Throughout the Western world, diabetes is an increasingly common condition. While diagnoses of Type 1 diabetes remain at a steady rate, Type 2 diabetes is affecting a greater proportion of people in the UK and elsewhere.
Type 2 diabetes is triggered largely by unhealthy eating practices and lack of exercise. Many people in the UK and throughout the Western world eat a diet that is far too high in sugar (e.g. fizzy drinks, cakes, flavoured milk), processed starch (white flour, cornstarch and the white rice often served with curries) and fat. Combine this with a lack of exercise over a lifetime, and you have a high chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.
One organisation in the UK that is working to find better treatment and prevent the complications of diabetes is Diabetes UK. Diabetes UK also offers support to those newly diagnosed with Types 1 and 2 diabetes, and organises many fundraising events.
Recently (June 2007), Diabetes UK had a successful Diabetes Week campaign, where Diabetes UK collected funds and gave out information to the public on diabetes. As part of this promotion, Diabetes UK organised a “Walk in the Park” with the help of a TV star from Coronation Street, and had one of the major supermarkets handing out informative flyers to customers. In total, Diabetes Week 2007 managed to raise over £200, 000 to be used in research and other areas.
Diabetes UK is a registered charity that was originally founded in 1934 by the novelist HG Wells and a British doctor (HG Wells was a diabetic). The original name of Diabetes UK was the Diabetic Association; the name Diabetes UK became the official name in 2000.
Diabetes UK’s original aim was to make sure that all those who needed insulin could get it, regardless of their financial situation. Today, Diabetes UK continues to lobby for better care for all diabetics throughout the UK.
Diabetes UK is the largest provider of funds for diabetes research in the UK. Current research projects sponsored by Diabetes UK include islet cell transplant therapy for Type 1 diabetes, where insulin-producing beta-cells from donor pancreases are implanted to replace those destroyed by Type 1 diabetes. This treatment is still in the early stages – only a few people in the UK have received this therapy in trials – but it looks like it can be very successful for suitable candidates with Type 1 diabetes.
Other research projects sponsored by Diabetes UK are several trials and studies designed to find new therapies for treating diabetes. Other research sponsored by Diabetes UK is in the area of how potential complications of diabetes can be detected early.
Joining Diabetes UK is easy. If you, a family member or a friend has diabetes, then you are eligible to join and receive the full benefits and information that is available to members. Healthcare professionals are also eligible for membership. But anyone can make a donation or help Diabetes UK’s efforts by participating in one of their campaigns.