THE trust that runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals is getting behind Type Two Diabetes Prevention Week, being held this week.

The objective of the week is to encourage the public to speak to their GP practice about the NHS diabetes prevention programme if they think they might be at risk.

Type Two diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in the blood becomes too high.

Symptoms include: excessive thirst, tiredness, increased urine frequency, headaches and trouble with concentration. The condition can affect individuals at any age, particularly if they are overweight and spend a lot of time sitting down and not getting much exercise. But, as many of the signs affect individuals without the condition too, they are easy to overlook or ignore.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), along with NHS England, Diabetes UK and Public Health England, is this week working to raise awareness of the causes and complications of the condition and promoting the Healthier You: NHS diabetes prevention programme, which helps those at risk by managing their weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Erica Richardson, lead diabetes specialist nurse at SaTH, said: “Type 2 diabetes can cause long-term health problems, including damage to almost all organs in the body. However, by eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, the majority of cases can be prevented.

“Prevention is always better than cure and by simply taking steps towards a healthier life you can make a huge difference to your health. Please do not wait until you have an established condition before seeking help. By the time we see patients at SaTH they are already dealing with many of the complications related to type 2 diabetes.

“If you are invited to join the NHS diabetes prevention programme, please take up the offer."

Dr Probal Moulik, clinical director in endocrinology, said: “There are currently 3.4 million people with type two diabetes in England, and around 45,000 people living with the condition across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

“The treatment of diabetes and its complications costs the NHS £25,000 every minute, around 10 per-cent of the entire NHS budget, yet, for most people, the condition can be prevented.

“It is crucial that we take steps to guard against diabetes before a diagnosis is given. With the help of your local GP practice and the diabetes prevention programme, you can take steps towards a healthier, diabetes-free life.”