Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation

Hull and District Diabetes Support Group are very happy to work in conjunction with DRWF


Registered Charity No: 1070607, Registered in England, Company No: 3496304
Registered Office: Northney Marina, Hayling Island, Hampshire PO11 0NH, Company Limited by Guarantee



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Diabetes Awareness Necklaces

We offer FREE diabetes awareness necklaces and medical check-up cards to anyone requesting them.

At DRWF we encourage anyone with diabetes, especially those prone to experiencing hypoglycaemia, to wear or carry this type of identification.

These necklaces, which can be worn discreetly under clothing, are designed to alert anyone providing emergency medical assistance to the condition of the individual. This can help speed up diagnosis and treatment considerably and could even mean the difference between life and death.

Testimonials from people newly diagnosed with diabetes

“Paramedics said it was such a great help seeing the necklace and treating the patient accordingly”

“The diabetes awareness necklaces are a brilliant idea”

At DRWF we encourage anyone with diabetes, and especially those prone to experiencing


Diabetes Awareness Necklaces

We offer FREE diabetes awareness necklaces and medical check-up cards to anyone requesting them.

At DRWF we encourage anyone with diabetes, especially those prone to experiencing hypoglycaemia, to wear or carry this type of identification.

These necklaces, which can be worn discreetly under clothing, are designed to alert anyone providing emergency medical assistance to the condition of the individual. This can help speed up diagnosis and treatment considerably and could even mean the difference between life and death.

Testimonials from people newly diagnosed with diabetes

“Paramedics said it was such a great help seeing the necklace and treating the patient accordingly”

“The diabetes awareness necklaces are a brilliant idea”

At DRWF we encourage anyone with diabetes, and especially those prone to experiencing hypoglycaemia, to wear or at least carry, this form of identification.

To order your FREE necklace/medical check-up card please email enquiries@drwf.org.uk or call 023 9263 7808. You will also receive the regular Diabetes E-News (you can unsubscribe at any time).

The charity is able to offer this necklace FREE of charge as part of our outreach programme. However, we receive no government funding and as we distribute over 3,500 necklaces per year, to enable us to continue providing the necklace, a small donation of £2 would help us to cover the cost of supplying. Please donate now and support DRWF to ensure that people are “staying well until a cure is found…” Thank you.

NB If you are a health care professional and would like to receive a supply of Diabetes Awareness Necklaces and Medical Check-up Cards for distribution to patients please call us on 023 9263 6136 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively click here for a bulk order leaflet form.

Diabetes Information Leaflets

We publish a series of professionally authored leaflets on diabetes and related health which are freely available as pdf download, audio file or as hard copy upon request.

DRWF is committed to providing quality and relevant patient information for all people with diabetes. We have achieved Department of Health Information Standard accreditation on the Diabetes Wellness News and patient information leaflet series, which assures readers that our information is trustworthy and reliable.

In line with this commitment we review and update all publications covered by the scope of the Standard as necessary to ensure they are fit for purpose. Each leaflet’s review date is clearly printed on its back page. Source references are available on request.

Leaflets are available to download. If you are having problems viewing them you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader here for free.

Audio leaflets

To make our information leaflets as accessible as possible, you can also play them as audio files below.

Audio versions are subject to the same rigorous production procedures as the printed versions above, so you can be assured of their quality.

  • A healthy diet and diabetes

  • How can diabetes affect my eyes

  • Managing diabetes when you are ill

  • Sexual dysfunction and diabetes in men

  • Sexual dysfunction and diabetes in women

  • What is diabetes

  • Periodontal disease and diabetes

  • How can diabetes affect my feet

  • Exercise and diabetes

  • Healthcare Professionals Waiting Room Order Form

By post

Leaflets can be ordered individually or as a series by sending a C5-sized SAE stamped to “large letter” value to DRWF, The Roundhouse, Northney Marina, Hayling Island, Hants. PO11 0NH.

Healthcare professionals click here for a bulk order leaflet form

Information Standard

Since 2010 DRWF has successfully maintained our NHS England Information Standard accreditation which certifies its diabetes information as being trustworthy and reliable for people with diabetes.

You can read DRWF’s Information Standard Policy Statement here

For more information on the Information Standard please click here.


