This World Diabetes Day (Thursday, 14 November), Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging local residents to become familiar with the warning signs of Diabetes to try and spot the condition sooner.
Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high due to ineffective control by a hormone called insulin. There are two types of Diabetes:
• Type 1: Where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
• Type 2: Where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This is the most common type of Diabetes.
One in 11 adults has Diabetes, yet one in two people with Diabetes are undiagnosed. The condition can lead to other serious health problems including strokes, heart disease and early death.
To combat this risk, the ‘Healthier You’ NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) is a free local service for those who are at risk of developing type 2 Diabetes.
The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions. These include advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of Telford & Wrekin CCG, said: “Diabetes gets progressively worse when left untreated, so early diagnosis is very important. Common symptoms include feeling very thirsty, tiredness and needing to wee more often than usual. If you think you or someone in your family might be showing signs of Diabetes contact your GP or visit your local pharmacy for advice.”
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme provides tailored help over a 10-week period. We want people to think about their lifestyle and how they can eat healthier as well as undertake some form of regular physical activity, which is exactly what this programme provides.
“Simple measures and more awareness of the causes of Type 2 diabetes could be the difference between having the condition and avoiding it completely.”
The majority of Diabetes cases are type 2 which is closely linked to obesity. This type commonly affects adults but is being increasingly seen in children and adolescents. However, over 50% of type 2 Diabetes is preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
The International Diabetes Federation has created a simple online test that predicts an individual’s risk of developing type 2 Diabetes within the next 10 years. The tool is quick, easy and confidential and may indicate a need to introduce healthier lifestyle changes to lower the risk of Diabetes.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of Diabetes and what you can do to prevent it, visit the NHS website and the ‘Healthier You’ NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme website.