Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Know your diabetes risk - Diabetes Week 2021

During Diabetes Week 2021 (14 – 20 June), the local NHS is encouraging anyone who may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in Liverpool to access free NHS advice and support.

In Liverpool alone, more than 16,000 people are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can also lead on to a range of further health complications such as strokes, heart disease, limb amputation, and early death.

But the good news is that the risk of Type 2 diabetes can also be reduced through simple, everyday lifestyle changes.

You can check your own risk of developing Type 2 diabetes now by using this simple Online Risk Assessment tool.

If the results indicate that you are at a high risk of developing diabetes, you should ask your GP for a blood test to check your status and refer you to the Healthier You programme.

As part of NHS England’s National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP), Healthier You is a nine-month support programme being delivered in group settings (with online options available during Covid19).

It’s designed to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions such as better weight management, regular physical activity and healthy diet changes. 

Over the past 2 years, more than 2000 patients have already successfully been through this diabetes prevention programme in Liverpool. One of them is Avril Swan, an NHS worker from Liverpool.

She explains: “I was first diagnosed as being pre-diabetic about 2 years ago. My mother had Type 2 diabetes, so I thought it was pretty much inevitable that I would eventually develop it too.”

“As the beginning of the course, we were asked to set our own targets, according to what we felt we could achieve. The planning tool helped me to think through how I would overcome any obstacles, stay motivated, and get support from people around me. It was very practical and manageable, with lots of encouragement from the group.”

Over the duration of the 9 month course, Avril lost about 36 pounds, her Body Mass Index (BMI) dropped by 6 points, and her cholesterol dropped from 6.3 to 5.2. But the most important change of all was in her blood tests which showed that by the end of the course she was no longer pre-diabetic.

She continues, “Since doing the course, I have become much less sedentary, but I still go nowhere near a gym! Instead, I have found lots of little ways to keep active during my day with regular breaks from sitting at work and my dog also has me on a strict regime of regular brisk walks too.”

She adds, “This turnaround in my health was such a huge relief! I feel delighted that over the 9 months I managed to achieve exactly what I set out to do. I’ve come such a long way through this programme and feel so much healthier and more positive about the future now. It may sound corny, but if I can do it – then so can anyone else!”

Throughout Diabetes Week 2021, people from across the UK are being invited to tell their #DiabetesStories just like Avril. You can find more out about the campaign here:

You can also find out more about the Healthier You - National Diabetes Prevention Programme here.

Content provided by One Liverpool, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together to support a healthier, happier and fairer Liverpool for all.

Published on Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:59:49 GMT
Modified on Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:00:18 GMT