Prescriptions for diabetes medications have risen by 70 percent in a decade with nearly 55 million written last year, official figures show.
This amounts to just over 150,000 a day, which costs healthcare more than £ 1 billion a year.
Experts warn rising costs – from £ 593,000 ten years ago – are being pushed up by Britain's spiral obesity crisis.
The sharp rise in cases means that diabetes was an astounding 11 percent of the cost of all NHS prescriptions from general practitioners last year.
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The most common treatment for type 2 diabetes, after exercise and nutrition, is metformin, an inexpensive drug that helps the body respond to insulin (supply)
Experts have warned that it is now Britain's biggest health threat and that it is contributing to an explosion of complications such as heart attacks, loss of vision and amputations.
One in 15 adults now has the condition that can lead to a stroke and increases the risk of cancer.
Low-calorie diets are also being tested by NHS England, with officials hoping that it will reduce the amounts spent on prescriptions.
Douglas Twenefour, of Diabetes UK, said the rise in diabetes prescriptions followed an alarming rise in the prevalence of the disease.
He said: & # 39; The number of people with diabetes has risen at an alarming rate in recent years, so it is not surprising that the cost of diabetes prescriptions has almost doubled since 2008.
& # 39; The amount spent on prescriptions is only a small part of the £ 10 billion that the NHS spends on diabetes each year.
Experts have warned that diabetes is now the greatest health threat in Britain and that it is contributing to an explosion of complications such as heart attacks, loss of vision and amputations
WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where a person's blood sugar level becomes too high.
It is thought that more than 4 million people in the UK have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight and it is more likely that you will get it if it occurs in the family.
The condition means that the body does not respond well to insulin – the hormone that controls the uptake of sugar in the blood – and is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels in the blood.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, because the build-up makes it more difficult to control glucose levels and also makes the body more resistant to insulin.
Weight loss is the key to reducing liver fat and getting symptoms under control.
Symptoms include fatigue, thirst and frequent urination.
It can lead to more serious problems with nerves, sight and the heart.
Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle, but in more serious cases, medication may be needed.
Source: NHS Choices; Diabetes.co.uk
& # 39; The vast majority is spent treating the complications of the condition that are often avoidable. These complications include amputations, kidney diseases and vision loss to name just a few.
& # 39; Medication is a vital part of diabetes treatment and management, and the increasing amount spent on medication helps people with diabetes manage their condition effectively and prevent costly complications in the long term. & # 39 ;
Diabetes occurs when blood sugar rises to high-risk levels.
Increasing levels of largely preventable Type 2 cases have nearly doubled diabetes diagnoses from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.7 million today.
It is believed that another million people live with the condition, but do not know they have it and that 12.3 million people are at risk.
Doctors agree that the crisis is driven by obesity, with unhealthy food and lack of exercise, making the UK one of the thickest countries in Europe.
The number of prescriptions prescribed for the condition has risen by 69 percent since 2008, from 32 million to 55 million in 2018.
The most common type 2 type treatment, after exercise and diet, is metformin, an inexpensive drug that helps the body respond to insulin.
If patients do not respond or have side effects on metformin, some will receive more expensive alternatives such as Invokana, Forxiga and Jardiance – which cost around £ 475 a year.
But there is growing evidence that people can & # 39; eat to beat diabetes & # 39 ;.
Studies with an 850-calorie daily diet of soups and shakes can reverse type 2 diabetes within a few months.
More than a third of the patients who exercised the daily regimen for three to five months were free from the disease after two years.
The groundbreaking diet plan of Dr. David Unwin, the Southport-based doctor, is used by NHS doctors in Great Britain.
His practice is credited with saving a total of £ 57,000 on medications for conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes in 2017/18 by providing patients with an & # 39; alternative to lifestyle medicine and support & # 39; to offer.
And starting in Tomorrow's Daily Mail, he will unveil the incredible new eating plan devised with top chef Giancarlo Caldesi, designed to help readers turn type 2 diabetes into a life-changing spout full of delicious recipes.
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