6,500 Waltham Forest residents could have diabetes and not know

More than 13,500 people in Waltham Forest, nearly an eighth of the adult population, have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but an estimated 6,500 are living with the condition undiagnosed.

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body can't produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn't work properly.

Early diagnosis, treatment and good control of diabetes can help reduce the chances of developing serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease.

Type 2 diabetes can also be delayed or prevented by making simple changes in our everyday lives – such as eating healthier, getting more active, quitting smoking or limiting your alcohol intake.

With Diabetes Week (12-16 June) under way, local GPs are asking residents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes.

Dr Anwar Khan, Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group Chair said: “If you experience any of the symptoms associated with diabetes, visit your doctor. It might not be anything serious, but if it is diabetes, the earlier that you start to take control of your condition the better.

“Simple changes in your daily routine such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking can not only prevent the diagnoses of diabetes but also its complications.”

Symptoms that can indicate the onset of type 2 diabetes include:

  • passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
  • increased thirst
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
  • slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • blurred vision

If you have any of the above symptoms, visit your GP.