As the numbers of people with diabetes continues to rise, people in Coventry, Rugby and Warwickshire North are being urged to know the risks and to seek help if they think they have symptoms.
NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are reminding people ahead of Diabetes Week (11 – 17 June) that they can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making some simple changes to their lifestyle.
More people than ever have diabetes, 90% of which will have Type 2 diabetes. As lifestyles and diets are changing, many people are less physically active than in the past and therefore are becoming more overweight. Like the rest of the country, the, Coventry, Rugby and Warwickshire North areas are seeing an increase in people developing diabetes with 38,287* adults living with diabetes in 2016/17. This is an increase from 35,108 (8%) in 2014/15. If nothing changes, more than 5 million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025*.
Health organisations and local authorities in the area have partnered with ICS Health and Wellbeing to offer free places on the new Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to individuals at high risk. People can benefit this package of tailored support to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The programme empowers people to take charge of their health and wellbeing, make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of developing the disease as a result.
Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last 12 months can be referred by their GP or nurse to the DESMOND structured education programme (Diabetes Education and Self- Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed). The programme offers an informal and friendly atmosphere designed to support people with diabetes, to become the expert of their condition. The free programme will help people take charge of their health and wellbeing, make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of developing the disease as a result.
Diabetes can come on slowly, usually over the age of 40. The signs may not be obvious, or there may be no signs at all, therefore it might be up to 10 years before you find out you have the condition. If you are overweight or obese, you're at an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, so maintaining a healthy weight is key for prevention.
Type 2 diabetes can cause very serious health problems but sadly more people than ever are developing the condition, despite it being largely preventable.
Dr Jim McMorran from NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG said: "Type 2 diabetes represents a real threat to health and if left untreated increases the risk of a person developing serious health problems such as stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
“Type 2 diabetes often develops slowly, over a period of years, and the symptoms can therefore also develop gradually. In some instances there can be the classic diabetic symptoms of feeling very thirsty, passing more urine, and weight loss. However in a lot of people with Type 2 diabetes, at the time of diagnosis, these symptoms may be absent or hardly prominent; and more subtle symptoms may be present such as having repeated infections or fatigue.
“The good news is that around three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. The best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is to eat a healthy diet, avoid snacks and sugar, exercise regularly – at least 30 minutes, five times a week – and control your weight. Being overweight is usually a sign that your sugar intake is too high, either through unhealthy snacks, or through ‘hidden’ sugars such as lots of bread, rice and pasta.”
To find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, visit https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/coventry-warwickshire/ For more information about a free NHS Health Check, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/
More information on Diabetes Week is available at http://bit.ly/2JtOD2e