Drive helps those who are at risk of diabetes

Fruits. Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Fruits. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Diabetes is a growing problem in the UK but a free prevention programme is offering hope to people at risk in Derbyshire.

There are 3.5 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and a further 549,000 may be unknowingly living with the condition. 

Diabetes can lead to serious health issues including stroke, heart and kidney disease, and amputations.

The condition develops when glucose can’t enter the body’s cells to be used as fuel and this happens when either:

* There is no insulin to unlock the cells (Type 1 diabetes)

* There is not enough insulin or the insulin is there but not working properly (Type 2 diabetes).

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1 and currently, more than 55,000 people in Derbyshire have Type 2 diabetes with 70,000 more are at high risk of developing it.

The good news is Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes and there’s a free Type 2 diabetes prevention programme in Derby and Derbyshire.

It’s called Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and offers help and education on how to prevent developing diabetes.

This covers topics including healthy eating and taking regular exercise.

To find out more visit or speak to your GP.

Five of the main risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes are:

* Age − being over the age of 40 (over 25 for South Asian people)

* Genetics − having a close relative with the condition (parent, brother or sister)

* Weight − being overweight or obese

* Ethnicity − being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin

* Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

* Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.

* Being really thirsty.

* Feeling more tired than usual.

* Losing weight without trying to.

* Genital itching or thrush.

* Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.

* Blurred vision.

If you have any symptoms of diabetes, you should contact your GP.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes, but it’s worth checking. Early diagnosis, treatment and good control are vital for good health and reduce the chances of developing serious complications.