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Diabetes warning

5th October 2009

A survey by Diabetes UK has found that many diabetics are experiencing unnecessary low blood sugar episodes.

bloodsugartest

The survey showed that of 2,000 people with type 2 diabetes, around 50% had suffered symptoms of hypoglycaemia in the past fortnight.

One in 10 diabetics said they had to take time off work because of a "mild to moderate" attack of low blood sugar.

GPs said that the problem could partly be attributed to the fact that they were under pressure to regulate patients' blood glucose levels.

Other causes of hypoglycaemia include not eating a meal or snack, not consuming enough carbohydrates, exercising too much and drinking alcoholic drinks without eating anything.

In 2008 the number of people in the UK diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increased by over 145,000 to 2.6 million.

People with diabetes are often given a drug to control their blood sugar, which can cause hypoglycaemia.

Professor Mike Pringle, a GP in Nottinghamshire, and an advisor on the original National Service Framework for Diabetes, said the results of the survey were "surprising".

"If they are confirmed it does suggest we may be overtreating these people."

Simon O'Neill, Diabetes UK Director of Care, Information and Advocacy, said: "We want to see hypos become the exception rather than the rule."

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