Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week is an annual awareness week in the UK run by the National Health Service (NHS).  This year is takes place between 23 May and the 29 May and the NHS has created a ‘digital toolkit’ to help people get actively involved and raise awareness about Type 2 Diabetes.

Around 13.6 million people in the UK are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but for many there are steps you can take to reduce the risk.  Awareness of the risks is important, but knowing your exact status is also just as vital in helping to prevent yourself from developing type 2 diabetes.  

Better2Know offers a range of Diabetes tests to monitor your health profile and indicate if you might be at risk.  In this article we will look at exactly what type 2 diabetes is, some of the symptoms, risk factors and some key UK statistics. 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes and several rarer ones.  With type 1 diabetes your body cannot produce insulin, whereas with type 2 your body can produce insulin, but does not know what to do with it properly.  Type 2 diabetes accounts for nearly 90% of people diagnosed with diabetes and is also preventable, as it tends to develop later on in life and is often a result of lifestyle and diet.

Signs and symptoms of Diabetes Type 2?

The only way to know for sure that you have type 2 diabetes is to take a test, as not everyone will display all the associated symptoms.  However, for those who do show signs, here are some of the most common to look out for:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased hunger
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Slow healing cuts or wounds
  • Genital itching or thrush

What are the risk factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes?

If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to some serious health issues involving the heart, kidneys, nervous system, feet and eyes.  High blood sugar for a prolonged period can damage blood vessels, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.  Over time you can also develop kidney problems because your kidneys are working hard to flush the extra fluid and waste from your body. 

High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, making it harder for the nervous system to communicate between the brain and the body.  Poorer circulation caused by raised blood sugar can lead to problems in the hands and feet, and in some cases lead to amputation if left untreated.  Some people can also develop eye problems, including an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy.

These are just a few of the complications that can arise from type 2 diabetes.  Others include gum disease, mouth problems, a higher risk of developing certain cancers and sexual problems such as thrush and urinary tract infections in women and erectile dysfunction in men.

Key UK statistics for Diabetes

Here are a few of the key statistics around diabetes in the UK:

  • More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes
  • An estimated 850,000 people have type 2 diabetes, but are yet to be diagnosed
  • Approximately 185 leg, toe or foot amputations occur each week due to diabetes
  • The NHS spends over 10% of its yearly budget treating diabetes
  • Almost 80% of the NHS diabetes spend is to treat the complications of diabetes
  • One in six people in a hospital bed have diabetes

Diabetes testing with Better2Know

Better2Know provide a variety of home diabetes testing kits including a comprehensive diabetes test, which measures your blood sugar levels.  This helps to identify whether you may be at risk of diabetes or have damaged kidneys.  Other tests include our diabetes test to detect levels of Glycosylated Haemoglobin in diabetes patients, a diabetes diagnostic test and a kidney function test.

Type 2 Diabetes testing with Better2Know

We also have a number of health screens which can identify several factors that might be affecting your health.  Our Well Woman Screen and Well Man Screen have been designed by medical experts as a comprehensive health check looking at the health issues most likely to affect each gender respectively.

You can order our health and wellness home test kits online, or you can contact our knowledgeable team by calling the number at the top of this page.  Our advisers are here to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to obtain peace of mind about your health.


[1] Diabetes.org.uk: Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week 2022

[2] Gov.uk: Diabetes prevention toolkit

[3] Diabetes.org.uk: Diabetes Statistics

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