As part of national Diabetes Awareness Week (8-14 June), NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people who fall into the high-risk categories to be aware of the symptoms and how to manage the condition.
Figures show that over 5000 people in West Lancashire have been diagnosed with diabetes. Around three million people in the UK live with the condition with a further 850,000 remaining undiagnosed.
Type 2 diabetes is the far more common type of diabetes. You are more at risk if you are overweight. People of Black African, Caribbean and South Asian origin are also at a higher risk, as well as those over 40 (or over 25 if you are South Asian).
You are also at risk if you have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes and if you have had high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar and depres-sion and taking antipsychotic medication will also increase the risk of diabetes. Women who have polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes or a baby weighing over 10 pounds will also be at risk.
Dr Bapi Biswas, local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “As well as changing your lifestyle to a much healthier one, additional treatments like insulin can help people to live with diabetes by controlling their blood pressure and blood fats. Take control of the condition and get as much information as you can; you will become more confident which will make managing your diabetes easier.”
As soon as you recognise any of the symptoms you should talk to your local GP about a di-abetes test and the best treatment for you. Symptoms include:
• Needing to pass urine more than usual, especially at night
• Feeling thirsty more often
• Losing weight
• Feeling very tired more often
• Blurred eyesight
• Itchy genitals or having regular infections like thrush
• Having a cut that takes a long time to heal.
NHS West Lancashire CCG has a diabetes network where people can share their views and experiences of diabetes to help improve the delivery of care in the local community. As well as learning from the experiences of those with diabetes, the diabetes network aims to provide further education and support to help people manage diabetes. Meetings are held once every other month.
Greg Mitten, lay member for patient and public involvement on the board of NHS West Lan-cashire CCG, said: “This is a great opportunity for patients of any age to inform the CCG of their experiences. Together we can shape the service in a way that is tailored to the needs and expectations of those living with diabetes.”
For an initial conversation to find out more or to get involved with the CCG’s diabetes net-work, please contact Tanya Mulvey at NHS West Lancashire CCG on 01695 588170 or by email using tanya.mulvey@firstname.lastname@example.org The extent of your involvement is completely down to you and you are under no obligations.
To find out more about diabetes and to take a risk test, visit www.diabetes.org.uk