What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. In type 2 diabetes, this is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or your body's cells not reacting to insulin.
Diabetes is a serious condition which can lead to major health problems, such as heart disease, blindness and even amputations. If you are at risk of developing the condition, you should take action now.
Who is at risk?
You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if:
you are over the age of 40 (or over 25 for people of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin, even if you were born in the UK)
you have a close relative with the condition, such as a parent or sibling
you are overweight or obese.
If you have been told that you are at a high risk of developing diabetes, your GP will explain the condition to you and help you understand how to prevent it.
The first thing you will need to consider is making lifestyle changes including:
losing weight if you're overweight
NHS diabetes prevention programme
If you've had a blood test or an NHS health check, your GP can also refer you to the Healthier You: NHS diabetes prevention programme, which offers free support to help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The nine-month programme is led by trained coaches at sessions held across the borough. These session will help you make long-term changes to your lifestyle that can help you to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, and will help you to feel more energetic and healthy.
What happens if you are diagnosed?
If you can make lifestyle changes to keep your blood glucose at a safe level, you may not need other treatment. However, as the condition worsens over time you may eventually need to take medication to help control your blood glucose levels.
You can visit the Healthier You website to find out more information about the programme.