Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes
Did you know, every two minutes someone finds out that they have type 2 diabetes1 and in the UK around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2 2. Here in Southampton there are 13,233 people with diabetes3.
But there are lots of things you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes and here in Southampton we want to ensure we have the right services in place to support you.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. If untreated it can lead to stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but certain factors can increase your risk such as your age, ethnicity, if it runs in the family, your blood pressure and being overweight or inactive.
You can’t change some of these risk factors. But others you can.
What can I do to help prevent type 2 diabetes and what support is available?
Even if you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, it can still be prevented through losing weight, eating healthily and being more active.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
Healthier You, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, provides free tailored, personalised help, if you have pre-diabetes, to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes. The programme is helping people like you and shows real results. To join, speak to your GP. They will check you are eligible to take part by testing your blood and then they can refer you.
Find out more about Healthier You at www.stopdiabetes.co.uk or ask a member of your GP practice team.
The Low Carb Program
Support is also available through the Low Carb Program. The NHS approved app is for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. It helps guide you to make lifestyle changes to improve your health.
If you are registered with a GP in Southampton the Low Carb Program app is available for free, so please speak to your GP or find out more on the NHS Apps Library.
If you think you, or someone you know, is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
- go to https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start to get an estimate of your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- ask your GP or practice nurse if you are concerned and they can arrange for a blood test to check blood sugar levels
- take up the offer of a free NHS Health Check which will assess your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure - the NHS Health Check is available to everyone over 40 and if you are over 40 you are also more at risk of developing diabetes
- if you are invited to attend a Healthier You session or offered to try the Low Carb Program, take up the offer.
1 NHS Digital (2018) National Diabetes Audit 2017-18 Short Report, Characteristics of people with diabetes.
3 According to data from the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) in January 2019 there were 13,233 people who have diabetes and are registered at a Southampton GP practice.