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Around 3.9 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK and 90% of those affected have type 2 diabetes.

Nearly 60,000 Derbyshire adults are currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and more than 70,000 are pre-diabetic and are at a higher risk of developing the condition.

Health professionals in Derby and Derbyshire are working together to prevent more people developing type 2 diabetes.

A new scheme is being launched across the county called Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

People at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes will receive a letter inviting them to take part in the new Healthier You programme.

If you've received an invitation from your GP to take part then please do - it's one of the best things you can do to help prevent diabetes.

You can learn more about the programme from the information attached to this page.

You'll also find information about type 2 diabetes, the signs and symptoms, the health implications and more about the new Healthier You programme.

You can read more about how diabetes affects people's lives in our real life case studies attached to this page.

Types and effects of diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.

There are 2 main types of diabetes:

  • type 1 - where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin and is not related to lifestyle
  • type 2 - where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. It's far more common than type 1 diabetes - approximately 90% of diabetes is type 2.

Undiagnosed and untreated diabetes can have serious long term health implications including cardiovascular disease, blindness, foot ulcers, kidney disease and lower limb amputation.

In England the cost of type 2 diabetes to the NHS is around £8.8bn or 9% of the NHS budget.

Signs and symptoms

Some of the main symptoms of diabetes include:

  • urinating more often than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very thirsty
  • feeling very tired
  • unexplained weight loss
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision (caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry)

Five of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are:

  • age – being over the age of 40 (over 25 for South Asian people)
  • genetics – having a close relative with the condition (parent, brother or sister)
  • weight – being overweight or obese
  • ethnicity – being of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin
  • pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life

Reduce your risk

To find out if you might be at risk of type 2 diabetes you can take the Know Your Risk test at Diabetes UK.

The good news is that type 2 diabetes is often preventable with simple lifestyle changes and this is what the Healthier You programme will help you to do.

If you're at risk of type 2 diabetes you should take these actions:

  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • lose weight (if overweight) and maintain a healthy weight
  • stop smoking
  • drink alcohol in moderation
  • take plenty of regular exercise

If you already have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your symptoms by making these changes. This will also reduce your risk of developing complications.

For more information about diabetes and advice and help on living with the condition visit Diabetes UK.

You can also find out how small changes can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing at  One You.

Type 2 Diabetes X-PERT Education Programme

If you have type 2 diabetes, taking part in an education programme is important in order to help you to understand your condition. That way you can learn how to control it and have the best quality of life possible.

The diabetes education programme is delivered through group sessions that includes information and support on:

  • the impact of being diagnosed with diabetes
  • how food affects your diabetes
  • healthy eating
  • medication
  • the positive effects of exercise
  • planning your diabetes care
  • local services available to support your own health goals

Each course is run by trained diabetes educators and will help you to understand your condition and answer some of the questions you may have. These programmes are not suitable for people on insulin or who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

South Derbyshire and Derby residents

If you live in the south of the county or in Derby the education programme is called X-PERT. The 'X-PERT Health Diabetes Programme' is award winning and delivers structured education over 6 weeks in sessions of two and a half hours per week.

Diabetes and You (DAY) education programme

If you live in the north of the county the type 2 diabetes education programme is called Diabetes and You. It's delivered in either one whole day or 2 half days.

You can ask your GP or practice nurse to refer you onto the programme. On receipt of the referral, an invitation letter is sent out with a list of dates and venues and contact details in order to book a place on a course.

If the service doesn't hear from you, they will try to contact you by phone to see whether you still wish to attend and will help you book onto a course.

Or you can self-refer by using the contact information. We'll then contact your GP practice to ask them for some information about your diabetes.

To book a place, or for further information about the education programmes, contact:

You're welcome to bring along a friend, family member or carer to your group sessions. If groups are not for you our educators can offer telephone support. Please contact the service for more information.