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4th February 2019

Diabetes Scotland launches a series of grassroots events calling for local action to tackle the defining health crisis of our time.

With almost 300,000* people living with diabetes in Scotland and over 500,000 at risk of developing Type 2, the condition is the defining health crisis of our time. Grassroots action, Diabetes Scotland believes, is vital to making change happen and a new series of events aims to show how we can make a positive difference together.

Coinciding with the opening of a new portrait exhibition illustrating the variety of people affected by diabetes, the first Diabetes in Scotland - Making Change Happen event takes place at the Lochgelly Centre in Fife at 2pm on Saturday 9 February.

Angela Mitchell, National Director of Diabetes Scotland said: "If you live with diabetes yourself, care for someone with the condition, or have strong links to diabetes then our Diabetes in Scotland - Making Change Happen events are for you. We want to hear your concerns, share our priorities for 2019 and discuss ways you can get involved in helping make change happen.

"The recent success of our Flash Glucose Monitoring campaign - which resulted in the life-changing technology rolled out on prescription across Scotland – shows what we can achieve together.

"We want to ensure everyone has access to the right technology. We want better emotional and psychological support. We want to prevent people developing Type 2 diabetes in the first place and, wherever possible, help people with Type 2 into remission. We also want to fund more research into better treatments and ultimately a cure.

"We hope that everyone who shares our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm will come along to these events to tell us their concerns and find out how their support and positive action can make change happen."

Further Making Change Happen events are planned for Inverness on 15 March 2019, Glasgow on 29 March and later in Aberdeen, Dundee and other venues, to be confirmed, across Scotland.

In tandem with the series of events, Diabetes Scotland's 25th anniversary portrait exhibition runs from 9 February to 4 May at the Lochgelly Centre.

The exhibition features photographs of people with diabetes, or affected by the condition, reflecting on the many challenges they face. Most people in the collection have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Others have neither but are profoundly affected by the condition their loved ones have to manage every day of their lives.

The aim is to illustrate the sheer variety of people - all ages and backgrounds - among the 300,000 in Scotland who live with the condition and convey the impact diabetes has on thousands more.

* In the most recent figures available, there were 298,504 people diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland recorded on local diabetes registers at the end of 2017. Of this total, 31,447 had Type 1 diabetes, 263,271 had Type 2 diabetes and a further 3,786 had other types of diabetes such as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), gestational diabetes and secondary diabetes.

People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it's not to do with being overweight and it isn't currently preventable. It's the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.

People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets or insulin may be required.

Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK - more than dementia and cancer combined. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life. For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

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