I thought diabetes happened to other people
Kirit Mistry always thought type two diabetes would never happen to him.
Despite both his parents and his elder sister having the disease, Kirit always thought it was something that would happen to other people.
But the 43-year-old was diagnosed with the disease two years ago and, after something of a battle, is now keeping it under control.
He said: "Diabetes was something I had always been aware of. I knew people in the South Asian community were more prone to the disease and I was working in the health service, but I still thought it was something that happened to other people and wouldn't happen to me."
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About two years ago, he began feeling very tired and realised he needed the toilet more often than before.
Kirit, from Highfields, Leicester, said: "I put the tiredness down to work and it was about another six months before I decided to have a check-up with my GP."
That's when he was diagnosed with type two diabetes.
"I realise I should have known better, especially with my family history.
"I have a twin brother who is a lot larger than me and I always thought he was the one who would be more likely to get diabetes."
Kirit, who is now director of Derby and Derbyshire Race Equality Commission, was given tablets but did not change his lifestyle. He continued to eat too much oily and sweet food and drink fizzy drinks.
Kirit said: "It was only when the doctor said that unless I changed things I would end up having to take insulin.
"My mother was insulin-dependent, it controlled her life, and I didn't want that."
Kirit has swapped the oily foods and fizzy drinks for more salads and water, as well as taking natural supplements.
Kirit said: "My blood sugar levels are coming down and I am trying to reduce medication."
He has now trained as a Diabetes UK champion and is looking to do work to raise awareness of diabetes, particularly in the South Asian community.
Kirit said: "I would also like to see a more accessible testing service, for example, in supermarkets.
"I think it would help, too, if it was easier to get GP appointments. I was working in Derby when I realised I needed to be checked and it was difficult to get an appointment first thing in the morning.
"I know I ignored the warning signs but my message to others, especially South Asians, is not to do the same.
"I think there is still a fear of getting the diagnosis. There is also the fear that once you know you have it you will have to change your lifestyle."
Kirit is one of five community champions recently recruited by the national charity Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the condition.