The Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow will visit Newtown Gardens (near Cherryfield Drive and Kirkby Library) L32 8RR on 23 & 24 April from 9am to 5pm, to offer people in the area a free Type 2 diabetes risk assessment to discover whether they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes5.
An estimated 1,600 people in Knowsley NHS have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it and the roadshow aims to tackle this by highlighting the risk factors and encouraging members of the public to make lifestyle changes.
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 enough or is 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 37 inches or more for men, except those of South Asian origin who are at risk at 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for all women.
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.
MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!), an organisation which provides free healthy lifestyle programmes for child and adults, are partnering with Diabetes UK to run the roadshows. Visitors will have the chance to sign up for a free six-week gym membership and become fitter, healthier and happier with MEND’s More Active Health programme. The healthy lifestyle programme will give people one-on-one coaching and the tools to become more active and turn their unhealthy habits around.
With diabetes often undiagnosed for several 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, 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 that there are around 1,600 people in NHS Knowsley 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.”
Diabetes UK and MEND have been awarded £413,722 from the Big Lottery Fund to support 70 roadshows in England during 2011 and 2012.
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.