On World Diabetes Day (14 November 2019), NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging local residents to become familiar with the warning signs of diabetes to try and spot the condition sooner.
Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high due to ineffective control by a hormone called insulin. The two types main of diabetes are:
- Type 1: Where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
- Type 2: Where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes.
In Sefton about 19,400 (7.1 per cent) of adults have diabetes and almost 5,500 (2.0 per cent) are predicted to be living with it unknowingly. The condition can lead to other serious health problems including strokes, heart disease and early death.
Nigel Taylor, diabetes lead for the two CCGs in Sefton, said: “Diabetes gets progressively worse when left untreated, so early diagnosis is very important. Common symptoms include feeling very thirsty, tiredness, blurred vision and needing to pee more often than usual.
“If you think you or someone in your family might be showing signs of diabetes, contact your GP or visit your local pharmacy for advice.”
Most diabetes cases are Type 2, which is closely linked to obesity. This type commonly affects adults but is being increasingly seen in children and young people.
The International Diabetes Federation has created a simple online test www.idf.org/type-2-diabetes-risk-assessment that predicts an individual’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years. The tool is quick, easy and confidential and may indicate a need to introduce healthier lifestyle changes to lower the risk of diabetes.
Nigel added: “About half of Type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by making small changes such as, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a varied healthier diet, reducing portion size for some of us and staying active. In Sefton, we continue to work closely with our health and community partners to look at ways to help improve diabetes care. “
“Sefton residents can get help and advice about living with diabetes through two programmes. ‘Diabetes and You’ helps educate people who have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and ‘Diabetes and More’ focuses on supporting those who have been living with diabetes for more than 12 months.”
These well respected sessions, with national accreditation by QISMET, are held at a variety of locations and times across Sefton.
If you would like to attend, you can request a referral from your GP or practice nurse, or you can refer yourself to one of the programmes by contacting the Diabetes Education Team. If you are registered with a GP in South Sefton, you can call them on 01514 754285, or if you live in Southport and Formby you can call 01704 387271.