1 year to reverse the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

A retired nurse who lowered her risk of developing type 2 diabetes looks back at her journey 1 year on which began in the week that marks World Diabetes Day, on Saturday 14 November.
Lynne Fleming, from Menheniot, was referred to Cornwall’s Healthier You NHS diabetes prevention programme by her GP after a blood test showed increased blood sugar levels and high cholesterol.

Lynne said: “I wasn’t significantly overweight when setting out on this journey a year ago. However after attending the Healthier You meetings, provided by WW which was formerly known as Weight Watchers, tracking my food intake and exercising more I have lost 23 pounds. I am no longer at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and feel much better because of it!”

“Through the programme I discovered meditation and realised I had an unhealthy relationship between stress and food. The mindfulness also helped with sleeping, years of night shifts on the wards have left me with insomnia, and so this too led to lower blood sugar levels” Lynne added.

Lynne said: “”Once you positively change your lifestyle you notice it has a knock on effect in many other areas of your health. My husband has also benefitted from the healthier meals we’re sharing and like me dropped 2 clothes sizes.”

An unexpected outcome of attending the Healthier You meetings were the friendships Lynne gained and the support she found in this during the COVID-19 lockdown when she was just 5 months into her new lifestyle journey.

In the week leading up to World Diabetes Day Cornwall’s Healthier You NHS diabetes prevention programme is raising awareness of what contributes to developing type 2 diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation over 50% of type 2 diabetes is preventable and hopefully by highlighting this it will make people reassess their lifestyle and diet.

When spotted early by a GP or by using the Diabetes UK self-referral tool the risk of developing the condition, which affects over 4 million people in the UK, can be reversed through a change in lifestyle.

The Healthier You NHS diabetes prevention programme guides participants on a journey that can last up to 2 years depending on people’s progress. Weekly meetings give support to people who have struggled to lose weight in the past and teach participants about nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.

Dr Rebecca Hopkins, who works in St Agnes, believes that Cornwall’s Healthier You NHS Diabetes prevention programme is an invaluable service improving the county’s health and wellbeing.

Dr Hopkins said: “Type 2 diabetes is an extremely serious condition however by managing diet and lifestyle we can work together to reduce the risk of developing it and sometimes reverse it altogether. Through making these changes patients also often see a decreased risk of heart problems, stroke, kidney disease and less joint pain as well as overall better health and wellbeing.”

Added on 12 November 2020, in News - Long term conditions