People in Lincolnshire are being urged to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making some simple changes to their lifestyle ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week, which runs from 10-16 May.
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19, with over a third of deaths in the Lincolnshire associated with the condition according to local NHS statistics. However, better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.
More than 4.8 million people in the UK have diabetes; this is equal to one in 14 people. Around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented or delayed through being more physically active, eating healthily and managing your weight. The health complications of getting Type 2 diabetes can be serious and life changing – this could be loss of sight, loss of limbs, increased risk of heart disease, stroke & kidney disease.
Black and South Asian people have a higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes after the age of 25, compared with those from a White background where risk increases after the age of 40.
Anyone at high risk of developing the condition may be eligible to join their local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.
The programme supports people to make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do – to significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.
As the first national initiative of its kind in the world, over half a million people have been referred on to the NHS prevention programme. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme is being delivered remotely via group video conference, or online through apps and websites. The programme provides personalised support to help people achieve a healthy weight, improve their diet and become more physically active, all together which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Sunil Hindocha, GP, Portland Medical Practice, said:
“COVID-19 has shown us it is vital that people at risk of developing diabetes should act now. There has never been a more crucial time to lose weight, exercise more and eat more healthily.
“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes. The highly successful, world-leading NHS diabetes prevention programme is helping hundreds of thousands of people take small steps to take control of their own health. In the Midlands, 37,799 people have attended the first session of the programme with an average weight loss of 3.1kg, 6 months after attending the first session.
“It’s very important that you find out if you are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes so you can get support to lower your risk. You may also be eligible to sign up for your free local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. If you think you are at risk of type 2 diabetes, would like more information on the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme or have any other concerns related to your health, please visit your GP or request a telephone consultation. You can also complete the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk’ tool (riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start) to register yourself onto a free local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme session.”
Pat Guest, aged 54 from Market Deeping, Lincolnshire signed up to the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, run by Xyla Health & Wellbeing. “The programme has helped me to change my own lifestyle, mindset and understanding of food and the triggers. I have realised that it’s about taking personal responsibility for your own health and wellbeing and my energy levels have increased significantly as a result of the changes I have made,” said Pat
Pat went from a size 40” to 36” waist reducing his weight from 17st 5lb to 14st 5lb. “The biggest change to my diet was the reduction in carbohydrates. I joined the programme believing sugar was the cause of my problem and quickly learned that this is only a part. I effectively cut out processed food. I’ve improved the overall quality of the foods I now choose on a regular basis such as changing to high cocoa dark chocolate and snacking on nuts. I was expecting that changing to better quality foods might increase my food bills but it hasn’t. I am now drinking more water which was another stand out learning point for me as I hadn’t realised that I could feel hungry when in fact I was thirsty. I am a lot more in tune with my body. I’m also doing a lot more walking.”