Diabetes cases on the rise in North Somerset

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is on the increase.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is on the increase. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hundreds more people were diagnosed with diabetes in North Somerset last year.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen by 899 in one year – an increase of eight per cent.

There are now 11,180 people with the condition in North Somerset, says Diabetes UK.

Diabetes costs the NHS £10billion a year – which accounts for 10 per cent of its budget.

Support groups from Diabetes UK in Weston are working with teams in Nailsea and Portishead to educate people on the condition to try to reduce the risk of complications such as heart disease and stroke, foot and circulation problems and blindness.

Barbara Harris, from Diabetes UK, said: “We all have the same aim – to support people with diabetes helping them to manage their condition so they avoid as far as possible the complications associated with poorly controlled blood glucose levels.

“The personal cost of these complications are enormous and the costs for the NHS are staggering.

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“Having diabetes can feel a pretty lonely place. People we see talk about ‘burn out’, or low mood, or not understanding often conflicting messages.

“They can be in complete denial about having diabetes and refusing to make any lifestyle changes, or fed up because changes they have made don’t seem to be making a difference.

“They can feel sad because things they want to do start feeling prohibited or they feel family and friends just don’t really understand these new limitations.

“It has been proven that knowledge – understanding the condition and how it affects you, knowing about and understanding the medication you are given – is absolutely key to improving control.

“This makes the diabetes education programme – offered to all newly-diagnosed patients – essential, and the services provided by the support groups make a significant contribution to improvements for people with diabetes.”

Weston General Hospital has trained peer advisors to help people manage their condition and there is also a Diabetes UK support group based in the town.

Find out more information at www.weston-super-mare.diabetesukgroup.org