing that doesn't necessarily mean it is life ending. With the right support, care and attention children and adults with diabetes can live full lives.

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