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  • The Silent Killer – Diabetes Type 2

    “10% of the NHS budget and 7 million people are now at risk from Type 2 diabetes and it threatens to wreck the health service” says Barbara Young, Diabetes UK

    Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness, strokes, kidney failure and amputations in Britain and costs the NHS £10 billion a year to treat.

    It is known as the Silent Killer because the damage it does can stay hidden for years and as many as ½ million people have got it but don’t know about it.

    The Tonight programme teamed up with Diabetes UK to give people free health checks.
    It is reckoned that 5.5 million people will have type 2 diabetes in 10 years time.

    Risk Factors

    1. Overweight with a large waistline
    2. Members of ethnic background are at higher risk
    3. Someone in the family has it
    4. Over 40, although increasing numbers of younger people are getting it

    High glucose levels can also cause eye, kidney, heart and feet complications.

    Joseph Shorrock 51 years old has had diabetes type 2 for 20 years and had his right leg amputated 2 years ago and is fighting to save the other leg. He has no feeling in his feet and infection/gangrene set in on his toe.

    The clinic that Joe attends sees a handful of patients a week with complications like his, but sees 20-30 patients a day with foot problems. Out in the community there is a huge referral for diabetic foot problems.

    Although 80% of all diabetes amputations are preventable, it is estimated that 7000 could take place next year and when amputation does occur the risks for patients remains high.
    “Patients who have an amputation have a very high risk of death and as high as 80% of them might not make it through to the next 5 years. It is higher than colonic cancer where it is 49%, prostate cancer at 20% and breast cancer at 16%” says Simon Hardy – Consultant Vascular Surgeon

    Every week 2-3 new patients are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
    Complacency is the enemy of type 2 diabetes because it is always which organ is going to fail first? 24,000 deaths per year could be avoided with the right care and support.

    “We think there needs to be a National coordinated process so that those areas that provide poor care come up to at least the average and that could make a huge difference” says Barbara Young – Diabetes UK

    A Study is starting at Newcastle University.
    “Putting people on a low calorie (600 calories/day) diet for 8 weeks can actually reverse type 2 diabetes for people who have been diagnosed for up to 4 years. It is entirely preventable if people take action early enough. We don’t seem to be taking it very seriously, even though it is one of our major health issues” says Professor Taylor

    Have you got pre-diabetes? Read this article in the Daily Mail online here

    View our video of a Peter’s Diabetic Journey who suffered an amputation 10 years ago and his continuing struggle with diabetic foot syndrome

    For more information about where to find help and support with the disease, please click on the links below:

    Diabetes UK

    NHS Choices: Living with Type 2 Diabetes

    Newcastle University’s Type 2 Diabetes Study



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