GATWICK, England, September 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
- Potentially dangerous diabetes symptom currently goes unreported to healthcare professionals
Today marks the launch of the TALK Hypos awareness campaign, supported by Novo Nordisk and Diabetes UK, which aims to encourage people with diabetes to report hypoglycaemia (hypos) to their doctor or nurse. The TALK Hypos campaign launches to coincide with Hypo Awareness Week (29 September-5 October 2014).
There are about 3.2 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and hypos are one of the most common diabetes complications. Hypos are when glucose in the blood falls to a low level, and symptoms can include a pounding heart, trembling, hunger, difficulty concentrating and blurred vision. Left untreated, hypos can become serious and cause unconsciousness. Despite this, hypos remain under-recognised and under-reported by patients.
Simon O'Neill, Director of Health Intelligence for Diabetes UK, said, "People with diabetes can fail to report hypos to clinicians for a range of reasons, including lack of awareness, a fear of losing their driving licence and a belief that their healthcare professional is unable to make a difference. To make matters worse, we know that people with diabetes and their families are often fearful of hypos and feel powerless to do anything.
"The first step is to help people with diabetes recognise the symptoms of hypos and better manage their condition by encouraging a regular discussion about them during consultations. We are pleased to be involved in a campaign which aims to do just that."
TALK Hypos provides an acronym to encourage people with diabetes to discuss hypoglycaemia with their doctor or nurse:
- THINK: Do you know what a hypo is? Do you suffer from hypos?
- ASK: your doctor or nurse about hypos and discuss them as part of your consultation
- LEARN: what can be done to better manage your hypos, including lifestyle and treatment options
- KEEP: track of your hypos for discussion with your healthcare professional
As well as the more immediate symptoms, a few people may experience severe hypos, which can require emergency assistance. Regularly occurring severe hypos have been linked to longer-term health complications including, in some instances, heart disease. Having repeated hypos can, over time, lead to 'hypo unawareness', where the warning symptoms of a hypo are no longer felt, making hypos harder to identify and more difficult to manage.
Simon O'Neill added, "We would encourage all people with diabetes to remember the simple TALK Hypos message and to remember that steps can be taken to better manage hypos, including simple changes to lifestyle, diet and treatment. It is very important to discuss hypos as part of the regular consultation with your doctor or nurse."
Klaus Henning Jensen, Director of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory, Novo Nordisk, said, "Novo Nordisk is proud to support the TALK Hypos campaign, which aims to improve awareness of hypos as part of Changing Diabetes®; a global commitment to improving conditions for the millions of people who live with diabetes around the world today, and those who are at risk of developing diabetes tomorrow."
The TALK Hypos campaign comprises patient education materials and an education video that is hosted on the Diabetes UK and Novo Nordisk websites.
Notes to the editor:
To access the TALK Hypos campaign materials via the Novo Nordisk website, please visit: http://www.novonordisk.co.uk.
About Novo Nordisk
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. For more information, visit novonordisk.co.uk.
About Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit http://www.diabetes.org.uk.
About Changing Diabetes®
Today, 382 million people in the world are living with diabetes, which is predicted to rise to 592 million in less than 25 years. Changing Diabetes® is the Novo Nordisk global commitment to improve conditions for the millions of people who live with diabetes around the world today, and those who are at risk of developing diabetes tomorrow.
Diabetes (or diabetes mellitus) is a serious and challenging health condition that develops when there is too much sugar in the blood due to the body being unable to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, in the normal way. Over 3 million people have already been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and this figure is projected to rise to 5 million by 2025.,
There are two main types of diabetes. For people with type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes therefore need insulin injections for the rest of their lives. About 10% of all people with diabetes have type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can sometimes be controlled by exercise and eating a healthy diet and monitoring blood glucose levels, but if the condition gets worse over time, it may need to be managed by medication.
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7. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition, 2013 Update. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation. Available from: http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/EN_6E_Atlas_Full_0.pdf. Accessed: August 2014.
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For more information, please contact Liz Skrbkova or Rebecca Hess at Novo Nordisk.
SOURCE Novo Nordisk and Diabetes UK