A good mate of mine was diagnosed with diabetes recently - one of the 300 people diagnosed with the disease every day in the UK. Before you ask, he wasn't remotely overweight and didn't have particularly unhealthy refuelling habits. Yes, diabetes really can hit anyone.
There are 2.6 million people in the UK with the disease. Seven million of us also have prediabetes. This means we have blood sugar problems - not severe enough to be called diabetes but still, say Diabetes UK today, potentially dangerous to the heart. That means 1 in 7 of us are directly affected and we all must know someone. You'd think with something this common we'd all know the signs and symptoms but we don't. Ask people what diabetes is and they'll usually say 'something to do with sugar'. We all need to do better than that.
Why? Because we all know about sportsmen like Steve Redgrave and Gary Mabbutt, who became world-beaters despite their diabetes, we assume that the disease must be relatively trivial. It isn't. Diabetes can be controlled very well but it needs to be diagnosed first. Undiagnosed diabetes can kill - as Lee discovered in this month's feature on malehealth. If you think diabetes is anything but serious, read it.