There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than Type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2.
Every two minutes someone finds out that they have Type 2 diabetes. There are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK. This figure has more than doubled since 1996, when there were 1.4 million. If current trends persist one in five people will develop Type 2 diabetes by 2025.
Currently more than 63,000 people in Lancashire have Type 2 diabetes (aged 17+) and more than 45,000 people in Lancashire are estimated to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The areas with the highest numbers of people living with Type 2 diabetes include Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and East Lancashire.
Type 2 diabetes develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age. It is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation (other than accidents). People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than those without diabetes.
It’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible because Type 2 diabetes will get progressively worse if left untreated.
Early diagnosis may also reduce the risk of developing complications later on. It’s very important that you find out if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes because then you can get support to lower your risk of, or even stop you, developing the condition. You may also be eligible to sign up for your local Healthier You service. The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced significantly by reducing weight, increasing physical activity and improving diet.
Find out more about Type 2 diabetes here.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors:
- Your age. You’re more at risk if you’re over 40 and white, or over 25 and African-Caribbean, Black-African, Chinese or South Asian
- Your family history. You’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes
- Your ethnicity. You’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you’re Chinese, South Asian, African-Caribbean or Black-African
- Your weight. You’re more at risk if you’re overweight, especially if you’re large around the middle
- Your blood pressure. You’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
You’re also more at risk if:
- You’ve ever had a heart attack or stroke
- You’ve ever had schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or if you are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
- You’re a woman who’s had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds.
You can’t change some of these risk factors. But others you can. The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced significantly by reducing your weight, increasing the amount of physical activity that you do and improving your diet. The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) can support you in taking action in all these areas. Making changes now can lower your risk or even stop you developing Type 2 diabetes.
Find out if you’re at risk – you can do this by visiting www.diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk
Your local Healthier You service
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) can help you put your health back in your hands and reduce your risk of developing this very serious health condition.
People from Lancashire and South Cumbria who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes are being offered tailored support to avoid the potentially life-threatening condition.
Those who have been identified by their GP practice as being at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes will be able to access the local Healthier You service.
Reed Momenta is the provider who will deliver the programme, which is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.
Lancashire is one of 13 areas nationally that will continue to roll out the programme following the initial roll out in 27 parts of England in 2016.
People on the programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk. This will include education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weight through bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease. The NHS DPP will have full coverage across England by 2020. By then, up to 100,000 people will have access to its services each year.
Watch Tom’s story
This animation follows Tom who has been told he is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
It looks at how Tom can prevent the disease from developing and how he got the help and support he needed from the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.