Diabetes roadshow rolls in to Wiltshire
11:54am Friday 11th October 2013 in Latest News
The Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow is coming to Wiltshire to offer people in the area a free risk assessment to discover whether they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
An estimated 6,800 people in the NHS Wiltshire area have Type 2 diabetes but are unaware they have the condition.
The Diabetes UK roadshows funded by Wiltshire Council with support by NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group aims to tackle this by highlighting risk factors and encouraging members of the public to change their lifestyles as 80 per cent of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through lifestyle change.
The roadshows will be in Trowbridge on Tuesday October 15, Marlborough on Wednesday October 16, Salisbury on Thursday October 17 and Chippenham on Friday October 18. They will be take place from 9am until 5pm each day.
Diabetes is one of the most common conditions affecting people in the UK today; 3.8 million people have the condition, which currently costs the NHS almost £10 billion each year.
If the condition is not diagnosed early enough, or is left untreated, it is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.
The roadshow will raise awareness of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which include:
• Being overweight or having a large waist size (37 inches or more for men, except those of South Asian origin who are at risk at 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for women);
• Being over 40 years of age (or over 25 in Black and South Asian people); and
• Having a close relative with diabetes. Diabetes UK staff will offer free diabetes risk assessment tests, which indicate a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years. If this risk is moderate to high, people will be referred to their GP for further advice or tests.
An on-site dietitian will also be available to advise on how to make small, positive lifestyle changes – such as adopting a diet low in fat, salt and sugar, and taking regular physical activity, which can have a significant impact on preventing someone from developing the condition.
As diabetes can often go undiagnosed for several years, it is important for people to seek advice if they are experiencing symptoms including: urinating more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts or wounds and blurred vision.
Graham Cooper, South West regional manager for Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today.
“We estimate there are 7 million people in the UK who are at high risk of developing the condition, but worryingly, there are around 6,800 people in the Wiltshire area alone that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do. I would urge everyone who can to visit the Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow. It could be the best thing you ever do for your health.”
Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “Diabetes is a terrible disease that can result in blindness, amputation, kidney failure and heart disease.
"What’s really sad is that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by measures such as keeping a healthy weight, yet the rate of diabetes in England continues to rise.
“Through these roadshows we hope to raise awareness of the condition and help as many people as possible to determine their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”
Wiltshire Council Corporate director Maggie Rae said: “I am delighted that diabetes has been identified as a priority area for health improvement. We will be working closely with colleagues in primary care and the NHS as well as individuals themselves to help prevent the on-set of diabetes and to support anyone who has the condition”.
Chairman of NHS Wiltshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Steve Rowlands said: “It is great to work with Public Health on this. We are aware of the tidal wave of diabetes which is about to come upon us. A lot of it is up to the individuals to help themselves with diet and exercise as much as it is on the health services.”
Anyone unable to attend the roadshows can still assess their risk of diabetes by taking the free Diabetes UK Risk Score test online at www.diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore. If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.
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