DRWF shall hold responsibility for the accuracy of the information they publish and neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner shall have any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from the inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of DRWF.

Living With Diabetes

At diagnosis you should be given a full explanation of diabetes and a care plan. You should be involved in agreeing goals and targets achievable by you and offered the chance to attend an educational event. Take a note of what is agreed. It will come in useful as you see your progress over time. At the very least you should have annual reviews for your diabetes including an explanation of blood tests, which, ideally, should be done a week or two prior to the consultation, to allow time for the results to be shared with you.

There is a national programme for eye screening for people with diabetes. You should also, as part of your annual health check, have your feet examined and your blood pressure reviewed. Most importantly, you should have an opportunity to discuss your care with your diabetes team and agree the next steps to protect your health.

The above is an extract from the DRWF Patient Information Leaflet What is Diabetes? V7.0, published August 2018 (reviewed within an 18 month period).

How can we support?

We know that a diagnosis of diabetes, like any long-term condition, can feel devastating and overwhelming.

There will be so many questions that you want to ask; so much information available that you don’t know where to start and this can be a daunting prospect.

We provide diabetes and related health information, which is accredited by the NHS England Information Standard Scheme, to reassure you that this information is relevant, clinically evidenced and up-to- date.

We encourage people with all forms of diabetes to carry emergency identification and record their test results to act as a discussion point when meeting with your diabetes healthcare provider. We offer FREE diabetes awareness necklaces and medical check-up card which fits neatly into your purse or wallet.

Honesty and reliability are at the top of our list. If you ask us a question and we don’t know the answer, we will endeavour to find it for you or at the very least point you in the right direction of someone who can.

Our annual event programme is designed to provide an opportunity for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, parents and carers, to come together to learn more about the condition and how to manage effectively. We know that there is a great deal to gain by sharing concerns and feelings with appropriate healthcare professionals and other people with diabetes in a relaxed, unhurried and friendly environment.

We have been organising Diabetes Wellness Events since 2001. Many people choose to return year-on-year to refresh their knowledge and understanding in a supportive environment and also to meet up with old friends, make new ones and generally share diabetes and life experiences.

Evaluating the benefit of our support events is really important to ensure that the content meets the needs of the people who attend. To this end, we invite the attendees to participate in focus groups, surveys and discussion which help us to understand whether we are meeting our aims or helping people to establish and maintain good self-management skills.

Through our information and support programmes, we aim to create a unique and supportive community of like-minded people, who are focused on successful diabetes self-management.

Diabetes Research Donations And Volunteering

Your generosity can help our dreams become a reality

Our ultimate dream is to find a cure for all types of diabetes. This is a long road and until that time we provide the continuing support necessary to help you to manage your diabetes effectively.

Voluntary donations, both time and money, enable our work to continue. The researchers we fund work tirelessly to improve our knowledge of diabetes, how to treat and manage it and how we might possibly work towards a cure. Alarmingly diabetes continues to grow in pandemic proportions around the world and with more than 3.8 million people diagnosed in the UK, our work is increasingly important.

It is sometimes hard to understand how making a donation today, or getting involved in a fundraising event can make a difference in the future, but it is this combined effort that drives change forward.

We are investing in a brighter future for people with diabetes, and you help us to do that!

Newly Diagnosed

A diagnosis of diabetes can give rise to many emotions and questions. With so much information available, particularly through searching the internet, it can be overwhelming and confusing. It’s important to seek information from trusted sources. Your diabetes healthcare team can signpost to reputable sources of support.

There is a wealth of information on our site to give a clear understanding of what type 1 and type 2 diabetes is all about, and the support that we offer.

There are many “myths” that have been voiced regarding diabetes over the years. It’s good to know the fact and fiction, so here are just a few of the most common ones –

Declassifying diabetes and dispelling myths

By Dr Mayank Patel, Consultant in Diabetes and Acute Medicine at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Diabetes: What’s gone wrong?

There are many recognised definitions for diabetes. Put very simply, they all amount to the same thing; there is too much glucose (sugar) in the body. So where does all this surplus glucose come from? Think of glucose as petrol and the body as an engine. The natural tendency is to ensure that there is enough glucose available for the engine to run and keeps the “chemistry of life” ticking over. This essential glucose comes largely from the food we eat.

