Free diabetes checks

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THOUSANDS of people in the Eastbourne area could be living with diabetes without realising it, according to health experts.

Leading charity Diabetes UK believes around 8.200 people in our corner of East Sussex are unaware they are suffering from type two diabetes, a statistic which could be playing havoc with people’s health.

To combat that, Diabetes UK is bringing its healthy lifestyle roadshow to Terminus Road on Tuesday (August 14) and Wednesday, from 9am until 5pm each day.

Experts will be outside Debenhams in the town centre to offer people a free test to discoverer whether or not they are one of the hidden thousands who have developed type two diabetes.

And they will also try and highlight some of the many risk factors in a bid to tempt locals into changing their habits for the better. The charity says 60 per cent of type two diabetes could be prevented through lifestyle change.

Diabetes is one of the most common conditions affecting people in the UK today; 3.7 million people nationally have the condition, which currently costs the NHS almost £10billion each year. If the condition is not diagnosed early enough, or is left untreated, it is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

The risk assessment on offer will indicate the chances of each person developing type two diabetes over the next decade and, if the risk is considered moderate to high, the charity will refer the individual to their GP for more tests and advice.

An on-site dietitian will also be available to serve up tops on how to make small, positive lifestyle changes – such as adopting a diet low in fat, salt and sugar, and taking regular physical activity, which can have a significant impact on preventing someone from developing the condition.

As diabetes can often go undiagnosed for several years, it is important for people to seek advice if they are experiencing symptoms including urinating more often and especially at night, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, genital itching or regular episodes of thrush, slow healing of cuts or wounds and blurred vision.

Jill Steaton, south east regional manager said, “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. I would urge everyone who can to visit the Diabetes UK’s Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow. It could be the best thing you ever do for your health.”