Type 2 diabetes is a serious health issue. As well as all the other problems diabetes can cause (including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes), we now know that those with diabetes are at higher risk of being seriously affected by Covid-19.
Many people living in the UK have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, so The NHS is asking as many people as possible to check their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through the quick and easy ‘Know Your Risk’ tool – Click here to check your risk.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
It’s a condition that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high.
It increases your risk of developing serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves.
It’s caused by problems with a hormone called insulin and is often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family history of the condition.
What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?
Many people have Type 2 Diabetes without realising. Symptoms include feeling very thirsty, very tired or losing weight unexpectedly. Age, family history, weight and ethnic origin can all influence your level of risk. Find a full list of symptoms here and see your GP immediately if you have any symptoms.
Lowering My Risk
Once you have completed the ‘Know Your Risk’ assessment you may find you are at some risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Luckily there are ways we can all lower our risk such as:
Getting support to lose weight if needed.
We know change can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start but making small changes to our daily routine are key to sticking with it and there is lots of support available to get you on the right path and keep you there.
If your at risk ask you GP about referrals for the following:
– Weight-loss programmes or groups
– Nutrition advice and access to a registered dietitian
– Exercise referral programmes
– Other local services to help you move more and eat better
You may also be eligible for support from the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. After a referral from your GP or Health Practitioner, you can receive tailored, personalised support to reduce your risk including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and physical exercise programmes.
Talk to family and friends, they can offer support and encouragement. A healthier lifestyle is good for everyone so your whole family can join in!
Exercise at home. While it can be hard to stay active during lockdown, there’s never been more online exercise classes available. Even getting out for a walk every day will help and it does wonders for your mental health. Here’s some of our top tips for staying active during lockdown.
Most importantly, over half of all Type 2 Diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented, you just have to start now!