On 9 January 2019, during a debate in the House of Commons, Member of Parliament for Torfaen, Nick Thomas-Symonds highlighted the need to address prevention as well as treatment.

As a serious condition, two of the most common forms of Diabetes are Type 1: where the body is not able to make insulin, which is needed to allow glucose into our cells; and Type 2: when the insulin you make either cannot work effectively to allow glucose in, or not enough of it is produced.

Diabetes develops where your blood glucose level it too high, as the insulin – which allows glucose to enter out cells and fuel our bodies – isn’t working in the system properly. Whilst over time, these higher glucose levels can cause health problems, treatments are available.

The debate, secured by Sir John Hayes MP, which took place in the House of Commons sought to raise awareness of the condition and offer members the opportunity to raise issues flagged by constituents.

Whilst there is nothing at present that can be done to prevent Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 is preventable. According to Diabetes UK, roughly 12.3 million people in the UK are considered at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However, around three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by addressing lifestyle choices.

During the debate, Mr. Thomas-Symonds addressed the need to focus on prevention of this serious condition, asking the House:

“The Statistic for Wales is that one person in 14 is affected [by Diabetes]. Does he [Sir John Hayes MP] agree that, going forward, we must look at prevention – seeing the warning signs and looking at lifestyle changes – as well as having excellent treatment for those who are formally diagnosed?”

The answer: “absolutely.”

When asked about the debate, Mr. Thomas-Symonds said,

“Diabetes is a very serious condition, and one that several of my constituents have raised with me in the past two years. Whilst with the right medication, the condition can be controlled, we owe it to ourselves to focus equally on preventing this condition where that is possible.”

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