A specialist diabetes team is running an education programme to tackle the rising tide of the disease in Luton.
The number of people diagnosed with the disease has increased by 623 since last year, and it is believed there are also a further 4,758 undiagnosed cases in the town.
To address the issue and help people manage the condition, the specialist diabetes team from Luton Adult Community Services, part of Cambridgeshire Community Services
NHS Trust, is running a structured education programme called DESMOND.
These courses have been shown to improve health by lowering blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of complications from diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney
Amanda Wildgoose, Diabetic Specialist Podiatrist, said: “The aim is to help people to understand what the condition is and to increase their confidence in how to self-manage,
reducing reliance on health professionals. Its empowering people really.
“The education sessions really do help people with diabetes to stay healthy and prevent diabetes-related complications.”
In the last year 681 people attended a DESMOND course in Luton and as a result many of them have found increased motivation and confidence to manage their conditions.
Ken Alden, 68, has been diabetic for eight years and weighed 15st 5lbs when he decided to improve his exercise regime and change his eating habits after attending
He said: “The eating changes involved cutting out sugar and pastry almost completely, reducing all carbohydrates by half and generally eating smaller portions except vegetables.
"It took some will power, setting and sticking to targets and much ‘bullying’ from my partner.
“My weight dropped to 12st 5lb. With the diabetes under control my treatment is ‘diet control’ and I need no medication.”
People wishing to attend the DESMOND education programme can self-refer to the programme by ringing 0333 405 3185 if they are registered with a surgery in Luton, or can be
referred by their GP or Practice Nurse.
Amanda, Ken and Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Sarah Saville will be appearing on Three Counties Radio on Thursday, November. 14, to raise awareness of the programme.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. There are a few different types of diabetes but in the main people talk about type 1 and type 2.
For more information about DESMOND visit: www.desmond-project.org.uk.