Take the diabetes test and keep well for your family
Published: Wednesday 14th November 18
Today (November 14) is World Diabetes Day, and the council is reminding local people they can use a simple online tool to check their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
You are more at risk if someone in your family has Type 2 diabetes, but it is not an inevitable part of growing older and it’s important to look after yourself so that you can look after your family. Eighty per cent of Type 2 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..
One of the champions, Dorothy Smalling, saw her father and most of his siblings fall prey to diabetes, but thought she took after her healthy mother. “My mother’s diagnosis eroded my comfort zone and I realised that the diabetes tipping point was in a narrower range than I had previously thought. As a family, we were never overweight but my parents had spent most of their working life in the confectionery industry and therefore, there were always treats in the house. My mother’s genetics and active working life possibly kept her diabetes free until her early 70s in spite of those treats.
“As a Wandsworth Diabetes Champion, being of the first group to complete the diabetes awareness training, I now provide her, her friends and my family with information and tools to better manage their diabetes. I too have learnt to be vigilant, to continuously assess my own risk and to make the necessary changes to remain diabetes free. This involves, management of my food intake (making good nutrition a priority), trying to be active most days and using stress management techniques to cope with those ‘pesky’ unavoidable life stressors.”
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 if you are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes at https://nhsdpp.diabetes.org.uk/c/wandsworth
- 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. For other local support available to help you live a healthier life visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/oneyou.
- If you are confirmed to be at high risk of diabetes through your GP you may also be eligible for the new Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention programme, which offers people advice on how to eat healthily, get active, and permanently change their lifestyle to reduce their risk. You can ask your GP to refer you.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, find out about the various diabetes education courses available to help you get the knowledge and skills you need to manage it well. You can book courses yourself online using the new Diabetes Book & Learn service. Whilst courses are easy to book online, a call centre is also available: telephone 020 3474 5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.