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Edenbridge project update – July 2018

Get talking about diabetes in west Kent

User AvatarPosted by Amanda Crawford at 11/06/2018 14:41:48

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high which causes damage to many body organs.  Men are more likely to get diabetes than women. They are also have a higher chance of complications, including amputation of feet or limbs and even death.

Dr Andrew Roxburgh, NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group’s diabetes lead, said: “Around 22,806 people in west Kent have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and we think about 7,788 may have it without knowing.

“It is vital that people get a diagnosis as soon as possible to help them manage their diabetes and stay well with the right support. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, speak to your GP about being referred for an education course to learn how to better manage your condition.

“There are also highly effective prevention courses for people at high risk of diabetes, to help them avoid or delay developing the condition.

“I would urge anyone who has any of the symptoms of diabetes to speak to their GP. Ill health is significantly higher among males than females and a lot of that can be traced back to men simply not wanting to talk about their health worries.

“It is also important for all of us to be a healthy weight, and to be physically active. This helps us feel better and enjoy life more, as well as guarding against a whole range of health problems, including diabetes.”

It is important to visit your GP if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • frequent boils or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

You can check your risk of developing type 2 diabetes on-line at diabetes.org.uk/risk. If your risk is high, contact your GP practice and ask about the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. The tailored free courses, which cover the risks of diabetes, eating healthily, being more active, losing weight, and making changes for good, are highly successful, with more than half those who sign up across the country completing the nine month course, losing around half a stone each.

You are also urged to take up an NHS Health Check if offered one by your GP practice. The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It's designed to  reduce the risk of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia by detecting risk factors for them. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.

One You Kent has lots of ideas and support for how small changes can be made for a big impact on health and wellbeing.

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