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Diabetes UK Northern Ireland rewrites the story this World Diabetes Day

This World Diabetes Day, 14 November, Diabetes UK Northern Ireland is raising awareness about the growing number of people living with this relentless condition. There are now over 108,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and without intervention, this number will continue to grow year after year.


Let's rewrite the story message with four hands with pencils

Being diagnosed early is so important for all types of diabetes. It can save lives, prevent a medical emergency, and reduce the risk of life-changing complications later.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland recently piloted the Live Well Hub at the North Down Community Network. We also ran a series of programmes for the local community to learn more about diabetes and get advice from healthcare professionals to help improve self-management and understand their condition better.

Davy Orr, from Bangor, participated in the Live Well Hub and found that this intervention helped him improve his diabetes management. He said:

"Learning about diabetes has been an eye-opener and the sessions at the Live Well Hub have been life-changing for me. I wish more people could attend the diabetes sessions because you learn what you can do to manage your diabetes. Having attended all the sessions, I feel more confident about what diabetes is, what I have to do and the support of the group has helped me so much."

Davy benefitted from learning more about both the physical and mental health aspects of diabetes and the small steps he can take to make a big difference in his diabetes management.

Davy continued, "I cannot stress enough, the more we learn about this condition, the better we can feel about it and feel like we are getting control back over our lives. That is paramount, and I am so grateful to have been able to attend these diabetes sessions, I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to know more. If I knew what I now know about diabetes when I was first diagnosed, I wouldn’t have let it lie for so long without taking action to manage it better."

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications such as sight loss, lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke. Someone is diagnosed with diabetes in the UK every two minutes and receiving that diagnosis can be overwhelming and, at times, hard to accept.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland National Director, Tina McCrossan, said:

"‘Diabetes is a relentless, serious, lifelong condition and over 108,000 people are now living with the condition in Northern Ireland. We are aware that during the pandemic diagnoses were missed or delayed so it is vital that people living with diabetes can access the care and support they need as close to diagnosis as possible. The Live Well Hub in Bangor has been able to bridge the gap in support and information for the local community.

"Every year we see an increase in people living with this relentless condition. This is why we want to see recurrent funding of the Diabetes Prevention Programme for those at risk of type 2 diabetes, continued investment and access to diabetes tech, and mental health support for people living with diabetes.

"We have seen the positive impact that talking about diabetes can have and knowing more about diabetes can help us all understand how serious it is. This World Diabetes Day we encourage anyone living with diabetes to share your experiences to help others. Together, we want to rewrite the story about diabetes, and whilst a diagnosis can be devastating, it doesn’t have to be the final chapter."

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