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Number of diabetics in South West more than doubles, according to charity

Niall Canavan Credit: ITV News

The number of people in the South West suffering with diabetes has more than doubled, according to Diabetes UK.

Following the charity's recent survey, it has been estimated that almost five million people have diabetes across the country. Yet, not everyone is aware that they have the illness.

Plymouth Argyle Defender Niall Canavan, 27, was only diagnosed with diabetes in January 2019, despite a career in sport.

Niall was not diagnosed until he was 27. Credit: ITV News

I had symptoms before but I'd kind of convinced myself that there was nothing wrong... You kind of make sure you can just get on with it and mentally just set yourself up to move on with those things. But it just reached the point where it wasn't right.

– Niall Canavan

After going to doctors, Niall was diagnosed with the type 1 diabetes, an inherited condition. He described being diagnosed as a relief, as it has allowed him to manage his condition, and understand his symptoms.

Those with type one diabetes like Niall represent just one in ten of those who have the illness, with the majority suffering from type two.

It is thought that as many as one million people are unaware that they have type two diabetes, a condition brought on by poor diet and a lack of exercise.

5m
Estimated number of those with diabetes
1m
Estimated number of those living in the UK unaware they have type 2 diabetes

A spokesperson for Diabetes UK has warned that the UK is seeing an increase in the number of people diagnosed with both type one and type two diabetes.

Diabetes UK say more people are getting type two diabetes because of obesity. Credit: ITV News

We're seeing more people get type two diabetes and that's largely fuelled by the increase in overweight obesity. That's not the case for type one at all.

– Diabetes UK spokesperson

People like Niall who have recently been diagnosed are encouraging others to get tested.

Niall warned that his symptoms included fatigue, weight-loss and the frequent need to go to the toilet in the night.

If you are concerned, I would just go and speak you to your doctor, and just get checked out.

– Niall Canavan

Diabetes UK are also encouraging people to get checked.