Diabetes testing hits the road

EARLY WARNING ... people attending Diabetes UK's Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow in King Street, South Shields.
EARLY WARNING ... people attending Diabetes UK's Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow in King Street, South Shields.

SCORES of South Tynesiders discovered if they were at risk of developing life-changing complications at a diabetes roadshow.

Members of Diabetes UK held a two-day Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow in King Street, South Shields, to reach the borough’s estimated 2,300 residents who don’t realise they have the disease.

Staff offered risk assessment tests to 186 shoppers, which predicts a person’s chances of developing Type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years.

Sixty per cent of those tested – 112 people – were referred to their GP for further advice as their risk was deemed moderate to high.

Linda Wood, regional manager for Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire, said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing us today.

“It’s frightening that there are about 2,300 people in South Tyneside alone that have Type 2 diabetes, but have no idea they do.

“I am pleased that the Diabetes UK Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow was able to help people find out if they were at risk of the condition.”

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly – known as insulin resistance.

If the condition is not diagnosed early enough or left untreated, it can lead to devastating complications like stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.

The roadshow is supported by the Big Lottery Fund and run in partnership with Mend (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do it!) an organisation which provides healthy lifestyle programmes to families.

People attending the event, last Thursday and Friday, were also able to register for Mend’s healthy lifestyle programmes, to manage their weight and improve health.

The symptoms of diabetes include urinating more often – especially at night – increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of wounds, and blurred vision.

For more information, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore1

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