GPs in Tower Hamlets are encouraging people to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as part of a national campaign. Diabetes Prevention Week runs from 1 April and raises awareness of the disease, the causes and groups that might be at particular risk.
Every two minutes someone finds out that they have Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to serious long-term health problems and even blindness, kidney failure or loss of a limb. Those who suffer from diabetes are also at least twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Anyone can develop Type 2 diabetes, however certain groups can be at increased risk:
- If you are over the age of 40, or over the age of 25 if you're black or south Asian
- If you have a close relative – such as a parent, brother or sister – with type 2 diabetes
- If you’re overweight, especially around the middle, or if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
Although there are certain factors that affect the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, there is strong evidence to suggest maintaining a healthy lifestyle can delay or even prevent it. Those at risk help may be eligible for support through the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, that provides guidance on diet, weight and being more active, all of which can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“Anyone can find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through the online ‘Know Your Risk Tool’ at https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/ and those over 40 can get a free NHS Health Check. If they are then found to be at risk, they can be referred to the Healthier You programme through their GP.”
You are also more at risk:
- If you’ve ever had a heart attack, stroke, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, or are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
- If you are a woman who has had polycystic ovarian syndrome, gestational diabetes, or given birth to a baby weighing over 10 pounds