Find out if you have a big chance of developing diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can develop when people become overweight
Type 2 diabetes can develop when people become overweight -Credit:Getty

People in Leicestershire - particularly those over 40 - are being encouraged to take an online survey to see how likely they are to develop Type 2 diabetes. The condition affects nearly one in 12 people and about a million people in the UK are thought to be suffering with the illness without having been diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is closely connected to obesity but it is also a particularly prevalent disease among certain racial groups. Black people and those of South Asian heritage are encouraged to check their type 2 diabetes risk if they are over the age of 25.

The disease affects about 8.2 per cent of people in the Midlands and that is higher than the England average of 7.5 per cent. You can find out if you are at risk by visiting the Diabetes UK online tool here.

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In about 90 per cent of cases, type 2 diabetes could have been prevented or at least delayed through more physical activity and healthier eating. Being overweight is a major factor in anyone's likelihood of developing the disease and people with a family history of type 2 diabetes are also at more of a risk.

Those who find they are at risk can have a simple finger prick blood test at their local doctor's surgery to check if they do have the condition. Untreated, the disease can have devastating affects, including blindness, the loss of limbs, heart disease, strokes and kidney disease.

Recommended ways to decrease your chances of getting the disease include cutting out sugary foods and losing weight.

Professor Azhar Farooqi of the Midlands Cardiovascular Disease and Respiratory Network said: “If you have, or suspect you may have, symptoms of diabetes or hypertension, get a blood pressure check and a blood test at your GP. You can prevent type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping physically active.”

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include needing to urinate a lot - particularly at night - becoming very thirsty, fatigue, genital itching, unexpected weight loss, blurred eyesight and cuts and wounds taking a long time to heal.

If you think you are at risk of type 2 diabetes and would like more information, visit Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme by clicking here or, if you have any other concerns related to your health, contact your GP.

Find out your risk of type 2 diabetes by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Score at Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week begins on Monday, May 20.