07/07/2014 07:22 BST | Updated 07/07/2014 07:59 BST

Diabetes Is Becoming A 'National Health Emergency': Here's How To Spot The Symptoms

Most of us will know someone with diabetes as the amount of people being diagnosed with the condition has risen in recent years.

And now a charity has warned that diabetes is becoming a "national health emergency", as figures suggest that hundreds of people are diagnosed with the condition every day in the UK.

Diabetes UK said that more than 280,000 people a year are diagnosed with diabetes - the equivalent to the population of Newcastle.


Each day 738 people are told that they have type 2 diabetes - which is linked to being overweight - and 30 are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes - which is not linked to weight.

About 3.8 million people in the UK now have the condition and about 35% of the population have borderline diabetes.

Diabetes UK has called for more focus on preventing type 2 diabetes, saying that if the rate of people getting the condition continues the consequences could be "disastrous".

In order to control type 2 diabetes, it is important to spot the symptoms early and make relevant lifestyle changes, but there is evidence to suggest that some people do not know how to spot the symptoms while others ignore the signs that they might be at risk.

Previously speaking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Dr Tim Woodman a medical director at Bupa, said: "Most people seem to be are aware of what leads to type 2 diabetes, for example their lifestyle choices, but 54% of people say they ignore the long-term health consequences.

"They are also mindful of the symptoms, and over a third (35%) of people say they have symptoms linked with Type 2 diabetes. But worryingly we found that over two thirds (68%) of people assume nothing is wrong and will not visit a doctor if they have what they consider to be ‘minor’ symptoms, commonly associated with Type 2 diabetes- which is a must."

Scroll through the pictures for the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Story continues below slideshow...

Photo gallery Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes See Gallery

The chief executive of Diabetes UK, Barbara Young, said: "It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed with diabetes and this clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.

"If we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate then the consequences will be disastrous.

"As the number of people with diabetes grows, we are likely to see even more people endure devastating health complications such as amputation and kidney failure and more people die tragically young. It would also lead to an increase in NHS costs that would be simply unsustainable.

"As a country, we are still not giving diabetes healthcare the priority it needs and we also need to get much better at preventing type 2 diabetes before it is too late."


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Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "Public Health England welcomes Diabetes UK placing a refreshed emphasis on prevention. We take the growing number of people at risk of diabetes very seriously.

"We can all reduce our risk by maintaining a healthy weight, using tips from our eat well plate to get balanced, healthy portion sizes, and getting active every day. We know that making those small changes, no matter how old we are, will have a real impact on our health."

The latest figures have been derived from the National Diabetes Audit from analysis conducted by Diabetes UK and supermarket chain Tesco.