Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes your blood sugar level to become too high.

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There are two main types of diabetes - type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, about 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

There are 3.9 million people in the UK living with diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) - that means more than one in 16 of the population has diabetes. This figure is nearly three times what it was in 1996, when there were 1.4 million cases, and it's estimated that by 2025, five million people in the UK will have diabetes.

What are the 15 Healthcare Essentials?

Diabetes UK provides information on the 15 Healthcare Essentials which are the minimum level of healthcare everyone with diabetes deserves and should expect.

You can use this list to talk to your healthcare team about your individual needs as part of your annual care planning review. This is where you should agree your priorities, discuss your personal targets and agree a written plan of action to help you reach them.

1.   get your blood glucose levels measured (HbA1c blood test)
2.   have your blood pressure measured
3.   have your blood fats measured
4.   have your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy
5.   have your feet and legs checked
6.   have your kidney function monitored
7.   get ongoing, individual dietary advice
8.   get emotional and psychological support
9.   be offered a local education course
10. see specialist healthcare professionals
11. get a free flu vaccination
12. receive high-quality care if admitted to hospital
13. have the chance to talk about any sexual problems
14. if you smoke, get support to quit
15. get information and specialist care if you are planning to have a baby.

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