GPs encourage making healthier choices to prevent diabetes

Knowsley residents are being urged to eat healthily and be more active in order to help reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This advice comes from NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in this national Diabetes Prevention Week (1-7 April 2019).

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two types of diabetes:

·       Type 1: Where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin

·       Type 2: Where the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes.

Diabetes and its complications cost £8.8 billion every year to treat, and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine in 10 people with diabetes have type 2. This is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by eating healthily, being more active and losing weight.

Dr Mike Merriman, GP and Chair of the Diabetes Clinical Reference Group in Knowsley, said:

“It is estimated that around five million people in England are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.

“There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing this condition. Make sure you get a good amount of exercise; aim for 2.5 hours a week. This can include time at the gym, a brisk walk or climbing the stairs.

“It is also important that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Try to limit the amount of cakes and sweets you eat and replacing them with healthier snacks. Limiting your alcohol consumption will also reduce your risk of developing diabetes.”

The Healthy Knowsley Service provides a free local programme that can support those who are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions. These include education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and personalised physical activity programmes.

The Healthy Knowsley Service also provides more general support to anyone who wants to make positive lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or becoming more active.

Patients can self-refer into the Healthy Knowsley Service by calling 0800 0731 202 or by talking to a healthcare professional at their GP practice.

There is also support available for people who have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Contact your GP practice for more information.

For more information on the signs and symptoms or diabetes and what you can do to prevent it, visit the NHS website or the Healthly Knowsley Service website.