Its Diabetes Prevention Week!
To mark Diabetes Prevention Week, 1-7 April, Shropshire health and social care leaders are encouraging people to lead a more active lifestyle and to visit their GP if they are showing signs of type 2 diabetes.
Latest statistics show that some 28,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in Shropshire and many could have type 2 diabetes without even knowing it.
Oswestry postman, David Wan, is among hundreds of Shropshire residents who have successfully beaten type 2 diabetes through an NHS guided self-help programme.
The NHS (type 2 diabetes) Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) - also called Healthier You - gives advice on dieting, exercise and health lifestyle. It is being doubled in size over the next few years in an effort to treat an estimated 200,000* people each year, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan's renewed focus on prevention.
Postie David Wan, 61, from Oswestry was shocked to hear that he was pre-diabetic, following a routine health check at his GP surgery.
He said: “I wasn’t particularly overweight and I have a very active job which can involve up to five hours of walking in a day. It was only when I went on the Diabetes Prevention Programme that I realised that it the problem was the result of years of skipping breakfast and then having an energy drink and bar of chocolate during my shift.
“As a postman I sometimes have to get up at stupid-o’clock, and I don’t really feel like eating then. But now I understand why it is important to have breakfast I eat some fruit first thing, and then I make sure that the only snacks I take to work are more fruit.”
David has successfully reversed his pre-diabetes and he is keen to alert other people with Chinese heritage to the fact that they are at higher risk than most ethnic groups.
He explained: “One of the things I learned on the course was that Chinese and other South Asian people are more likely to develop diabetes than white people, so it is really important for us to watch our diet and ask the doctor for a blood test if we think we may have high blood sugar. I have spoken to my Chinese friends and lots of them didn’t know about this.
“I am still on the Diabetes Prevention Programme and I would say it is very interesting and well presented. I also know now that if I do develop diabetes it will reduce my life expectancy, so that has really motivated me to make changes.”
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high
There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
- Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin
- During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.
Online support site for people with Type 1 diabetes
A new online resource for people with a new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is now live.
The site provides links to practical help on injecting insulin and checking blood glucose levels – as well as useful advice around living with the condition. Visit the new Type 1 diabetes online resource. You can also read the NHS England blog 'Knowledge is power in diabetes self-care' here.
Visit www.nhs.uk or see below for more information