Normally, if blood glucose levels exceed a safe threshold, to prevent the engine from being flooded, the pancreas will produce insulin, which acts as a key to promote glucose uptake, use and storage. Conversely, if glucose levels fall too low, less insulin is produced and more glucose is then freely available for use. Without diabetes, glucose and insulin levels are nicely balanced. With diabetes, the tendency is towards raised glucose levels, which can cause problems in both the short and long term.

The reason why diabetes is a syndrome of raised glucose is chiefly due to problems with insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is damaged and unable to produce insulin, resulting in raised glucose. It is presently not preventable and people with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin by injection in this situation.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may be able to produce some insulin, but not enough for what the body needs, as well as the body becoming resistant to its effects. These people may be able to control type 2 diabetes by adapting their diets at least initially, though there may or may not be a subsequent need to take medication designed to make the pancreas “work harder” to produce more insulin, or to make the body less resistant to the effects of insulin. Increased physical activity can also promote increased glucose use by the body, as well as help with weight loss and improve general wellbeing.

However, the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes means that once the pancreas doesn’t respond to conventional treatments, there may then be a need for insulin. Type 2 diabetes is preventable in some cases.

Regardless of diabetes type, the end result is the same. Without control, there is too much glucose.

It also has to be remembered that diabetes is not just about glucose control. Whatever diabetes type, all people with diabetes are encouraged to follow treatment, have blood pressure monitored and treated, keep blood fat (cholesterol) levels at safe levels, eat healthily, take regular exercise, lose or keep weight stable, not smoke and live healthily. No matter how well people with diabetes feel, they should still attend for their annual diabetes health checks at their local surgery. These checks aim to pick up any potential consequences of long term high glucose exposure, such as visual or kidney problems. Action can then be taken early to prevent damage later. People with diabetes are encouraged to take an interest as to why these checks are needed.


Having talked to many people with diabetes, their families and friends, as well as having read various articles, it is clear that there are many misconceptions around diabetes. A few are explored here.

1. Diabetes is not that serious

There is no such thing as “mild diabetes” or “a touch of the sugars”. A person either has diabetes or does not. There are precise thresholds defined on blood tests performed by a healthcare professional as to what glucose levels confirm a diagnosis of diabetes. There may also be associated physical symptoms caused by raised blood glucose levels. Even if managed only by diet or with tablets or injections, significant complications from diabetes may occur. All people with diabetes are encouraged to have their health checks and make appropriate lifestyle choices.

2. Developing diabetes is part of the normal ageing process

People are not fated to develop diabetes in later life. In fact, where traditionally a syndrome of older people, type 2 diabetes is now being diagnosed in children in association with obesity. Living healthily is key to reducing the risk, by following an appropriate diet, not becoming overweight and keeping physically active.

3. Eating too much sugar causes diabetes

The precise trigger for the development of type 1 diabetes is not fully understood. However, consuming excessive amounts of sugar which is not immediately used as fuel will result in this being stored as fat, which promotes weight gain, with a subsequent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

4. People have to suffer from diabetes

It is possible to live well with diabetes and not ‘suffer’. Many people with diabetes can and do lead active, fulfilling lives with diabetes. Planning ahead, having supportive family and receiving good healthcare support are all important to help live well.

5. People with diabetes cannot eat sweet foods

Everyone with or without diabetes should eat a healthy diet and not eat excessive sugar, or foods rich in salt and fat. The key is to have sweet foods in moderation as a small portion and consider them as a “treat”, taken as part of a healthy diet. A regular high sugar intake in diabetes can result in sustained high blood glucose levels which can cause problems.

6. People with diabetes need to eat diabetic foods

Biscuits, jams and other foods labeled as “diabetes friendly” generally offer no extra benefit in diabetes and are expensive. They can still affect blood glucose levels and may have laxative-like effects. It is perfectly acceptable for someone with diabetes to treat themselves, as part of a healthy diet, to “sugary” treat type foods.

