Wednesday 14 November is World Diabetes Day – every year we use this day as an opportunity to internationally promote the issues most important in the world of diabetes.
There is strong international evidence which demonstrates how behavioural interventions, which support people to maintain a healthy weight and be more active, can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) identifies those at high risk and refers them onto a behaviour change programme.
Following a period of ill health a few years ago I had a blood test which showed my blood sugar levels were really high and I was at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes so my doctor suggested a referral to the DPP.
I started the programme in April 2018 and since completing it in October I feel there has been a massive improvement in both my physical health and mental well-being. I now have much more energy and I am more active without becoming breathless and tired.
The only real difficulty I encountered was when going away on holidays and wanting to relax my eating habits, I do my best to only eat when I am actually hungry, watch the size of my portions, only drink in moderation and stopped snacking between meals. I’ve had moments where I have lapsed but I don’t beat myself up about it and usually counteract it by doing more exercise and recovering my diet the next day.
I try to monitor my measurements on a regular basis and if I notice any negative increases I check what I have done over this period and adjust my eating and exercise.
I would suggest the course to anyone who is at risk of developing this condition. My advice would be not to expect a magic potion or pill that will instantly cure all your ills. The programme is designed as a self-help course run by qualified health and wellbeing coaches who give well documented advice and guidance on the options that are available for you to change your lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To get the full benefits it is essential that you listen to the advice and guidance provided.
Be positive and stick to it even if there appears at first to be little improvement. Take regular measurements and if there are negative results look at your diet and exercise schedule and if necessary adjust accordingly. Getting your first positive result is a real motivator so praise yourself and let it be your motivation to carry on and reach the goals you have set.
I’m so happy that I have found a programme that suits me and my goals!