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A world-class gathering of diabetes professionals

Today sees the start of the 2017 Diabetes UK Professional Congress held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex. Over the next three days, we will welcome over 2000 professional delegates from the UK and many different countries all over the world to take part in workshops, listen to respected invited speakers and discuss hot topics and latest research with their peers. There will also be an exhibition of latest technologies and products on offer as well as an opportunity for delegates to talk to Diabetes UK representatives in the Exhibition Hall.

The conference starts with a plenary session, focusing on how we can promote physical activity in diabetes. This speaks volumes about how Type 2 diabetes has come into the limelight. Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, is still a very important part of the picture and accounts for 10 per cent of people with diabetes. The remaining 90 per cent are people who develop Type 2 diabetes and the onset is linked to obesity and lifestyle habits. Physical activity can help manage and prevent complications from diabetes and may even be a factor in causing Type 2 to go into remission. The idea that lifestyle changes can reverse diabetes is problematic since many people have already developed secondary complications of the condition at the point that they are diagnosed for the first time.

Lifestyle is at the top of the agenda now and that is reflected in our opening discussions.

In my opinion, sharing knowledge and exchanging experience is also a key part of saving lives and this will be something that will be discussed widely throughout the conference. We’ll also be focusing on diabetes in children and adolescents, Type 2 diabetes and pregnancy and looking at emerging technologies in diabetes ranging from remote sensing in the assessment of diabetic foot disease to new drug breakthroughs.

As well as attending networking events, delegates will be able to take part in a Rise and Shine workout lead by Melanie Stephenson, a Type 1 international level athlete. Melanie is an excellent example of how people with diabetes can be outstanding in their chosen field and manage the condition successfully.

We also have five non-medical bloggers at conference who will be reporting their own experiences via social media. Look out for Tweets from @bigpurpleduck, @sssweeet11, @bintsomama, @flipper1 and @LisWarren. Our Twitter hashtag for the event is #dukpc

I am looking forward to a lively conference with plenty of breaking news and rigorous debate both here in Manchester and via social media.

Chris Askew
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