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​The truth about diabetes – Diabetes Awareness Week


Southwark GPs and nurses are encouraging local people to find out the truth about diabetes and what it's like to live with the condition during Diabetes Awareness Week, which runs from 12-18 June.

Over 14,000 adults have diabetes in Southwark – that's around 6% of the population.  Around ten per cent of these are for Type 1 Diabetes (also known as juvenile onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), meaning that the vast majority of diagnoses are for Type 2 Diabetes – a condition normally associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity or lack of exercise.

"Diabetes has been grabbing the headlines for some time, due to the huge increase in the number of people diagnosed with the condition in recent years" says Linda Drake, Practice Nurse and Clinical Lead for diabetes for NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  "As a result, we often read conflicting stories about diabetes, what causes it and what it's like to live with the condition.

"It's important that people have access to the right information about diabetes, such as the signs and symptoms of the condition, what you can do to lower your risk, and also the help and support available locally to help you get on with life."

The main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • feeing very thirsty

  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night

  • feeling very tired

  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly

  • blurred vision

Find out more about diabetes and how to prevent is on the NHS Choices website.

Healthier you: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme South London

Southwark residents will be some of the first in the country to be offered places on the world's first evidence based behavioural programme to help them avoid developing Type 2 diabetes. People suitable for the Healthier You – NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme South London, will be identified via the NHS Health Checks programme or their GP practice.

Referrals will begin this summer and those who join the programme will get tailored, personalised help, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Local support

Diabetes UK hosts a number of support groups across London and the south east. The groups are run by volunteers and meet regularly, providing a forum for patients, carers or those with a special interest in diabetes to get together, share experiences and learn more about the condition.

Find details of your local diabetes support group

Be a diabetes community champion

If you want your community to be healthier and would like to get involved in community based health promotion work – we need you.

We are working with Diabetes UK to recruit Diabetes Community Champions to educate and raise awareness of and help prevent diabetes. It is an opportunity to engage and connect with your local community and build your confidence while helping you to develop new skills.

Find out more about how to become a diabetes community champion in Southwark using the contact details below.

Email: communitychampions@diabetes.org.uk

Call: 0800 138 1639 or 0208 424 1833