- What is diabetes like?
- Your own risk of getting diabetes?
- 7 steps to prevent diabetes.
[Time to read: 8 mins]
1. What is diabetes like?
Want to know more about what it is like to get everlasting diabetes? Watch video stories of people like you getting diabetes. Almost 9% of adults in England have it, that is 1 adult in every 11 [Evidence ref. no. 28].
2. Your own risk of getting diabetes?
9 out of every 10 of us with diabetes have Type 2.
Other things increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes [3, 9]. These include:
- Having a close family member (parent, brother or sister) with Type 2 diabetes
- Being of South Asian or African-Caribbean background – these ethnic groups are twice as likely to get diabetes 
- Having had a heart attack or a stroke
- Having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
The more of these risk things you have, the more likely you are to get diabetes .
3. Seven steps to avoid diabetes
- Step 1. Have a look at the UK NHS on causes of diabetes, and how to prevent it.
- Step 2. If you are at risk, ask your GP if you can join the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, launched by Public Health England, with NHS England and charity Diabetes UK. This helps people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes reduce their risk by improving their diet, drinking less alcohol, losing weight, more regular exercise and drugs if needed.
- Step 3. Watch Pam Cleavely’s NHS Video story, about when she was on the way to getting diabetes, and how the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme can help people avoid Type 2 diabetes.
- Step 4. As the World Health Organisation says, “Effective ways are available to prevent Type 2 diabetes and to prevent complications and early death. Actions that contribute to good health for everyone: exercise regularly, eat healthily, avoid smoking, control blood pressure and control cholesterol” . Starting earlier is easier than later!
If you are at high risk of prediabetes, ask your GP for a blood test (OGTT). If you have it, use it to prevent yourself going on to get diabetes. If you get your prediabetes diagnosed early in the 5 years or so that you have it, you have a good chance to avoid getting diabetes. This means changing your ‘Lifestyle‘ [3, 9], supported by drugs if needed. So use it or lose it!
Step 6. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight (with a lot of body fat) [9, 10]. Also a big risk for heart and stroke diseases. Are you overweight? Look at the NHS weight chart to find out, and their simple tips to lose weight. Try the NHS weight loss plan?
Step 7. Actions? If you think you may already have prediabetes, or are at risk of it, or think you have symptoms of diabetes, get your GP to test you. Decide on changes in your lifestyle. Put them in your own health plan.
page updated 6 Sept. 2019. © 2019 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.