AN EDUCATION programme that helps people with diabetes manage their own condition is proving a big success in Eastbourne.
SADIE, which stands for Skills for Adjusting Diet and Insulin in East Sussex, is a project run by the Trust for people with type one diabetes.
It involves a 30 hour, five-day course run over five weeks and offers participants an opportunity to gain knowledge and learn skills to confidently self manage their diabetes with no food limitations or restrictions on their daily activities.
Patients attend from as far as Rye and Winchelsea in the east, Tonbridge in the north and Peacehaven in the west.
An assessment of the programme has shown that after a year patients had significantly improved the control of their blood sugar levels and quality of life, while their weight remained unchanged in most cases.
Sally Faulkner, lead diabetes specialist nurse, said, “People who have type one diabetes are in a fortunate position if they live in the Eastbourne.
“The vast majority of people who have attended the course see an improvement not only in their diabetes control but also in their quality of life.”
Eastbourne resident Alan McCabe, 74, has suffered from diabetes for 48 years and took part in the SADIE programme.
He said, “I found the programme fantastic and I would encourage anyone to take the chance to go on it if they can.
“It has given me a much better understanding of dealing with diabetes and I have a greater ability to control it.
“It gave me the opportunity to meet other people with the condition and discuss and share problems and the best way to deal with it.”
There are currently more than 2.6 million people with diabetes in the UK and it is estimated there are up to a million people with the condition and do not know it.
A person has diabetes when the amount of glucose in their blood is too high and the body cannot use it properly.
This is because the pancreas does not produce any, or not enough, insulin or the insulin that is produced does not work properly, which is known as insulin resistance.
There are two types of diabetes. The majority (approximately 85 per cent) of people with the condition have ‘type two’, which is initially treated with a healthy diet and regular physical activity but medication and/or insulin is often required.
The other 15 per cent of people with the condition have ‘type one’, which develops when the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin.
Usually, it appears before the age of 40, especially in childhood, and it is always treated with insulin, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Places for the SADIE course are limited due to its popularity. Ask your GP or contact Eastbourne Diabetes Centre for more information.