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11th June 2018

As the numbers of people with diabetes continues to rise, people in Milton Keynes are being urged to know the risks and to seek help if they think they have symptoms.

NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding people ahead of Diabetes Week (11 – 17 June) that they can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making some simple changes to their lifestyle.

More people than ever have diabetes. As lifestyles and diets are changing, many people are less physically active than in the past and therefore are becoming more overweight. If nothing changes, more than 5 million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025*.

Like the rest of the country, the Milton Keynes area is seeing an increase in people developing diabetes with 13,005* adults living with diabetes in Milton Keynes in 2016/17. This is an increase from 11,974 (7.9%) in March 2015*.

About 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. It can come on slowly, usually over the age of 40, but can occur in younger people as well. The signs may not be obvious, or there may be no signs at all, therefore it might be up to ten years before you find out you have the condition. If you are overweight or obese, you're at an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, so maintaining a healthy weight is key for prevention.

Type 2 diabetes can cause very serious health problems but sadly more people than ever are developing the condition, despite it being largely preventable. 

Dr Nicola Smith GP and Chair from NHS Milton Keynes CCG said:

“Type 2 diabetes represents a real threat to health and if left untreated can lead to stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Typical symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include feeling very thirsty, passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night, feeling very tired, weight loss and loss of muscle bulk. It's very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it will get progressively worse if left untreated.

“The good news is that around three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes. The best way to reduce your risk of diabetes is to eat a healthy diet, avoid snacks and sugar, exercise regularly – at least 30 minutes, five times a week – and control your weight. Being overweight is usually a sign that your sugar intake is too high, either through unhealthy snacks, or through ‘hidden’ sugars such as lots of bread, rice and pasta.

“You should aim to have a balanced diet by basing meals around vegetables and include healthy sources of fat such as unsalted tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), olive oil, avocado, oily fish, meat and full fat dairy.”

Call the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399 for any help or advice on diabetes or visit the Diabetes UK Milton Keynes group https://miltonkeynes.diabetesukgroup.org/

More information on Diabetes Week is available at http://bit.ly/2JtOD2e

Sources * Diabetes UK – http://bit.ly/2sGrnDL

*Milton Keynes Insight, JSNA 2016/17 - http://mkinsight.org/201617-jsna-diabetes/

*Milton Keynes Council, JSNA 2-15/16 - https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/draft-2015-16-jsna/draft-2015-16-jsna-adults-and-older-peoples-health/2015-16-draft-jsna-diabetes