A poll of 2,000 adults by charity Diabetes UK found that 58% of people would not consult a doctor if they experienced genital itching or thrush, 56% would ignore extreme thirst, 55% would ignore fatigue and 53% would ignore frequent or increased urination.
However, people were more likely to seek medical advice if they were suffering blurred vision or sores and cuts that would not heal. Some 58% of people said they would visit their GP if they were experiencing blurred vision, while 55% said they would seek advice about sores or cuts that would not heal.
The survey also found that most adults are failing to eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, which Diabetes UK said was a 'huge cause for concern'. Some 66% of respondents said they eat three or fewer portions of fruit and vegetables a day, well below the recommended five portions.
Three-quarters of people also said they did not know what constituted a recommended portion of vegetables and two-thirds could not identify a portion of fruit.
Emma Elvin, clinical advisor for Diabetes UK, said: ‘These results are a huge cause for concern when you recognise the fact that in the UK, 3.6m people have been diagnosed with diabetes and 11.9m people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
‘Simple lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, eating more fruit and vegetables and getting more exercise are an important part of managing all types of diabetes and can reduce the risk of serious of long term complications.’
The survey results have been published to coincide with this year’s Diabetes Week, which has the theme ‘Know Diabetes, Fight Diabetes’.
Diabetes UK has launched an advertising campaign called ‘Food you love’ to inspire people to make the food they love more healthy. The charity hopes the recipes and tips will encourage more people to make small changes that can make a big difference to how they manage their diabetes.