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Local people are being urged to know diabetes, fight diabetes

09 June 2017

​​​Know diabetes, fight diabetes - Diabetes Week 11-17 June 2017.

Residents of Rochdale are urged to get behind Diabetes Week 2017, which runs Sunday, 11 - Saturday, 17 June 2017 by getting to know more about it.

In Rochdale alone, over 14,500 people are estimated to have diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) and this figure is set to rise to over 19,000 by 2035. What's more, over 20,000 people in the borough are estimated to be at risk of developing the condition. Nationally, some 4.5 million people in the UK have diabetes, and 11.9 million are in danger of developing it. The impact and complications of the condition can be devastating – leading to blindness, amputations and even early death in some cases.

'Diabetes is a life-long condition'

Despite these significant numbers and potentially serious consequences, according to Diabetes UK, the leading UK charity for people affected by diabetes, fewer than 2 in 5 people think that they or their close families are likely to develop diabetes. They aren't concerned about diabetes and they don't understand or know what it is.

To change this and ensure people know the risks and how to reduce them during Diabetes Week, the theme is 'Know diabetes. Fight diabetes.'

Dr Sonal Sharma, Clinical Lead for Diabetes at Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) said: "Looking at the figures for diabetes prevalence here in Rochdale borough, it's more important than ever for us to raise awareness of the condition among local people and support them to reduce their diabetes risk.

'Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes.'

"Diabetes is a life-long condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If the condition is diagnosed early and properly managed, people with diabetes can lead long and healthy lives. But if not it can lead to serious complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure, stroke and in some cases early death."

Early signs of diabetes are passing urine more often than usual, especially at night; increased thirst; extreme tiredness; unexplained weight loss; genital itching and frequent thrush; slow healing of cuts; and blurred vision. There are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

Dr Sharma continued: "Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented and some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes – age, ethnicity and family history – can't be changed. However, the good news is that around 3 in 5 cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. These include eating a healthy, balanced diet; maintaining a healthy weight; and taking regular exercise.

"In Rochdale we offer local people help as part of the Healthier You National Diabetes Prevention Programme. GPs can refer patients at risk to an intensive programme where they can get personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease. I urge anyone who has been referred to the programme to take up their place.

"The NHS Health Check for people aged 40-74 years can also prevent patients from developing the condition and detect those living with undiagnosed diabetes."

'It is extremely important to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes'

Andrea Fallon, Rochdale Borough Council's Director for Public Health & Wellbeing, said: "It is extremely important to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms and how to get tested because once we know about the risks, we can fight it by making small changes to our lifestyle. Eating a healthier, balanced diet and keeping active are some of the small steps people can take. We've been doing some great work with the Healthier You National Diabetes Prevention Programme to identify residents at risk and give them the tools they need to lead healthier lives. I urge everyone to find out more about how to prevent, and manage diabetes to help us create a healthier and happier borough."  

All week Find out more about Diabetes Week on the HMR CCG will be sharing information and advice about diabetes on its website and on social media via Twitter @NHSHMR and Facebook @NHS.HMR. Living Well Rochdale, The Big Life Group will be raising awareness of Diabetes Week via a series of Healthy Living Campaign events around the borough, and through Walk and Talk health walks at locations all over Rochdale. More details are available on the Living Well Rochdale website.

Find out more about Diabetes Week on the HMR CCG website or on the Diabetes UK website.



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