A healthy start to fighting diabetes

A healthy start to fighting diabetes

Health commissioners in West Lancashire are backing World Diabetes Day (14 November) by encouraging people to have a healthy start to their day.

Figures show that around the world over five million people die from diabetes. In West Lancashire almost 6000 people live with the condition while a further 2,500 have had a blood test which indicates they are at high risk of developing the chronic disease.

This year the focus is on raising awareness of the impact of a healthy breakfast and ensuring we give our bodies the best possible start to the day. A healthy breakfast could include Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, fruit, oatmeal or a fruit smoothie.

Over 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles. Eating a healthy breakfast and avoiding low-nutrient foods will help to reduce the risk of diabetes and avoid complications for people who already have the condition.

Healthy foods to consider include leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain foods such as oats and brown rice.

As well as a healthy breakfast, try being active for at least 30 minutes of the day, five times a week. You don’t need to join a gym; playing with your children, gardening or any other activity that raises your heart rate will help. By losing weight, you can control your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.

As soon as you recognise any of the symptoms below you should talk to your local GP about a diabetes test and the best treatment for you.

• 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.

Dr Bapi Biswas, a local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Breakfast is a very important meal so we must make sure that we’re getting as much from it as possible. Eating food that is lacking in nutrients or missing the meal altogether can lead to unhealthy eating patterns during the day which could lead to diabetes.

“You don’t need to banish the cakes and biscuits completely; you just need to eat them in moderation. By taking control of diabetes and learning as much as you can, you can help to avoid the condition or manage your diabetes if you already have it.”

Walking Away from Diabetes is a programme that provides support aimed at helping you manage your risk of developing diabetes. The courses are held at venues throughout West Lancashire and last for three hours. Trained facilitators will help you find out more about the risk of developing diabetes and help you think about making small changes to your lifestyle to reduce the risk.

If you answer yes to any of the questions below then you should make an appointment with your GP or practice nurse to talk about being referred to the Walking Away from Diabetes programme:

• Are you overweight with a waistline of more than 80cm for a woman or 94cm for a man
• Are you over 40 years old
• Do you have parents or a brother or sister with Type 2 Diabetes
• Are you a woman that had gestational diabetes or have had a baby weighing more than 4.5kgs (9.9lbs) a birth

NHW 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. To find out more visit email Tanya.mulvey@westlancashireccg.nhs.uk