The charity, Diabetes UK has warned that in the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes has risen by nearly 60%. Over 3.3 million people have some form of the condition, which has increased from 2.1 million in 2005.
Diabetes, which is the inability to control the level of sugar in the blood, can lead to blindness, nerve damage and damage to organs if not kept under effective control. The condition even results in 135 foot amputations a week across the country.
Around 90% of cases are type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to poor diet and obesity.
Type 1 diabetes is usually developed in childhood and leads to a reduced ability to produce Insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
Diabetes UK has asked for the NHS to improve treatment for patients who already suffer from diabetes and for greater efforts to be made in order to prevent the disease.
The NHS said it was time to tackle the issue of poor lifestyle when it comes to eating, which is a major factor behind the rise.
Data published shows that diabetes medication now accounts for 10% of the NHS drugs bill.
Almost £869m was spent on drugs, including Insulin, rising from the £514m spent a decade ago.
The reason behind why levels of type 1 diabetes are increasing is not understood. However, the increase of type 2 is being placed on the issue of obesity in the UK. Barbara Young, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said “Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year, and 80% of this is spent on managing avoidable complications.”
It is easy to start making a few simple changes to your everyday routine that can help reduce the risk of diabetes developing. The NHS choices website (http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eating/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx) has a wide range of resources available and your local pharmacy can provide help and advice on managing the condition.