Most People Can’t Recognise Common Diabetes Symptoms

| June 23, 2017

To mark Diabetes Week, from Sunday 11 June to Saturday 17 June, the charity Diabetes UK carried out a poll of 2,000 adults.1 Most couldn’t recognise common diabetes symptoms that ought to prompt them to see a doctor. And the majority of those polled didn’t do well when it came to getting their five-a-day.

When asked whether they would see their doctor if they experienced the following symptoms that could indicate diabetes:

  • 58 per cent wouldn’t consult a doctor for genital itching or thrush
  • 56 per cent would disregard unusual thirst
  • 55 per cent would do nothing about fatigue
  • 53 per cent would ignore increased urination

Another finding that Diabetes UK called a “huge cause for concern” was that 66 per cent of people said they only eat three or less portions of fruit or vegetables – well below the government’s minimum recommendation of five-a-day. At the same time, three-quarters of those surveyed couldn’t say what constituted a portion of vegetables, while two out of three didn’t know what was meant by a portion of fruit.

It seems to me that if the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes are ever going to be tackled successfully, it must be through education and awareness, starting at an early age. These practical life skills are as essential as learning how to swim or to cross the road safely and need a more prominent place in the school curriculum. Let’s face it, for most people, they’re going to be a lot more useful than knowing what is the capital of Uzbekistan or the date of the battle of Naseby!

In addition, there need to be better-funded and larger public information campaigns directed at adults, like the one that brought home to people the dangers of smoking – and using the same sort of shock tactics. If the five-a-day message isn’t getting through, perhaps it’s time to rethink the approach.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. New UK poll reveals missed diabetes symptoms and poor consumption of vegetables. Diabetes UK, 12 June 2017. 

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Category: Diabetes Risks

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