How diabetes prevention changed Peter's life for the better
Date: 14 November 2018
Today, 14 November, is World Diabetes Day,
It is estimated that around 56,000 people in Oxfordshire are currently at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes - a life changing disease which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.
But Peter Clements is proof that taking measures to reduce the risk of developing diabetes can be life changing in a positive way.
Peter, 80, joined the NHS diabetes prevention programme (https://www.england.nhs.uk/diabetes/diabetes-prevention/ in the autumn of 2017 after his blood sugar levels revealed he could develop the condition.
Over the past year, Peter has lost nearly two stone in weight as a result of eating more healthily and exercising daily, thanks to the support he has received through the programme.
Peter, a retired sales representative who lives in Standlake, West Oxfordshire, said: “My GP said I needed to change my lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing diabetes as I was overweight.
“I thought I was healthy but obviously had let things slip. My GP referred me on to the prevention programme which runs weekly sessions in Eynsham. It has shown me how my body works so I can better understand the effects food and drink have on our health.
“The sessions got me motivated to lose weight through regular daily exercise – I try and walk three miles a day around the village and I have reduced my sugar and fat intake and eat more fruit. I now eat off smaller dinner plates than before so the meal portions are smaller. And I drink a lot more water and have reduced my alcohol consumption – this has had a big effect on my weight reduction.
“I’d like to thank the dedicated staff who have supported me at the sessions and the friends I’ve made there - we’ve all helped each other lose weight. My message to other people who want to reduce the risk of having diabetes is to tackle the issue with enthusiasm and make every effort to improve their lives by weight reduction and exercise – it can be done.”
Dr Amar Latif is Peter’s GP and the diabetes prevention lead at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. He said: “Peter has done amazingly well on the programme, and I’m pleased that he has been able to make some significant lifestyle changes with positive results. We are hoping that we are able to offer the same opportunities through this programme to patients across Oxfordshire.
“We all recognise that diabetes is a largely preventable disease and by working in partnership with our patients and providing greater education and support we are hopeful that we can improve their health both now and for the future.”
In Thame, former carer Heather Hobson was invited to attend a diabetes awareness session led by her local GP practice. As part of the session she had a blood test which showed she was at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Heather said: "When I heard I was at risk, I was frightened but wanted to get healthier for my husband's sake. He has Alzheimer's and I also help out with my grandchildren, one of whom has special needs." Since starting on the prevention programme, Heather has lost two stone and feels a lot fitter.
Since September 2017, nearly 750 people in Oxfordshire have started on the diabetes prevention programme, delivered by health services provider Ingeus, and on average have lost 3.4kg (7lbs) by changing their diet and doing more exercise. But some people have done even better and recorded weight loss of up to 16kg (45lbs).
Courses run across the whole county and patients are referred on to them by their local GP practice if blood test results show they are at risk of developing the condition.
For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Programme visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/diabetes/diabetes-prevention/
Taking steps to reduce your diabetes risk
- Date:14 November 2018