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Thousands in Hackney could have undiagnosed diabetes

PUBLISHED: 10:47 13 September 2010

A LEADING health charity has warned that 3,200 people in Hackney are thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK said that those people are putting themselves at serious risk of serious complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease.

The main risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or having a large waist, being aged over 40 (or over 25 in Black and South Asian people) and having a close relative with diabetes.

The charity urged anyone in the borough who could be at risk of developing the condition to go to their doctor or practice nurse for a diabetes test.

The symptoms of diabetes include urinating more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts and wounds and blurred vision.

Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for up to ten years and around half of people already show signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed.

The disease develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

Insulin acts as a key unlocking the body’s cells, so if there is not enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this, medication and insulin is often required.

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