A diabetes sufferer is urging others to make lifestyle changes to help them manage the condition.
Diana Oakes was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 11 but has educated herself on how to be as healthy as possible through her diet and by being active.
The 43-year-old said: “You can’t use diabetes as an excuse not to do anything. I succeeded in managing this condition successfully by living a healthy lifestyle with the right education, I’ve been able to continue to do the things I enjoy most in life, and whilst I am not an athlete, and I have another, unrelated condition which limits my mobility somewhat, I still do a lot of walking.”
Health bosses at NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group are aiming to raise awareness of diabetes.
Diana, from Leeds, said: “Having been diagnosed with the condition was life-changing for me. I had to learn how to self-inject insulin, and then to eat 15 minutes after my injection. I couldn’t eat anything sweet and all my carbohydrates had to be weighed, which I had never done before.
“I attended diabetes education courses, and as I got older I controlled my diabetes really well.
“I continue to have a healthy diet and walk as much as I can – my husband and I are currently undertaking a sponsored walk for Diabetes UK, attempting to walk the equivalent distance between Leeds and Lapland by Christmas Day. This fits in with Diabetes UK’s initiative Walk for Diabetes.
“We all can take steps to having a healthier lifestyle and not only will it benefit you but also your family in the long-term.”
Type 1 diabetes is not linked to lifestyle factors and accounts for about 10 per cent of all adults with diabetes. It normally appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood.
Around 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes, the equivalent of one person every two minutes.
Type 2 diabetes can be related to lifestyle, age, family history or ethnicity. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor, but exercising regularly and reducing body weight by 5 per cent could reduce the risk of getting diabetes by more than 50 per cent.
It is estimated that by 2025, 5m people will have diabetes in the UK.