Leeds residents urged to #SeeDiabetesDifferently

One in ten Leeds residents will be affected by diabetes – either because they have it already or are at high risk of developing it. Tens of thousands more know someone with the condition.

Yet despite it becoming increasingly common, the condition can be hard to understand and difficult to talk about.

That’s why for Diabetes Week this year (10-16 June), NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting a Diabetes UK campaign to help people know more about the condition, how it feels to live with it and encourage people to talk about it.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood glucose (blood sugar) level to become too high, which can have serious health consequences.  In Leeds, out of a population of around 800,000 people, approximately 44,000 people have diabetes, and a further 36,000 are at high risk of developing it. People with African-Caribbean and South Asian ancestry are more than twice as likely develop the condition.

There are a number of types of diabetes, but the most common are type 2 and then type 1 diabetes. .

Type 1 is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Approximately 10% of adults and 90% of children with diabetes will have type 1. At present, this type cannot be prevented.

Type 2 is where the body tissues don’t react to insulin properly and over time the body produces less insulin too; 90% of adults with diabetes have this type. For many people, type 2  diabetes can be prevented or significantly delayed by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and by exercising regularly. .

Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds CC,G said: “There are several types of diabetes. Early symptoms can include feeling very thirsty, tired and experiencing blurred vision. Some people don’t have any symptoms, so if you’re in a high risk group for type 2 diabetes because of your ethnic background or your weight and lifestyle, it’s a good idea to talk to a health care professional.

“Diabetes can have serious health consequences; however with careful management, people with the condition can continue to lead full, healthy and active lives.”

If you or someone you know is at risk of or has developed diabetes, there’s lots of help available in Leeds:

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, ask your diabetes team about the support available in Leeds, including the DAFNE diabetes self-management programme..
  • If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can learn how to manage the condition through the LEEDS programme. There are sessions across the city, at weekends and on evenings. To find out more or to book your place, please call 0113 843 4200 or visit leedscommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services-a-z/diabetesservice/the-leeds-programme
  • The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free personalised programme to help you with your weight, healthy eating and exercise. Speak to your GP practice team to check if you’re eligible for the programme.
  • You can find out your risk of getting type 2 diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/risk
  • More information, including links to information resource and support, is available at www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/healthy-living/diabetes

In Leeds, the CCG has just published a new strategy that sets out how health organisations are working together to deliver the best outcomes for all people at risk of or living with diabetes. The strategy has been developed with NHS providers, diabetes charities, voluntary sector organisations, patients and carers.

You can find out more at https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/publications/leeds-diabetes-strategy-2019-2024/