Obesity increases your risk of developing diabetes

There are an estimated 69,000 adults and 1092 children living with diabetes in Northern Ireland in 2010. The number of adults with diabetes in Northern Ireland has increased by 34% since 2004. Many of these cases are preventable and related to obesity. With this in mind, during Diabetes Week (12 - 18 June 2011) the Public Health Agency is encouraging everyone across Northern Ireland to be aware of how diabetes can be prevented and what the signs and symptoms of diabetes are to ensure early diagnosis and good diabetic care.Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. It usually occurs in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs after the age of 40, but may occur at a younger age, and can often be prevented - mainly by keeping your weight within the normal range for your height. Dr Brid Farrell, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, PHA, said: "The increase of diabetes occurring in the population can be explained by rising levels of obesity, people living longer and improved detection and diagnosis of diabetes in primary care."The symptoms of diabetes can include increased thirst, passing urine more frequently (bedwetting in children), extreme tiredness, slow healing infections, blurred vision and significant or unexplained weight loss. Symptoms of diabetes can develop quickly over days or weeks, and sometimes with Type 2 diabetes, a person may have no symptoms. Early diagnosis is important. If you think you have diabetes speak to your GP or pharmacist.Dr Farrell continued: "Diabetes is a lifelong condition, but complications can be prevented or delayed by controlling your blood sugar, and treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, a healthy diet and regular exercise is very important."Health Minister Edwin Poots said:"Diabetes is a serious condition, which affects many thousands of people across Northern Ireland. While not all diabetes is preventable, we all have a responsibility to look after our own health. "By making healthier lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise, we can reduce our risk of developing potentially life threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes. I would urge everyone to take every possible step to improve their health and avoid developing preventable illnesses."Ends
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