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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 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • type 2 diabetes – where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

During pregnancy, some women have such high levels of blood glucose that their body is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb it all. This is known as gestational diabetes.

Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes.

This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.

It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated. For people with pre-diabetes and those that are more at risk of developing diabetes, the NHS England/NHS Improvement Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) is a pro-active, behavioural change programme for patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

There are currently five million people in England who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if these trends persist, one in ten will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, which evidence shows in many cases is preventable.

As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for just under 9% of the annual NHS budget, around £8.8 million per year.

One referral now could save future time and costs – if you think you’re eligible, please speak with your local GP or nurse and ask if you can be referred onto this programme – to help improve your health and wellbeing, as well as reducing the chances of becoming diabetic.

The benefits

By joining the programme, you’ll reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and complications associated with, by way of a 9 month intervention programme providing the tools, resources and ongoing support required to implement and maintain lifestyle changes, including:

  • Nutrition for health
  • Physical activity
  • Problem-solving

Patients can ‘self-refer’ themselves directly once they have spoken with their local practice. Documents will be given – please complete these, register online or call 0800 092 1191.

Further details about diabetes can also be found on our website here. We also have a collection of useful videos to watch in our Health TV section here