The earlier diabetes is discovered, the better your chances of reducing the risks. SARAH FOSTER finds out how a roadshow will help people in Portsmouth.
Health experts have often called the UK’s problem with diabetes a ticking time bomb.
Diabetes is one of the most common conditions affecting people in the country today – 3.7 million people have the condition, which currently costs the NHS almost £10 billion each year.
But it’s thought that many more people could be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years without even knowing about it.
If the condition is not diagnosed early enough, or is left untreated, it is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.
And that’s why free diabetes tests will be offered to people in Portsmouth later this month.
Diabetes UK will bring its Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow to Commercial Road on Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27.
Supported by Bupa, the roadshow will run from 9am until 5pm and give people the chance to find out if they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.
If their risk is moderate to high, they will be referred to their GP for further advice or tests.
An on-site dietitian will also be available to advise on how to make small, positive lifestyle changes, such as adopting a diet low in fat, salt and sugar, and taking regular physical activity, which can have a significant impact on preventing someone from developing the condition.
Risk factors – such as being overweight, having a large waist size, being over 40 or having a close relative with diabetes – will be highlighted and people will be encouraged to alter their lifestyles. Sixty per cent of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through lifestyle changes.
Jill Steaton, south east regional manager, says: ‘We estimate there are 850,000 people in the UK who are at risk of developing the condition, but worryingly, there are around 2,300 people in Portsmouth alone that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do.’
The roadshows are being supported by money raised from the Bupa Great Run series, for which Diabetes UK is the nominated charity partner.
Anyone unable to attend the roadshow can still assess their risk of diabetes by taking a free test online at diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore