Around 200,000 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year – putting them at risk of potentially serious health complications and early death.
Modern life can make it hard to be healthy but, for many people, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by making small lifestyle changes.
Diabetes is a leading cause of vision loss in people of working age. It is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents), and people with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes.
However, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by:
• Managing your weight,
• Eating healthily and
• Being more active.
What is type 2 diabetes?
- Every two minutes someone finds out that they have type 2 diabetes. If current trends persist, 1 in 10 people will develop type 2 diabetes by 2035.
- Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly (insulin resistance). It can be a combination of both.
- Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s a leading cause of vision loss in people of working age. It’s also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents). People living with diabetes are also at least twice as likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes.
What support is available
- Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious condition but there are lots of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it such as achieving a healthy weight, getting more physically active and eating a healthy diet.
- Your free local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme can support you in taking action in all these areas.
Making changes now can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Who can join the Healthier You programme?
- If you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible to join your free local Healthier You programme.
- The first thing you need to do is to find out if you are at risk of developing the condition. You can do this by using the Diabetes UK risk tool – it only takes a few minutes and could be the most important thing you do today.
- You’ll be asked a series of questions to identify if you are at a low, moderate or high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Make sure to have a tape measure handy as you’ll need to measure your waist.
- If you’re at moderate to high risk, the tool will advise you to contact your GP practice for a blood test. If your blood sugar levels show you’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, then you may be eligible for referral to your local Healthier You programme.
- Visit riskscore.diabetes.org.uk or search ‘Know Your Risk’ to complete the Diabetes UK risk tool.