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GPs urge people in Lambeth to "See Diabetes differently"

GPs in Lambeth are calling on people to "understand your diabetes risk" as part of a nationwide drive to tackle the condition which affects more than 25,000 people in the borough.

During Diabetes Week (10-16 June), people are being encouraged to learn more about the condition – including how to avoid developing it and how to manage it if they have it.

In the UK, around one in 15 people (4.7million) are currently living with diabetes, including one million who are not aware they have it. According to Public Health England, an estimated 25,415 people in Lambeth have the condition – around 9.1 per cent of the population.

Dr Adrian McLachlan, a local GP and Chair of NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

"Diabetes is a lifelong condition so it's really important that everyone is aware of how it can develop, what can be done to prevent it, and how to deal with it if you have it.

"Many cases of diabetes are preventable, which is why it's important to get a free NHS health check if you are over 40 or to use the 'Know Your Risk' tool."

There are 2 main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

Although there are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight or inactive.

Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but some people are at more risk than others including:

  • People over 40
  • Black or south Asian people over 25
  • Those with a close relative (e.g. parent, sibling) who has type 2 diabetes
  • People who are overweight (especially around the middle)
  • Those with, or who have had, high blood pressure
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers
  • People with a sedentary lifestyle
  • Those who have had a heart attack, stroke, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, or are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
  • Someone who has had polycystic ovarian syndrome, gestational diabetes, or has given birth to a baby weighing over 10 pounds
  • Those who have disturbed sleep.

If you would like to find out if you're at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, you can check online using a free 'Know Your Risk' tool at www.riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/

If you're over 40, you can book a free NHS health check with your GP.  If you're found to be at risk, your GP can refer you to the Healthier You programme for advice and support.

For those who do have diabetes, just getting through the day can be an achievement, but it doesn't mean life stops. People with diabetes have become professional athletes, topped the charts and ruled the country so managing the condition is vital.

For more information, go to www.diabetes.org.uk/.