Stephen is one of 535 residents in the region to benefit from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; a free personalised tailored service for people at risk of type 2 diabetes.
The programme provides advice on eating healthily, being more active and losing weight.
A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the Type 2 diabetes.
He is now urging others in Dudley to check whether they may be at risk of the disease and take action on improving their own health. After eight weeks on the programme, Stephen said, “I feel better and that I have more control over my body. My quality of life is improving”.
It is estimated that around 27,000 people in Dudley are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.
Nationally, diabetes and its complications cost over £6 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by making simple lifestyle changes around diet, activity levels and weight management.
GPs and other healthcare professionals in Dudley are using Diabetes Prevention Week to urge residents to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health.
Dr Ruth Taparro, Clinical Lead for diabetes prevention at Dudley CCG and a practising GP, said: “Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems, which is why it’s so important to help people to stop the condition from developing.
“As part of the Diabetes Prevention Programme GPs in Dudley are inviting people they know to be at high risk to enrol for tailored help, which includes education on healthy eating and lifestyle changes, and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
So far over 1,196 people have already been referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the region, with 45% taking up the offer.
If you think you could be at risk contact your GP practice, alternatively you can check to see if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/risk.”
The programme in Dudley is being led by Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working in partnership with the Office of Public Health Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.