Local people are being urged to know diabetes, fight diabetes

Local people are being urged to know diabetes, fight diabetes

Residents of Bury are urged to get behind Diabetes Week 2017, which runs 11 – 17 June.

In Bury alone, over 13,300 people have diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and this figure is set to rise to over 16,000 by 2035. Nationally, some 4.5 million people in the UK have diabetes, and 11.9 million are in danger of developing it. The impact and complications of the condition can be devastating – leading to blindness, amputations and even early death in some cases.

Despite these significant numbers and potentially serious consequences, according to Diabetes UK, the leading UK charity for people affected by diabetes, fewer than two in five people think that they or their close families are likely to develop diabetes. They aren’t concerned about diabetes and they don’t understand or know what it is.

To change this and ensure people know the risks and how to reduce them during Diabetes Week, the theme is ‘Know diabetes. Fight diabetes.’

Fin McCaul, Clinical Lead for Long Term Conditions at NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It’s more important than ever for us to raise awareness of the condition among local people and support them to reduce their diabetes risk. Diabetes is a life-long condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.”

“If the condition is diagnosed early and properly managed, people with diabetes can lead long and healthy lives. But if not it can lead to serious complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure, stroke and in some cases early death.”

Early signs of diabetes are passing urine more often than usual, especially at night; increased thirst; extreme tiredness; unexplained weight loss; genital itching and frequent thrush; slow healing of cuts; and blurred vision. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

The NHS Health Check for people aged 40 – 74 years can prevent patients from developing the condition and detect those living with undiagnosed diabetes. Fin McCaul continued: “Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented and some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes – age, ethnicity and family history – can’t be changed. However, the good news is that around three in five cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. These include eating a healthy, balanced diet; maintaining a healthy weight; and taking regular exercise.”

“In Bury we offer local people help as part of the Healthier You National Diabetes Prevention Programme. GPs can refer patients at risk to a 12-month intensive programme where they can get personalised help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease. I would urge anyone who has been referred to the programme to take up their place.”

To find out more about Diabetes Week on the CCG’s website www.buryccg.nhs.uk or on the Diabetes UK’s website www.diabetes.org.uk