Type 2 Diabetes: knowing your risk could save your life
In Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week, 22-28 May, Lambeth Together health and care partnership wants to highlight the importance of knowing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And share what you can do to reduce your risk through lifestyle changes and joining ‘Healthier You’, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, via your GP.
People of Black and South Asian ethnicities are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so Lambeth health and care partners are especially keen to raise awareness in these communities.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious illness but can sometimes be prevented
Around 13.6 million people in the UK are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is a serious condition that can lead to other health problems or complications, such as heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, foot problems, vision loss and kidney problems.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or delayed. Research shows that for some people, lifestyle changes can halve the risk of type 2 diabetes. And Lambeth GPs are here to support you to make changes.
Lambeth’s Together aspires to support all Lambeth people to lead healthy lives
Lambeth Together has committed to support Lambeth people to lead healthy lives and have good physical health for as long as possible. This is one of the three core aspirations set out in ‘Our Health, Our Lambeth’, the partnership’s new five-year health and care plan. To achieve this, the NHS, the Council and community partners are working together to support Lambeth people to maintain positive behaviours to stay healthy. A key part of this is raising awareness and uptake of the ‘Healthier You’, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the most at risk populations.
Dr Neel Basudev Lambeth GP, said
“We want people to lead healthy lives for as long as possible. Type 2 diabetes continues to be a major health problem, both locally and nationally. Our new Health and Care Plan sets out our commitment to helping people maintain positive behaviours that keep them healthy and prevent type 2 diabetes.”
“GPs in Lambeth are working to support people and offering evidence-based lifestyle change to those at highest risk. People at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be supported to reduce their risk through measures such as weight management, eating more healthily and being more physically active.”
“We’re keen to increase the uptake of ‘Healthier You’, the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme, particularly in our most deprived populations to reduce health inequalities that exist in our borough.”
Find out your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
Some things can make someone more ‘at risk’ of developing type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include things like:
- weight (and your waist size)
- having a close relative with diabetes
If you’re worried about your risk, you can try out Diabetes UK’s online ‘Know Your Risk’ calculator. After answering a few simple questions, you will find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s free and only takes two or three minutes.
Try out Diabetes UK Know Your Risk calculator
Healthier You: support if you’re at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
If you are at moderate to high risk, the Know Your Risk 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 your GP may refer you to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme for expert advice and support.
Find out more about Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
Reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes
The changes you make don’t have to be big, dramatic changes to the way you live. Things like walking a bit more every day can help.
The three main ways to prevent type 2 diabetes are:
- eating well
- moving more
- losing weight if you are living with obesity or if you’re overweight or have an unhealthy waist size
Find out more about reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes