St Albans mums feature in national Diabetes UK campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 March 2016

Nicola Arcos of St Albans has also backed the Diabetes UK campaign

Nicola Arcos of St Albans has also backed the Diabetes UK campaign

Diabetes UK

With new figures showing that 700 people a day are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK - one person every two minutes - mums in St Albans have shared tips on living with the condition.

St Albans mum Helen Wills with her daughter Maddie, who has Type 1 diabetes. Photo by Stephanie BeltonSt Albans mum Helen Wills with her daughter Maddie, who has Type 1 diabetes. Photo by Stephanie Belton

As Helen Wills and Nicola Arcos both have diabetic daughters, they are backing the recent launch of a new campaign and book entitled “100 things I wish I’d known about diabetes”.

The free book, published by Diabetes UK, contains useful tips from people with diabetes, for others living with the condition, their families and friends.

Nicola features on a television advertisement promoting the tips.

She told the Herts Advertiser: “I was approached to appear on the advert after a message was posted on St Albans Mums Facebook, saying that people were being sought for the campaign.

“My daughter Emma, who is seven years old, has Type 1 diabetes.

“Emma was diagnosed when she was four. She was thirsty and had to go to the toilet a lot, and she had lost weight – this happened just a few months before she was diagnosed.

“For me, it is important to raise awareness as it’s not an easy condition to live with and is very labour intensive.”

Helen has provided a tip in the book about supporting school life, as her daughter Maddie, 11, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2014.

She said Maddie’s diagnosis was a “huge shock but she handled her new lifestyle with enormous strength, and we couldn’t be more proud of her”.

The book also contains tips from the organisation’s celebrity supporters including Chris Pennell, who plays rugby for Worcester Warriors and England and has Type 1 diabetes, and emphasises the importance of testing blood glucose levels before, during and after exercising.

TV presenter Phillip Schofield, whose mother and brother both have Type 1 diabetes, recommends, when going out with family and friends with the condition, “if they’re trying to go easy on the carbs, don’t plump for a restaurant that only serves pizza”.

• Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

• People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin – this type has nothing to do with being overweight, and is not currently preventable. People with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, or the insulin they produce does not work properly. This type is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity.

• To order a free copy of the book, call Diabetes UK on 0800 035 5626 or click here.

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