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Help Keep Diabetes in Check Urge Health Chiefs

Health chiefs are urging people across Derbyshire to help take their health in hand as World Diabetes Day takes place (Tuesday, 14 November 2017).  

Public health leads in Derbyshire say one in 14 people in the county now has the condition – of the 4 million people in the UK currently living with diabetes. According to Diabetes UK, it’s estimated that as many as five million people could have the disease by 2025.    

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high and there are two main types.  

Type 1 is where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin and isn’t related to lifestyle. The most common form of the condition – Type 2 – is where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with excess weight and unhealthy lifestyles and is preventable in around 80% of cases.*  

If you’re concerned you might be at risk get in touch with your GP for a blood test.

Signs and symptoms to watch out for are:

  • urinating more often than usual, particularly at night

  • feeling very thirsty

  • feeling very tired

  • unexplained weight loss

  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush

  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly

  • blurred vision (caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry) 

Increased risk factors include:

  • being overweight or obese

  • your age – if you’re over 25 years old and South Asian

  • having a close relative with the condition (parent, brother or sister)

  • ethnicity − being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin

  • Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. 

Dr Buk Dhadda, GP and Governing Body member for NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “There’s no need for despair if you’re at risk or showing signs of diabetes as you can take action to help prevent it from developing. 

“There is lots of excellent information and support on offer via the NHS Choices and Stay Well Derbyshire websites, and also the ‘Healthier You’ prevention programme and “X-Pert Health Diabetes Programme’ to help avert and manage the condition. 

“Please take action today so you can stay as fit and well as possible and enjoy and make the most of your life.” 

If you are displaying any of the symptoms of diabetes you can improve and reduce them by:  

  • eating a healthy, balanced diet – regularly eating fried food combined with a lack of exercise, can increase risk

  • losing weight (if overweight) and maintaining a healthy weight

  • stopping smoking

  • only drinking alcohol in moderation (14 units per week maximum)

  • taking plenty of regular exercise.      

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The ‘Healthier You’ prevention programme – which runs across the city and county – is designed for patients at high risk of Type 2 diabetes. GPs invite people at high risk to take part to in the programme and receive tailored help.  

The nine-month programme – run by Derbyshire County Council’s public health – includes education on healthy eating and lifestyle changes as well as specially personalised physical exercise sessions, all of which have been proven to reduce the chance of developing the condition. 

If you’ve already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and live in South Derbyshire you can get support through the X-PERT Health Diabetes Programme. The free six-week education course, helps people with diabetes benefit from improved glycaemic control and reduce their risk of secondary diabetes complications, as well as:

  • reducing blood glucose levels
  • reducing blood pressure
  • losing weight and reducing waist size
  • increasing patient’s ability to self-manage their condition
  • improving quality of life
  • reducing the need for prescribed medication. 

Dr Dhadda added: “If you have diabetes you are eligible for a free NHS flu jab to help protect you. 

“Help us to look after you by making sure you guard against germs this winter.” 

Find out more about diabetes at http://nhsstaywellderbyshire.co.uk/

Published: 14/11/2017