A WARNING has been issued to south Warwickshire residents after cases of diabetes rocketed.
In 2015, 12,275 people in the county were confirmed to have Type 2 diabetes, but just two years later the figure had soared to more than 13,000 – an increase which has been echoed across the rest of the country.
Doctors say more people than ever have the disease and they believe it is due to inactivity, leading to people becoming more overweight.
Type 2 diabetes usually affects those over the age of 40 and often shows no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the illness for more than ten years.
Dr Samir Khan, from South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Type 2 diabetes represents a real threat to health and if left untreated can lead to stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
“Typical symptoms include feeling very thirsty, passing urine more often than usual, feeling very tired, weight loss and loss of muscle bulk. It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated.
“The good news is around three in five cases can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. The best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is to reduce your weight by avoiding high fat and sugary foods. If possible try to limit processed and take-away foods by cooking more meals from scratch.
“Increasing activity and exercise is really important too and there are lots of simple ways to do this and don’t take up lots of time such as taking the stairs instead of the lifts, going for a brisk walk in your lunch hour or gardening. Small changes to your life style can have big benefits.”
And awareness about the disease is also being raised at a free event by South Warwickshire Diabetes UK Group.
The group is hosting a number of speakers and offering information about diabetes at Leamington Town Hall on Saturday June 30 between 10am and 4pm.
It will include dieticians, eye specialists, podiatrists, consultants and GPs. There will also be a number of information stands.
Janet Turner from the group said: “The event is free so we would encourage people to pop in for all or part of the day, to either listen to one of the speakers, or just to obtain information and learn more about diabetes. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing as many people as possible.”
Visit www.diabetes-swarks.org.uk or call 01926 855374 to find out more about the event or the local group.