Positive results from NHS programme that helps those at risk of getting type 2 diabetes

From L-R, Suzanne Wilkin, from ICS, plus group members with some of the course props. Gordon Richard

From L-R, Suzanne Wilkin, from ICS, plus group members with some of the course props. Gordon Richardson, Russ Clarke and Toby Swann. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

People at risk of getting type 2 diabetes have been getting advice on how to prevent it.

The dangers associated with diabetes are really frightening and include amputation.

But NHS's Diabetes Prevention Programme is having a really positive effect on those who have undertaken the course.

People are referred by their GPs if a blood test shows they are at risk of getting the disease, but the course is voluntary.

It runs across Norfolk and Suffolk and a group meeting at North Walsham Community Centre in New Road today spoke about how they have made a a lifestyle change to prevent getting type 2 diabetes.

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Their work is being highlighted as part of World Diabetes Day on November 14.

Group member Gordon Richardson, from North Walsham, 65, said: 'I wish I had been taught this at school. My dad had type 2 and lost his leg, 'And a friend died from diabetes just short of his 50th birthday. The course helps concentrate the mind.'

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Russ Clarke, 53, from Norwich, has lost 2st on the course.

He said: 'That's just through a change in lifestyle. You are not told what to eat, but given information on food that's low in carbohydrates, and make a decision that's right fur you.

'I have cut out pasta, bread and potatoes. Last night I had a cocktail sausage with a courgette sauce, rather than spaghetti. I do like curry but now I'll have cauliflower rice with it.

'I had a blood test in March. It showed I was 47 while 48 is a diabetic. I'm now down to 36.'

Toby Swann, 71, from Worstead, is exercising more.

He said: 'I'm walking and cycling more. I have cut out sugar and red meat and started eating more fresh vegetables.'

Suzanne Wilkin, health and wellbeing coach for ICS, which runs the programme, said: 'The programme started a couple of years ago in Norfolk. 'It's a 9-month programme. People attend seven weekly sessions and four monthly sessions. Small changes make a big difference - cutting out one biscuit a day is equivalent to about 18 packs over a year.'

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