The best way to stay healthy is to live an active lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight and to eat a balanced diet. By looking after your health you can prevent diseases like diabetes.
Figures from Diabetes UK show that one in ten adults over 40 now has Type 2 diabetes, and the number of people living with all types of diabetes has reached 4.7 million in the UK. It’s estimated that 57,000 people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have diabetes.
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems, so it is important to know the warning signs that could put you at risk.
Diabetes symptoms can include:
feeling very thirsty
urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
feeling very tired
weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
cuts or wounds that heal slowly
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days while many people have Type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.
There are certain factors and groups of people who are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include anyone who is:
white and over 40
anyone who is African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian and over 25
anyone with a parent, brother, sister, or child with diabetes
anyone who has ever had high blood pressure
anyone who is overweight, especially around the middle
anyone who has ever had a heart attack or stroke
anyone who has schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or is receiving treatment with antipsychotic medication
women who’ve had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds.
Anyone who is concerned about their risk of developing diabetes, or who needs help to reduce their risk, should speak to their GP or practice nurse.
Dr Jessica Randall-Carrick, Peterborough GP and CCG Clinical Lead said,
“Even if you aren’t suffering from any health problems now, being overweight (especially if you have a family history of diabetes) can put you at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
“By making changes to your diet today you will start to see the benefits now. Eating well and exercising regularly will help you to feel healthier, improve your energy and get better sleep. You will also reduce your risk of developing more serious health problems, which can affect your quality of life later on.”
Dr Mark Brookes, Cambridge GP and CCG Clinical Lead said,
“Being overweight can be storing up problems for the future, so it is important to make changes now. The great news is that the NHS has free support to help you.
“If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes the NHS offers free sessions to help put you back in control so you can learn to manage the condition and prevent future health problems.”
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, which can often be managed through lifestyle changes.
You can prevent Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
For patients at high risk of diabetes there are free courses available locally through a referral from your GP. The Healthier You programme will support you to learn more about eating well and help you make changes to your diet. It’s important to make changes now, before you develop problems.
The Healthier You programme will support you to learn more about eating well and help you make changes to your diet. Living with a serious condition like diabetes can stop you enjoying life, and so the local NHS has local support to help you stay well.