The Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow will be visiting Market Square, Nelson, tomorrow (Thursday), from 9am to 5pm. and Friday. from 9am to 4-30pm, to offer people a free Type 2 diabetes risk assessment.
An estimated 7,800 people across East Lancashire have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it and the roadshow aims to tackle this by highlighting the risk factors and encouraging the public to make lifestyle changes.
The Pendle Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow is also part of the East Lancashire Diabetes Awareness campaign in which Diabetes UK is working with the NHS to raise awareness of diabetes and ensure the 27,000 people across the region who live with diabetes are receiving the healthcare the condition requires.
Diabetes, one of the most common conditions affecting people in the UK, is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation if it is not diagnosed early or left untreated.
The roadshow will raise awareness of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which include being overweight or having a large waist, being aged over 40 (or over 25 in black and South Asian people) and having a close relative with diabetes. At-risk waist measurements are 37in. or more for men, except those of South Asian origin, who are at risk at 35in. or more, and 31.5in. or more for all women.
Diabetes UK staff will offer free diabetes risk assessment tests, which indicate a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years. If this risk is moderate to high, people will be referred to their GP for advice or tests. People can also find out, from an on-site dietitian how to make lifestyle changes by adopting a healthy diet low in fat, salt and sugar and taking regular physical activity.
The roadshow promotes a more active way of life, as small and simple lifestyle changes combined with fun physical activity can have a significant impact on preventing someone from developing the condition. In fact, 60% of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented through lifestyle change.
With diabetes often undiagnosed for years, it is particularly important for people to seek advice if they are experiencing symptoms which include going to the toilet (urinating) more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts and wounds and blurred vision.
Julie Byron, Diabetes UK, North West Regional Manager said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing us today. There are 850,000 people at risk of developing the condition in England but what is more frightening is there are around 7,800 people in East Lancashire alone that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do. I would urge everyone who can to visit Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow. It could be the best thing you ever do for your health.”
Anyone unable to attend the Roadshow can still assess their risk of diabetes by taking the free Diabetes UK Risk Score test online at www.diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore1. If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.