With the apparent decrease in popularity in the UK of physical exercise has come a proportional increase in obesity. With that increase has come a rise in the numbers of people developing diabetes.
Obesity is not the only cause of diabetes (some medication and genetics are other known factors) but is certainly a significant one.
To give an idea of the scale of the disease, the population of the UK exceeds 60 million. The number of diabetes sufferers is about 3 million or 1 in 20. Diabetes UK reports that a little short of a further 1 million others have it too, but simply do not yet know. Assuming this to be correct, that makes the ratio 1:15 or, put another way, if there are 30 players on a football field including substitutes on the bench, 1 on each side will have diabetes.
What is diabetes?
This short piece is not intended to give detailed clinical information about diabetes but just a few brief facts and information that may be of interest:
Diabetes is a condition in which sufferers do not produce any or sufficient levels of insulin, or else cannot break down the insulin that is produced, with the result that the body has a higher than desirable blood sugar or glucose level.
Lack of energy and general lethargy, depressed or irritable mood, dehydration caused by frequent urination, thirst, and visual impairment can be some of the presenting symptoms. Indeed, loss of vision is one of the more serious consequences of diabetes but in truth all major bodily organs may be harmed to a lesser or greater extent.
There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Sufferers of the latter outnumber the former by about 5 or 6 to 1.
Type 1 sufferers usually develop it during childhood and require regular insulin injections or use of an insulin pump; type 2 sufferers usually develop it much later in life when the body’s production of insulin has slowed or else cannot convert it as successfully as before.
Impact on the public purse and Government’s response
BBC News reported in April 2013 that a staggering 10% of the NHS’ entire budget is spent on diabetes each year, £10 billion in fact. 80% of this is said to relate to the cost of treating avoidable complications, predominantly due to sufferers simply not managing their conditions sufficiently.
This is considered by Diabetes UK to be in part due to inadequate education and support, and the Dept of Health has resolved also to improve relevant services and “end the unacceptable variation in care that still exists” across the country.
In the above context, with so many sufferers in the UK, 24,000 of whom reportedly die every single year, it is hardly surprising that negligence can arise.
Mistakes can be made in the treatment of the condition or indeed in its initial diagnosis, which may have been made belatedly, and avoidably so. In either instances the long term implications can be very severe indeed
If you suspect that this has occurred in your own case, please do not hesitate to call us for our opinion or else simply for additional information about the circumstances in which a claim might be made.
(Less commonly, as stated above, diabetes may develop following the use of drugs prescribed for the treatment of psychosis such as schizophrenia or some other serious mental disorder. Naturally, the development of diabetes like symptoms in these circumstances should be reported at once to one’s own treating doctor who will provide appropriate medical advice.)
In any event, if you have any concerns about the medical advice or treatment you have received in relation to diabetes, please feel free to call us for a no obligation opinion.
Should there be a viable claim to be made, all our experts at Lloyd Green, solicitors, will subsequently be happy to act for you on a “no win, no fee” basis.