Page last updated at 01:01 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Diabetes: Your Experiences

Insulin injection
A new report on diabetes has said the UK is experiencing a large rise in the numbers of people with diabetes.

The findings indicate rates of diabetes are increasing at a faster rate in the UK than they are in the US, where prevalence of the disease is already one of the highest in the world.

The bulk of new cases in the UK are type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight or obese but can also occur in people with a family history of diabetes.

BBC website readers have been sharing their experiences.

I was diagnosed in July 2007 when I was 51. It came as a surprise at the time, I did have some symptoms but I hadn't related it to the condition.

On holiday it got worse and I had about seven out of the eight key symptoms - a raging thirst, going to the toilet all the time. I also came back from holiday 10 pounds lighter, which was very unusual.

My wife wondered if I was diabetic and I went to see a friend who has type 1 diabetes. I used his equipment to do the pin prick test and the reading went off the scale. I saw my GP the next day, had a further test and was referred to the hospital.

My GP had said two or three years ago that if I didn't lose weight I would progress to type 2 diabetes. He said there was a correlation with obesity, although some people also get type 2 diabetes who aren't overweight.

Trevor Magee
Trevor's GP warned he was at risk of diabetes

I wasn't very upset with the diagnosis, but it was a wake up call. I realised it is a condition I have to respond to or it will only get worse and affect the function of my other organs. I've since lost weight and I do moderate exercise.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes you get raised to the medical top tier - you pretty much get an MOT every six months at the diabetes clinic. You see a dietician, an opthalmologist, your nerve endings are tested and all your medication is free.

I don't find my diagnosis embarrassing, although I think some people would. Some people might regard it as a sign they got what they deserved, that they didn't do enough to look after themselves and that's why they have it.

There's a bit of that in the media and with the government. On the one had they say you have to be aware, but there's also the impression that it's your fault you have it.

I'm a financial adviser, so I don't move around very much in my job. I do sometimes wonder if I had an active, more physical job whether things would be different.

I'm 38, very active and fit so I was very surprised by the diagnosis. It was purely by accident that I found out. My father-in-law is diabetic and just out of interest we did a test and I had a higher result than he did.

My doctor said he couldn't ask me to lose any weight as I had no extra weight to lose. I eat a healthy Mediterranean diet and go to the gym three times a week, so all I've done is up the intensity of my gym workouts. Otherwise, it hasn't really impacted on the way I live my life.

I am 5ft 7, 11 stone and have a body mass index of 25. I'm fit and healthy and lead an active lifestyle, so don't fit the usual profile. It seems it is just inherited

My maternal grandparents both had diabetes but they died when I was a child so I don't know if they had type 1 or type 2. I do know, however, that my aunt and my uncle on my father's side both have class 2 diabetes.

I do wonder what would have happened if I hadn't caught my diabetes early. I had no symptoms, so without that chance test there's no reason why I would have found out. It makes me wonder how many otherwise fit people are wandering around in that situation.

I originally went to the doctor when I was 29, as I thought I had symptoms of diabetes. The doctor did one test which was positive, but when I went back for a follow up it wasn't, so I was told I didn't have diabetes.

When I finally had a proper diagnosis in 2000 I was told that the GP should have sent me for specialised tests following the first positive reading. The delay meant the nerve endings in my feet were damaged and I have now lost part of the feeling in my feet.

I am concerned that people will get the impression that only fat people get diabetes and so won't get tested if they don't have a weight problem.

I am overweight and at first I thought that was why I had diabetes, but my consultant explained my diabetes is hereditary and that I would have it regardless of how fat or how thin I am.

I have a friend who is 70 who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes too, who has never been overweight and is very active.

Susie Grant
Susie's diabetes wasn't initially picked up

Being diagnosed hasn't made any great change to my life. I have always eaten healthily and been active, so can't understand why I am overweight.

I am not surprised that we see more cases today, for with unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles, we are going to see more and more health problems, not just diabetes.

It is not cheap to eat properly, as the low fat low salt, no sugar products tend to be more expensive than the less healthier foods. Good lean meat is too expensive for many.

I find it very worrying that children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If you are a child of a diabetic you should have your sugar level tested at least once a year.

My sons, both in their thirties do not have diabetes but both myself and their father and grandparents on both sides are diabetics, so they are in a high risk group. I have advised them to be tested once a year.

If you do become diabetic, the earlier it is detected, the sooner it can be controlled and the better your life will be, reducing the risk of complications.



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