Successful prevention programme to stop diabetes surge

Blood meter and stethoscope

The Trust is offering a free programme to anyone who has been told they are pre-diabetic.

The Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP), is aimed at people who have been tested by their GP and have a blood sugar level slightly above the normal range.

DPP aims to tackle the increasing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes and has already helped hundreds of people across the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area.

Approximately 95,000 people are living with Type 2 diabetes in Northern Ireland, a startling 60% increase in the last decade. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of all cases of diabetes and is a serious and progressive condition.

The disease can lead to early loss of life, cause preventable sight loss in working age people, and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and even amputation. The good news is the illness is often preventable by adopting healthier lifestyle changes.

DPP is delivered across the Northern Trust by specialist health coaches. They work to support and motivate participants to make healthy lifestyle changes over a 9 month period with the aim of postponing, and even preventing, Type 2 diabetes.

Leesa Houston, DPP Manager with the Northern Trust, said: “The Diabetes Prevention Programme is unique… instead of telling our participants what to do, the Health Coaches motivate and support them to make their own behavior changes around what really works for them. This has resulted in more long term benefits for our participants.”

“Our results speak for themselves, of nearly 374 participants who have completed DPP, 80% have reduced their blood sugar levels, over half of these people are no longer pre-diabetic and 66% have lost weight”.

Derek, age 58 and from the Mid Ulster area has just completed the programme: “When I heard I was pre-diabetic and one mark away from Type 2 Diabetes, I knew I had to make changes. I’m an HGV lorry driver and if I had become diabetic I would have lost my licence and my livelihood…DPP helped me to change the way I eat, exercise and the way I think, it really has changed my life”

Anna-Maria, 60, from Ballymena completed the programme in November 2020. She has continued to maintain her excellent results: “Still keeping it up, another 3 lbs and I’ll have 11 stone off, had my blood sugars checked and they were normal!!! Now also off blood pressure tablets!”

Anyone who has been told that they are pre-diabetic by their GP can be referred to the Diabetic Prevention Programme.  Anyone interested in further information can contact or call 028 2563 5687.

27th August 2021

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