LETTER: Check your risk of Type 2 diabetes

Your letters
Your letters

I urge everyone to check their risk of Type 2 diabetes today on World Health Day (April 7) by getting online and using Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk tool.

In the lead up to the global awareness day, which this year has adopted the theme ‘Beat Diabetes’, I am wondering if your readers are aware that although men are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes they are less likely than women to check their risk?

I wish I had been able to go online and check mine. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 14 years ago and recognise what a shock to the system this can be.

Recent findings from Diabetes UK revealed men to be 38 per cent less likely to check their risk of Type 2 than women, so while I recommend everyone does this, I am writing especially to urge all Sussex men to go online and check their risk.

Diabetes UK estimates there are 7,000 people in West Sussex who have Type 2 but don’t know it. But diagnosis can make all the difference as it means people can start learning about their condition and how to manage it well, giving them the best chance to live a long healthy life and avoid complications. The most important risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. This is something people can do something about by maintaining a healthy weight through eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise. Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are ethnicity and family history if you have a parent, child, brother or sister who has diabetes.

Diabetes UK’s Know Your Risk online tool has now been used over one million times and it has never been simpler to check your risk - the tool takes you through seven quick questions and takes less than three minutes to complete.

If you do find out you are at moderate or high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes we advise you speak to your GP. By finding out your risk early, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of developing Type 2 and avoid complications such as amputation, blindness and kidney damage in the future.

You can check your risk score for Type 2 diabetes now by visiting The Diabetes UK risk score site.

Dennis Chapman

Chair, West Sussex Downs Diabetes UK Local Group

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