Shropshire Health and Social Care Leaders Campaign to Help Prevent Diabetes

29 March 2019 3:51pm

Shropshire health and social care leaders have launched a campaign that encourages people to lead a more active lifestyle and to visit their GP if they are showing signs of type 2 diabetes.

NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is involved in a national initiative called the Healthier You, NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is a collaboration between NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.  

There are currently 3.4 million people with type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year. While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, and is not linked to lifestyle, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

Latest statistics show that more than 28,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in Shropshire and many could have type 2 diabetes without even knowing it.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “Our message is simple, if you think you are showing signs that point towards type 2 diabetes then please visit your GP to check for this condition.

“It’s important to catch the symptoms early so the damage caused by type 2 damage is limited. We also want people to think about their lifestyle and how they could improve it through healthier eating and some form of physical activity. Taking steps to do that now could be the difference between having the condition – and avoiding it completely.”

One of the options open to those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is a referral via the GP to embark on a 10-week programme that provides tailored, personalised help. But patients must meet the specific criteria to be eligible for this.

The main symptoms to look out for concerning type 2 diabetes are:

  • Feeling tired during the day (fatigue)
  • Often feeling hungry, particularly after eating (polyphagia)
  • Urinating more often than normal, particularly at night (polyuria)
  • Feeling abnormally thirsty (polydipsia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching of the skin
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • Having regular yeast infections
  • Having a skin disorder such as psoriasis or acanthosis nigricans
  • Sudden weight loss or loss of muscle mass

Most people would be shocked to know that around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

Councillor Rob Gittins, Deputy Cabinet member for Public Health, said: “Type 2 diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems.  However you can prevent Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. If you think you or a family member may be at risk, ask at your GP practice about your local Healthier You service.”

Diabetes Prevention Week runs from 1-7 April.