Today Diabetes UK Cymru is launching a campaign to highlight the symptoms of diabetes to people across Wales. We have organised the campaign as 66,000 people here in Wales – around one in 50 – are now thought to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.
To launch the campaign we have sent bilingual posters spelling out the symptoms from the word ‘diabetes’ to every doctor’s surgery and pharmacy in Wales. The poster recommends anyone with the symptoms to visit their GP or practice nurse for a diabetes test.
The vast majority of people living with undiagnosed diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which people can live with for up to 10 years without knowing it.
However, the campaign also aims to highlight the symptoms to parents and young people as more than 1,500 children in Wales are now living with Type 1 diabetes. As late diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis – dangerously high blood glucose levels which can, in the worst case, lead to coma and even death – it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms.
The campaign is being supported by GP and TV presenter Dr Sarah Jarvis, who appears on BBC1’s The One Show and ITV1’s Daybreak, and BBC Radio Wales presenter Chris Needs MBE, who has Type 2 diabetes.
We are also asking people in Wales to show their support by downloading a copy of the poster from our website and putting it up in your community.
You can also support the campaign by sharing your experience of the symptoms of diabetes and how you were diagnosed on Twitter using the hashtag #diabetessymptoms.