Small steps can have a big impact for people with diabetes.
The message was proclaimed this week by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) ahead of World Diabetes Day on Thursday 14 November.
The CCG, which plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 patients, urged people with diabetes to take the best possible care of themselves by following a five-point plan of small steps that could make all the difference:
Eat three meals a day - include carbohydrates but cut down on saturated fats.
Stick to the Government’s sensible drinking guidelines of no more than two or three units of alcohol a day for women and three to four units for men.
Stay fit and lose weight by exercising hard for at least two and a half hours a week – try to exercise every day if possible.
Educate yourself on managing your condition – Diabetes UK has created an online interactive learning programme for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Get your free flu jab by contacting your GP before the end of November.
The CCG, which has made the prevention and treatment of diabetes one of its priorities, also called on patients to check their feet regularly for possible symptoms of gangrene. A foot affected by dry gangrene would turn red first before becoming cold, pale and numb. Some patients would also experience pain.
Without treatment, the foot would start to die – turning from red to brown then black.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“If you notice any of the symptoms of gangrene, see your GP straightaway. Your doctor will examine the affected part, look at your medical history and carry out tests. If gangrene is diagnosed, treatment will start very quickly to stop the condition worsening.
“Treatment will include antibiotics and removal of the affected tissue. Surgery may also be considered in order to improve blood flow.
“But prevention is always better than cure. It’s a sad fact that, of the three million people in the UK with diabetes, 90 per cent have Type 2 diabetes – which is entirely preventable through regular exercise, a balanced diet and sensible drinking.
“The prevention and treatment of diabetes is one of our top priorities, and we’ve made important progress over the last couple of years. For example, nearly three quarters of patients with diabetes in our area now have their annual free eye test to detect the problems that can cause blindness if not treated.
“However, there’s a long way to go, which is why we’re urging people with diabetes to do everything in their power to manage their condition effectively.”
Around 10 per cent of the NHS budget is spent on diabetes, equating to £286 a second, while 10 per cent of NHS hospital beds are occupied by people with diabetes.
Diabetes costs the NHS £3.5bn a year or more than £9.6m a day.
For lots of useful information on preventing, treating and managing diabetes, visit diabetes.org.uk or NHS Diabetes.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices that are responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 patients. The CCG is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01332 868954/07825 274111