Diabetes is on the rise in the UK, with numbers estimated to grow to 5 million by 2025. Cases of type 2 diabetes, which is commonly linked to diet and lifestyle, are increasing at a particularly rapid rate, making it one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.
Untreated, diabetes can lead to a host of health issues, which is why early diagnosis is important, giving you all the information you need to help prevent more serious problems from developing.
What is diabetes?
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 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
Usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, and young adults, with this type of diabetes the cells of the pancreas can no longer make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed them.
Type 2 diabetes
The most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is associated with excess weight, physical inactivity, a family history of the condition or a previous history of gestational diabetes. It’s also more prevalent for certain ethnicities.
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 is able to keep up with the added demand by producing more insulin. But over time, the pancreas loses its ability to provide enough insulin and blood glucose levels rise, causing a range of health problems.
What health problems can people with diabetes develop?
Over time, high blood glucose can lead to problems such as:
- dental disease
- eye problems
- foot problems
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- nerve damage
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
There are a few tell-tale signs that you may have diabetes. These include:
- Blurred vision
- Constant thirst
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Frequent urination, particularly at night
- Genital itching or thrush
- Losing weight without trying to
How common is diabetes?
According to Diabetes UK, one in ten people over 40 in the UK are now living with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. 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. By 2030 it is predicted this number will rise to 5.5 million.
Private testing for diabetes
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 range of blood testing options for diabetes markers, both standalone, and as part of a larger profile of blood tests to help you get a complete picture of your health.
These tests include:
And our Comprehensive Plus test which includes checks for red and white blood cell quality, thyroid function, kidney and liver function, a check for diabetes, as well as essential elements and vitamins allowing you to check your current nutritional status and overall health.
Booking your private diabetes test
We make sure the experience of booking a private blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. By partnering with Spire Healthcare, we make the process simple and seamless by offering easy-to-book appointments at your local Spire Hospital. Here’s how it works:
As well as diabetes tests we have a comprehensive range of health checks and diagnostic blood tests available, including male and female hormone profiles, immunity checks, thyroid and fatigue testing.
After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team. Once your order is placed, you’ll receive all the information you need to arrange your convenient blood draw appointment at one of our Spire Hospital locations.
Your pathology passport – the information sent to you after you place your order – will also tell you whether you need to fast ahead of your test. Included in each request for diabetes testing are:
- A doctor’s referral
- All phlebotomy
- All laboratory fees
- Our GP’s comments (optional)
How your appointment works
We partner with Spire Healthcare to offer a professional phlebotomy service. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals. Our confidential blood examination for diabetes is available at over thirty private clinics around the UK.
Unlike home testing healthcare kits, where you take the sample yourself, our trained professionals reduce the likelihood of errors such as collecting an insufficient amount of blood or accidental contamination, which could delay your test results.
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.