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Diabetes Prevention Week - 16 - 22 April 2018

Pre-diabetes in Berkshire West
Some people have an increased risk of developing diabetes and some already have a condition known as “pre-diabetes” (impaired glucose tolerance), although they may not know it. This means their bodies have impaired processing of glucose (sugar). The greatest risk comes from being overweight or obese but some people inherit a genetic tendency from their family or racial background.

Pre-diabetes is nearly always without symptoms and is diagnosed by a fasting blood sugar test.

This condition is so important as it is associated with a 10-12 fold increased risk of developing diabetes itself (Type 2). Additionally, it carries a 2-3 fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease (mainly heart attack and stroke). Pre-diabetes does not progress to diabetes in all cases but should be viewed as a warning sign that this could occur. Changes in lifestyle can prevent this, such as improving diet, reducing weight and increasing exercise.

Although the actual prevalence is unknown, it is estimated that there are seven million people in the UK with pre-diabetes (study by Diabetes UK in 2009). The great majority are unaware of this and remain undiagnosed.

For some years in Berkshire West has run a programme to identify patients who have pre-diabetes. These patients are offered an annual review with a GP or nurse, including advice on how to make lifestyle changes that can prevent progression to diabetes itself. Without lifestyle change about 60% of people with pre-diabetes will become diabetic over the following 7-10 years.

Also if patients have either pre-diabetes or an increased risk of diabetes and fulfil a certain criteria, they can join the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) which is run by Public Health England in Berkshire West. The Berkshire NDPP is progressing well in its second year and we currently have over 2,300 referrals across the county.

The programme aims to raise awareness of the causes of Type 2 diabetes and the complications associated with it. Patients can ask their GP practice for a check for diabetes and/or ask about NDPP by calling 0800 092 1191 or emailing healthieryou.berkshire@nhs.net.

If you need medical help and are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 for help and advice. They are available 24 hours a day.