Ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week (1 – 7 April 2019) a GP from Sefton joined Crosby parkrun alongside representatives from Diabetes UK, to give people the opportunity to determine their own risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Nigel Taylor spoke to runners at the weekly run and even took part in the run himself, where Diabetes UK hosted a stall which offered people the chance to understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and what action they can take to reduce it.
Dr Taylor, diabetes lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Park run is a great way to get people together to promote a healthy lifestyle which is important factor in preventing Type 2 diabetes. I spoke to many people about how getting regular exercise, by taking part in activities such as this run, to help maintain a healthy weight will significantly reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes which is often linked with obesity.”
“The condition is often preventable and can develop as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Millions of people in England are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with approximately 12 percent of people in Sefton having been identified as ‘at risk’ of Type 2 diabetes. The condition can have a huge impact on everyday life; you will need change your diet, have regular check-ups and you may have to take medications or tablets. If you do not manage it well you may develop serious complications.”
People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly. Around 90 per cent of the 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2. There are almost 1 million more people living with Type 2 diabetes, who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed. While other factors like age and ethnicity affect a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, being overweight is the most significant risk factor that can be changed.
Dr Doug Callow, clinical lead for service quality and diabetes for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Make sure you get a good amount of exercise; aim for 2.5 hours week. This can include time at the gym, a brisk walk or climbing the stairs.
“It is also important that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Try to limit the amount of high fat and high sugar foods that you eat, and replace them with healthier snacks. Reducing your alcohol intake, if you drink over the current recommendation of 14 units a week, can also reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, ‘Healthier You’, is a free local service for those who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions. These include education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
There is also support available for people who have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Contact your GP for more information.
Clare Howarth, head of the north of England at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s important that people understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and are given the knowledge and resources necessary to help them reduce their risk by eating healthily, moving more and losing weight if necessary.
“Thousands of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it.”
During Diabetes Prevention Week, Diabetes UK will be in attendance at a second parkrun event taking place on Saturday, 6 April starting at Hesketh Park in Southport at 9am. They will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have and share advice on diabetes prevention.
To find out more about diabetes you can visit the Diabetes UK website at www.diabetes.org.uk. To find out more about the ‘Healthier You’ diabetes prevention programme being delivered in Sefton visit: www.ingeus.com/nhs-diabetes-prevention-programme.
To sign up to your nearest parkrun please visit: www.parkrun.org.uk