London Borough of Enfield

London Borough of Enfield London Borough of Enfield logo

A to Z of services

Diabetes guide sets out five health steps

Published Monday, 07 April 2014

‘Living with diabetes’ is Enfield Council’s handy guide for diabetics to help them stay healthy and to reduce complications associated with their condition. It sets out five simple steps: eat healthily; be more active; don’t miss medication; quit smoking; and have regular check- ups.

Explained in an easy style, this guide contains straightforward facts about diabetes and good practical advice.

It reminds individuals of the importance of tests for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol and encourages them to set and write down goals to help to stay healthy.

Diabetes is a failure of the pancreas gland to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar in the blood. It can be a lifelong condition (type one); or develop in older people (type two).

People with type one diabetes are usually born with the condition or develop it in childhood or as teenagers. They have to learn how to control it with insulin injections and to regularly check the sugar in their blood.

Type two diabetes is most common in older people, and it is a serious condition but it can often be controlled by changes to lifestyle including diet, exercise and drugs to regulate the sugar.

It is linked to obesity often affecting people over the age of 40, although concerns are growing as younger people are being diagnosed.

Cllr Christine Hamilton, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health said: “In Enfield there are about 15,000 people with diabetes; it is estimated that another 4,000 people may have it without knowing.

“Diabetes can be hard to spot but some of the classic symptoms such as a raging thirst or fatigue could be signs. Blood and urine tests can confirm diabetes. Untreated, diabetes can affect kidneys, eyes and heart.

“Although diabetes is a lifelong condition, it should not be life-limiting. We know that some ethnic minorities living in Enfield are more prone to diabetes and we have therefore produced the guide in Somali and Turkish.

“We are determined to get the message out to people that taking the five steps in the guide will help to maintain a healthy life.”

Dr Shahed Ahmad, Director of Public Health at Enfield Council, added: “People need to recognise the symptoms of diabetes and get early treatment. We have been meeting communities at special sessions in Edmonton explaining about diabetes and helping with individual personalised planning.”

Enfield health trainers are leading free sessions for people with diabetes and their families to support better self-management, while some GP practices are actively encouraging diabetics to take advantage of the resources to improve their health.

‘Living with diabetes’ is available from GPs in Enfield, libraries, dentists, the Enfield Civic Centre.

Notes & facts about diabetes:
Diabetes is the biggest cause of amputation of feet and legs in adults.

People with diabetes are at higher risk of:
• Blindness
• Foot problems
• Amputation
• Kidney problems
• Impotence
• Cardio vascular disease including heart attack and stroke
• Nerve problems

• In the UK, approximately 2.9 million people are affected by diabetes.
• Every ten minutes three people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes.
• There are also thought to be around 850,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes.

More articles in the news archive.