Campaign puts people in the know about Type 2 diabetes

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A new campaign has begun that advises patients on what they can do to keep Type 2 diabetes at bay.

There are an increasing number of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, a picture that is reflected nationally.

The new awareness campaign, #BeInTheKnowType2, has three main audiences

  • People who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes but don’t know it
  • Those who know they are at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes
  • Patients with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Around 270,000 people in Staffordshire are currently at risk of developing diabetes, and by 2020 it is estimated that the cost of treating diabetes in Staffordshire will have risen to £273 million, unless more action is taken.

Dr Bhushan Rao, a GP and the Clinical Lead for the Diabetes Prevention Programme in Staffordshire said: “Knowledge is probably our most important weapon in the fight against Type 2 diabetes. That is because if you know you are at risk, you can take action to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have a diagnosis then education can empower you to manage the condition effectively.”

The campaign aims to help people spot whether they are at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Risk factors can include having a close relative who has had a diagnosis, having had high blood pressure or being overweight.

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can include:

  • needing to pee more than usual, especially during the night
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
  • cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • blurred vision

However some people may not get any symptoms.

Dr Rao said: “Making lifestyle changes is absolutely key. Losing weight, doing more exercise, eating a healthy diet and giving up smoking can all make a difference.

“Those patients who have been identified by their GP as being at risk may be eligible for the Healthier You programme. This really supports people to make these changes, because it is fine knowing what you need to do, but actually doing it can be easier with help. Each person on the programme is treated as an individual and is helped find to what will work best for them.”

Patients will start to see posters and leaflets in their GP practice or other health settings.

Some diabetes facts:

There are 2 main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. In the UK, around 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes have Type 2.

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