DON’T suffer in silence. That’s the message from a Blandford woman who doctors took five years to diagnose with diabetes.

Now Charlotte Bulpitt, 22, is leading a healthy and active life and preparing for a 10,000-feet parachute jump to raise money to research the condition.

“When I was 13, I felt very tired all the time and didn’t want to do anything. It got worse and worse. I lost over three stone in weight.

“It also made me extremely thirsty. I was drinking about 30 pints of water or squash every day,” said Charlotte.

Diabetics have difficulties with blood-sugar levels because of problems with insulin – a chemical produced by the pancreas to help glucose enter the body’s cells.

Wrongly diagnosed with ME, Charlotte’s condition did not improve, and for five years she suffered unnecessary examinations.

“I went undiagnosed for a long time. I had a series of strange tests, and even had a camera in my stomach. I changed doctor just before my 18th birthday, who diagnosed me straight away.”

The Diabetes UK charity says 2.6 million people in the UK suffer from diabetes, and estimates the condition is undiagnosed in a further half-a-million people.

Charlotte suffers from type 1 diabetes – a strain of the condition caused in people unable to produce insulin, and typically aged under 40.

“It hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. I simply work around it. For me, being diagnosed was a huge relief. When I was feeling ill, I thought I’d brought it on myself by having too many fizzy drinks.”

Her advice to people who think they might suffer from the condition is simple. “Go and see the doctor. They simply prick your finger for a blood sample. There’s nothing to feel nervous or anxious about.”

Now Charlotte is finding time in her busy life as a travel agent and part-time pole dance instructor to prepare for a tandem parachute jump at Netheravon airfield on February 20.

To back Charlotte, visit