Men urged to join the fight against diabetes

The local NHS is urging men to wise-up about Type 2 diabetes and make sure they don’t miss any signs that they may be developing or even have the condition.

As part of the successful Bradford Beating Diabetes (BBD) campaign, a free men’s health awareness event is taking place on Tuesday 18 October, from 10.30am to 1.30pm, at Carlisle Business Centre, Bradford.

Type 2 diabetes is the biggest threat to health in the country and a major health issue in Bradford. The BBD campaign is designed to make the public aware, active and healthy to reduce the number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in Bradford.

And it’s well known that men often overlook symptoms of diabetes and put off going to the doctor until serious complications develop.

So BBD has teamed up with Manningham Healthy Living Initiative to offer a drop-in session specifically for men. Diabetes and blood pressure checks will be on offer, along with information stands, nutrition advice and simple lifestyle changes people can make to help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

NEW BBD logo 1

The CCGs are already working with thousands of people who have been identified as being at high risk of developing diabetes. Letters are being sent to all those people who are already at moderate or high risk, so they come to their GP practice for another blood test to check their glucose levels – a key indicator of diabetes. Then, depending on the results, they will be offered a tailor-made package of treatment and advice.

Since the BBD campaign started, over 22,000 people at risk of Type 2 diabetes have been seen by a healthcare assistant at their local GP practice, and over 2,000 of those have been referred to a diabetes prevention programme.

The programmes are informal and friendly but with key messages about lifestyle changes including healthy eating and exercise – all of which will be aimed at preventing and delaying the onset of diabetes. These lifestyle changes also reduce the risk of developing other serious conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.

Dr Sohail Abbas, clinical lead for diabetes at Bradford City CCG, said: “There are two popular myths about diabetes. One is that it is caused only by obesity and doesn't affect other people, and the other is that it's not serious because it can be managed with diet or injections. Neither is true: ignoring the symptoms of diabetes is very dangerous.

“Our message is that if you’re concerned about Type 2 diabetes, talk to your pharmacist or GP for healthy living advice. It’s important that everyone understands their risk and how to reduce it.”

Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss as it develops more slowly, especially in the early stages when it can be harder to spot the symptoms. But untreated diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, kidneys and can lead to sexual dysfunction in men.

The good news is that you can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes by knowing your risk and simple lifestyle interventions. And if you have developed Type 2 diabetes, then being diagnosed early and controlling your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications.

Diabetes signs you shouldn’t miss include:

  • excessive fatigue
  • unexplained weight gain or unexplained weight loss
  • slow wound healing
  • excess sleep
  • recurrent infections such as skin boils and urine infections
  • frequent urination
  • increased thirst
  • blurred vision.

For more information about diabetes and how to prevent it, visit the Bradford Beating Diabetes website.