Diabetes awareness week: Campaign in Cumbria

Cumbria Diabetes are working with Diabetes UK to raise awareness of diabetes for national Diabetes Week (10th – 16th June).

Diabetes UK is holding a series of events, including in Kendal on the 13th June in the Westmorland Shopping Centre. A two day roadshow in Carlisle will also take place on the 10th and 11th July.

Cumbria Diabetes, provided by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be there to explain how people can take steps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and how diabetics can effectively manage their condition.

In Cumbria almost 23,000 people live with diabetes, and approximately 7,000 have the condition but do not know it.

Dr Robert Westgate, GP Lead for Cumbria Diabetes, explains:

“These events are a great opportunity to talk to local people about the best ways to prevent and manage diabetes. Diabetes services in Cumbria are leading the way in improving and promoting support for self-management. We offer a number of educational courses and support people to take more control over their own health through a Care Planning partnership approach.

"We are now also running a new educational course called Walking Away From Diabetes, which aims to help people who are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to prevent its onset. This is a major step forward in preventing diabetes. This evidence based programme helps people to understand more about their health and enables behaviour change, to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

– Dr Robert Westgate

If you feel as though you would benefit from this programme please visit one of the roadshows, visit your GP or contact Cumbria Diabetes on 01229 403535.

Below are five top tips for managing the risk of diabetes:

  • Get active – getting fit and losing weight (if you are currently overweight) can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Adults should aim to do at least two and a half hours exercise a week.
  • Stop smoking – smoking can increase cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, all of which can increase the risk of diabetes and make it hard to manage the symptoms if you do develop the condition. For help quitting smoking call the Cumbria NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01900 324222 or text ‘QUIT’ to 82540.
  • Eat a healthy diet – eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential. You don’t have to cut out all the things you enjoy; eating healthily is about moderation. Eat less sugar and fatty foods, and try to include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
  • Drink sensibly - There’s no need to give up alcohol completely if you have diabetes, but drinking sensibly will help manage the risks. It is recommended that you have no more than 2 units per day for women and 3 units per day for men. For more information and to track your alcohol intake, click here
  • Visit your GP - if you have any concerns about your health, or you think you may be at a high risk of developing diabetes, visit your GP and they will be able to advise you how to reduce the risk.

Ryan Dollard sent this report for ITV Border