It's time to take the signs of diabetes seriously this World Diabetes Day

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

People across south Sefton are being urged not to ignore signs and symptoms this World Diabetes Day (14 November 2018).

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes the blood sugar level to be too high.  Across Sefton, 6,500 are classed as being 'at risk' of developing type 2 diabetes - but it is preventable.

Dr Nigel Taylor, GP and diabetes lead at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It's really important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. 

"Making sure you know the symptoms means that you can work to make the changes you need to, to make sure it doesn't get worse."

The signs to look out for are:                        

  • feeling very thirsty
  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

Not being diagnosed or not managing diabetes properly once diagnosed can lead to serious health problems - heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, problems with your feet, blindness and problems with your kidneys.  In women, it can also contribute to miscarriage and stillbirth.

Dr Taylor added: “Not managing diabetes properly can lead to serious complications, this is why there is lots of support available to help with you, including our Diabetes Education Programme.”

Provided by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, ‘Diabetes and You’ is a programme for people who have been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. ‘Diabetes and More’ is for people who have been living with the condition for more than a year. 

These sessions are free, informal and are a great way of meeting other people who are also keen to learn more about managing their condition and are designed to make living with diabetes as manageable for you as possible.

After taking part in a two-day refresher course, Stan Fortune, 78, is still bowling them over in three competitions every week to help keep his Type 2 diabetes under control.

Mr Fortune said: “You can always learn something and you have to help yourself.

"I understand things I didn’t before, like which foods to eat. 

"I find it hard to lose weight so it really helped me – you’ve got to be interested in your body to live an active life.

"I want to keep doing what I do so I’d tell anyone to go – I’m glad I did”.

To find out more about these programmes or to book directly onto a course, contact the South Sefton Community Diabetes Team by calling 0151 475 4285 or speak to your GP or practice nurse about being referred.

Or visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes

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