7. People with diabetes cannot undertake exercise

Taking regular exercise does not mean donning lycra and joining a gym. Activities such as regular walks or cycling are encouraged in diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle. This can help promote physical wellbeing, as well as improve blood glucose handling and insulin use by the body. Medical advice should be sought before embarking on an exercise regime, particularly if there are other health issues or if it has been a while since exercise was last undertaken.

8. It is not safe to drive if you have diabetes

There is no evidence to suggest that drivers with diabetes are more dangerous than those without. However, it is important that if taking insulin or certain other diabetes tablets, blood glucose testing should be performed before driving, to ensure that sugar levels are safe to do so. The DVLA offers more specific guidance on this.

9. People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses

People with diabetes are encouraged to have a flu jab. The physical stress of being ill in diabetes means that glucose levels can go up, sometimes to worryingly high levels. Sustained high glucose levels whilst unwell can make the body’s immune system less effective to fight infections. If unwell and worried, people with diabetes should seek advice and be clear on diabetes “sick day rules”.

10. Needing insulin in type 2 diabetes is due to a personal failure

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. This rate of progression can vary from person to person. Eventually, the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin for the body’s needs despite diet, lifestyle and support from medication. As a result, supplementary insulin is needed to control glucose levels, to reduce the risk of complications and to help symptoms.

11. Only young people get type 1 diabetes and older people get type 2 diabetes

Whilst this was predominantly the case years ago, the pattern of diabetes presentation has changed over the years. As such, it is the nature of the presentation that can help determine the diabetes type. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in patients over 50 and with increasing levels of childhood obesity and reduced physical activity, we have seen cases of type 2 diabetes widely reported in children.


To summarise, whatever the diabetes type, it is the end result of too much glucose. If uncontrolled, this can cause problems in the short and long term. Living healthily can help to reduce the impact of this. It is essential that people with diabetes, their families and friends know the right facts about diabetes.

There are many myths out there. Time would be well spent by seeking diabetes information from reliable sources, such as local healthcare teams or from well established professional diabetes bodies.

The above article was originally published in the March 2014 issue of Diabetes Wellness News (reviewed May 2017. Next review within an 18 month period). * Source references available on request.

How can I learn more about managing my diabetes effectively?

We offer lots of support in lots of ways, however you want to access it. Not everyone wants, or is able, to attend an event. However, these are a great way of getting to know other people with diabetes on a face-to-face basis. We have an annual programme of Diabetes Wellness events which offer the opportunity to learn more about diabetes, its management and complications, with like-minded people.

Our diabetes information leaflets are available to download in readable and audio format. If you have other access requirements, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate them.


Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes the pancreas fails to produce insulin and insulin injections are required for life.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown but it is thought to be an auto-immune process.

In effect the body produces antibodies to the pancreas, damaging it and preventing it producing insulin.

Type 1 diabetes only affects about 10% of all people with diabetes and it usually starts below the age of 40.

Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. There are many different types of insulin delivery mechanisms and your healthcare professional will help to decide the right mechanism for you. If you are on insulin you should discuss the most appropriate one for you with your care team.

The above is an extract from the DRWF Patient Information Leaflet What is Diabetes? V7.0, published August 2018 (reviewed within an 18 month period).

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Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes the cause is generally weight related. If you are slim it is likely your body is not producing enough insulin to convert the carbohydrate you eat into energy. You may need tablets and/or insulin to help. If you are overweight it is more likely that insulin resistance is responsible.

Reducing your weight and being physically active will reduce your insulin resistance, but you may need medication or to inject insulin to help.

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect older people, although it is being found increasingly in younger people – especially if they are overweight and lacking in physical activity.

Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity and tends to run in families. It is more prevalent in people of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent. Many people with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure and cholesterol and may need tablets to control these too.

The backbone of treating type 2 diabetes is always healthy eating plus physical activity. But type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and, in time, tablets and/or other forms of medication are likely to become necessary and may even progress to insulin injections.

The above is an extract from the DRWF Patient Information Leaflet What is Diabetes? V7.0, published August 2018 (reviewed within an 18 month period).

on’t have a dedicated tele-health help line, we are more than happy to speak to callers about their needs. You can do this by contacting us on enquiries@drwf.org.uk or by calling 023 9263 7808. Whilst we cannot give medical advice on the telephone, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips.




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