National Diabetes Week, which begins tomorrow, is a time in the calendar to raise awareness of the condition and fund the inspiring work done by Diabetes UK.
There are almost 3.6 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, according to the charity, and an estimated 1 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system incorrectly targets and destroys the cells within the pancreas that produce insulin.
Insulin lowers blood sugar, so without out it there will be a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream.
Type 2 diabetes often develops later in life and occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body builds up a resistance to the insulin that is produced.
Whilst there is nothing that can be done to prevent Type 1 diabetes, there are regular treatments available such as insulin injections, to maintain the glucose levels in the bloodstream.
However, whilst genetics can be a factor in Type 2 diabetes, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing it by living a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes:
Staying active as much as you can, by taking regular walks and working to increase muscle strength
Managing your weight
Stay aware of any weight gain or loss. Keep track by weighing yourself regularly and jotting down any changes to discuss with your local or online doctor.
Limiting alcohol intake
Easy lifestyle changes can help reduce your alcohol intake, like using smaller glasses and interchanging an alcoholic drink with a soft drink. Try using a drink tracking app to track how much you are drinking.
There is plenty of help available. Prescription treatments are available from your local or online pharmacy. Self-help methods can also work, like going for regular walks and keeping busy.
Eating a balanced diet
Ensure you get your five-a-day, and avoid processed foods and takeaways.
* Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.