How much do you know about diabetes? We tend to assume it’s a problem for older people or sugar addicts. But, it’s possible to develop the condition at any age, and there are other risk factors involved to be aware of.
Increasingly common in the UK, cases of diabetes are rising in line with our reliance on convenient processed foods and sedentary lifestyles. It’s a ticking health timebomb, with cases expected to reach 5 million by 2025.
Being aware of the risks and taking action to reduce those risks is important. To do that, it’s a good idea to be aware of what diabetes really is, what causes it, and the signs and symptoms to look out for.
What is diabetes, are there blood tests in London to diagnose?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level rises, it tells your pancreas to release insulin, but this process can be interrupted, leading to complications that cause diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
With this type of diabetes, the cells of the pancreas are damaged by the immune system, preventing them from making insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teenagers, and young adults,
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition linked to excess weight in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use insulin properly. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells to be used for energy. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. But over time, it loses its ability to provide enough insulin and blood glucose levels rise, causing a range of health problems.
What health problems are linked with diabetes?
Over time, high blood glucose can lead to a range of problems, including dental disease, problems with eyesight, heart and kidney disease, nerve damage and stroke, so it’s vitally important to make healthy changes as soon as possible to stop diabetes developing.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Diabetes has a few tell-tale signs to look out for, including:
- Always feeling thirsty
- Blurred vision
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
- Genital itching or thrush
- Losing weight without trying to
- Needing to urinate more often, especially at night
Could you be at risk?
According to Diabetes UK, there are 3.8 million people living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, and 90% of those are living with Type 2.
There are almost a million more people living with Type 2 diabetes who are undiagnosed, bringing the total number up to 4.7 million.
The most common risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or obese, having a family history of the disease, or being of Asian, African-Caribbean, or black African origin.
If you have noticed some of the symptoms or are concerned that you meet some of the risk criteria, it could be worth taking a closer look at your health.
Private blood testing for diabetes in London
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health and wellbeing.
At Blue Horizon we offer a comprehensive blood glucose test to help you get a complete picture of your health.
Glucose measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of carbohydrate metabolic disorders including diabetes, examining whether levels are abnormally high (hyperglycaemia) or abnormally low (hypoglycaemia).
A very common blood test, but an essential part of any health screening, high levels are diagnostic of diabetes mellitus, a state in which the body is unable to handle glucose adequately.
Low levels can occur in healthy individuals on occasion, but if sustained, a low level of glucose may indicate an underlying problem with how sugar levels are maintained by the body.
Booking your private diabetes test in London
Our central London walk in clinic makes getting a private blood test for glucose levels quick and convenient. Simply purchase your test online and attend the clinic on the same day.
At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.
Clear, accurate results
The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.
You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.