Reduce your risk of diabetes
Published: Friday 13th April 18
Next week (April 16-22) is Diabetes Prevention Week, and the council and local NHS are working to help local people learn more about their risk of developing the disease.
Paul with fellow Diabetes Champions giving out advice at last summer's Get Active Wandworth Festival
Eighty per cent of diabetes cases are preventable through regular exercise, watching your diet and keeping your weight down. Many people may not be aware that they are at risk of developing it. You can find out by using this simple online tool
Diabetes means the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is too high because your body can’t use it properly for energy. This happens because the pancreas either doesn’t produce any insulin, enough insulin, or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. They’re different conditions, caused by different things. Type 1 is not to do with being overweight and it’s not preventable. One of the biggest risk factors for Type 2 is being overweight. Age, ethnicity and family history can also have an impact.
Each week 15 people in Wandsworth are told they have diabetes. In a year that’s enough to fill 10 double decker buses. Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a network of diabetes champions who work in the borough helping local people understand more about diabetes and how to prevent developing type 2 diabetes..
Paul Dong became a champion to put something back, after receiving years of medical help: “I became type 2 diabetic through lack of knowledge. Now I am trying to make sure that others can avoid it by not making the same lifestyle mistakes.”
“Once you have diabetes it is progressive, with life changing complications, but with the correct lifestyle you can slow it down.”
Another champion, Mark Shipton, added: "I began volunteering as a champion for Wandsworth because I felt that after 24 years of being a type one diabetic I had a foundation of knowledge and experience that cannot be gained by any form of training. So why not use that understanding to help less experienced diabetics (or those concerned about their potential risk to diabetes) to treat their condition, help them better understand diabetes and live longer and more confident lives."
During the week the champions will be at a number of events, in partnership with the council’s leisure contractor Enable, to give information and advice. Find them at the following locations.
- Monday April 16: St George’s Hospital Grosvenor Wing reception, 10.30am-2pm.
- Tuesday April 17: Lavender Hill Group Practice, 19 Pountney Road, 10.30am-2.30pm
- Tuesday April 17: Regenerate Rise, The Platt Christian Centre, Putney, 11.45am-12.45pm
- Wednesday April 18: Wandsworth Town Hall reception, 10.30am-2.30pm
- Thursday April 19: Chatfield Medical Centre, Chatfield Road, Battersea, 12.30pm-2.30pm – launch of a peer support group for diabetes patients.
- Friday April 20: St George’s Hospital Grosvenor Wing reception, 10.30am-2pm
To book a Diabetes Champion to speak with your group, or to find out more about becoming a Diabetes Champion, contact the Wandsworth Self-Management Service at WandsworthCCG.ExpertPatients@swlondon.nhs.uk or telephone 020 8812 6750.or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also ways to prevent yourself from developing diabetes, manage the condition should you be diagnosed with it and avoid developing serious complications.
- Find out what your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is at https://nhsdpp.diabetes.org.uk/c/wandsworth
- The Diabetes Prevention Programme identifies people at high risk and refers them onto a behaviour change programme. You can ask your GP to refer you.
- Reduce the risk of developing diabetes by eating well, moving more and stopping smoking. You may be eligible for free council-run exercise and weight management schemes and a Stop Smoking support service. Those confirmed to be at high risk of diabetes through their GP may also be eligible for the new Healthier You programme, which offers people advice on how to eat healthily, get active, and permanently change their lifestyle to reduce their risk
- Getting the right health checks is vital as is taking the right medication. Anyone aged 40-74 who has not had a free NHS health check in the last five years and has not been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease or stroke is advised to get one. Ask your GP.
- Find out about the DESMOND, DAFNE and BERTIE courses to get the knowledge and skills you need to manage diabetes. Visit the education section of the Wandsworth Wellbeing Hub. or speak to a Hub Navigator telephone 020 8812 6700 The website also contains details of other self-management courses for people who are living with one or more long-term conditions.
For other local support available to help you live a healthier life visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/oneyou.