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Girl spreads diabetes awareness using a rubber band

A schoolgirl is showing classmates what it is to live with diabetes Photo: PA

A ten-year-old diabetes sufferer from Warwickshire is raising awareness of the condition at school today to mark World Diabetes Day.

Millie Hainge is a pupil at Milverton House School in Nuneaton and is asking the teachers and pupils to wear an elastic band around their wrists which they have to 'ping' each time they eat or drink any food stuffs containing carbohydrates.

Millie, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in November 2011, said:

"The idea of 'pinging' an elastic band every time you eat or drink foods containing carbohydrates is similar to someone with diabetes continually finger pricking to check blood glucose or injecting insulin. We all take for granted that we can eat and drink anything at any time so this is a fun way of helping my friends and teachers understand what I have to do every day to stay healthy."

– Millie Hainge

There are approximately 29,000 children in the UK living with this disease and at the moment there is not a cure.

There are two types of diabetes, if left undetected, can lead to health complications including a stroke, blindness, kidney failure to name a few.

The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as "childhood onset", it develops when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. As a result the body is unable to produce any insulin and this leads to increased blood glucose levels, which in turn can cause serious damage to all organ systems in the body.

Type 2 is sometimes referred to as "adult onset". It is far more common than Type 1, around 90% of people in the UK with diabetes have Type 2. occurs when not enough insulin is produced by the body for it to function properly, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

Many people have Type 2 diabetes for many years without realising. Early detection of Type 2 diabetes is important as early diagnosis and treatment can reduce your risk of developing complications later.

The main symptoms are:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weight loss and a loss of muscle bulk
  • Other symptoms include:Itchiness around the vagina or penis
  • Recurring thrush as a result of the excess glucose in your urine
  • Blurred vision caused by the lenses of your eyes becoming very dry
  • Cuts and sores taking longer to heal
  • Not everyone experiences these symptoms and they are not usually severe in all who experience them.