Are you at risk of developing Diabetes?

Be aware of the symptoms; check your lifestyle during Diabetes Week

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NHS Hounslow logoPeople living in Hounslow are being asked to carry out a lifestyle check during Diabetes Week (13-19 June 2010) to see if they are at risk of developing the disease. 

People over 40 years old and those from an ethnic background have an increased risk of having diabetes, but many more could be at risk because of a bad diet, being overweight and a lack of exercise.  

Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Normally this is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin helps the body turn glucose into energy.  

In people with diabetes the body can’t do this, either because there is not enough insulin being produced or the insulin doesn’t work properly. Although there is no cure, diabetes can be controlled by keeping blood glucose levels as normal as possible, which will also help to prevent health problems from developing later in life. 

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is when the body produces little or no insulin and insulin will need to be taken for life, usually through injections. Type 2 is when not enough insulin is produced or the body does not respond properly to insulin, and it may be possible to control this type of diabetes through diet, exercise and with tablets. 

NHS Hounslow is hoping by encouraging people to take stock of their lifestyle they can make changes which could reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. 

NHS Hounslow’s and London Borough of Hounslow Joint Director of Public Health, said: “By having a good, balanced diet, keeping your weight under control and staying active, you could be reducing your risk of developing diabetes. 

“A few lifestyle changes now could mean you won’t have to worry about an increased risk of developing heart, stroke or kidney disease, or your eyesight being damaged in the future. 

“Those in the higher risk groups include women with a waist measurement of 31.5 inches or more; Asian men with a waist 35 inches or over; or white and black males with a waist of 37 inches or more. 

“Age can play a part too, with older people more at risk, as well as those who are African-Caribbean or of south Asian origin. Anyone who has a close relative with the disease should also be more vigilant.” 

Diabetes symptoms can include:

  • feeling thirsty
  • frequent trips to the loo
  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • recurring thrush

NHS Hounslow is running a number of awareness and education sessions to help people manage diabetes. Patients with diabetes will be invited to group education sessions to help them understand more about diabetes and how to manage the condition. This will enable patients to become experts in their condition. The group sessions are being held in Hounslow, Feltham, Chiswick and Isleworth at various times to be convenient to patients, including evenings and weekends. There are also sessions available in different languages. 

More information can be found at or on Twitter at , join the facebook group  


June 16, 2010

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