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Diabetes - do you know the risks? Free checks

Residents of County Durham are being encouraged to find out their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by taking a free and simple 5 minutes test, as part of National Diabetes Week (14 - 20 June).

Health specialists from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust will be carrying out the checks in Durham Market Place next week on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th June, between 10am - 3.30pm.

Stewart Doyle, Health Improvement Specialist for the Trust said: "It is estimated that one in three residents of County Durham are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact many are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 3-5 years if steps aren't taken to prevent it.

"The need for prevention has never been greater. Many people living in County Durham will be at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and won't even realise it. It only takes 5 minutes to find out your risk but could save your life."

People are more likely to be at risk of type 2 diabetes if they:

- Are 45 years of age or old

- Are overweight;

- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;

- Are physically active fewer than three times per week

The checks are being carried out as part of the Just Beat It! Programme. A programme providing advice and support on healthy eating, increasing physical activity, managing stress and helping to keep those involved motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of making healthy changes.

Just Beat It! groups meet on a weekly basis to make and maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The programmes group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

The programme has supported 65 year old Robert Routledge to make changes.

Robert said: "Before joining the programme I would go for the odd walk then get back to watching Sky Sports or go to my bedroom to play some guitar or CDs. My nurse practitioner recommended the Just Beat it! programme because I was overweight and I felt it was time I did something about it.

"Joining the programme has had a massive impact on my family life as I feel I can do a lot more with the grand-children.

"The programme made me realise it is a lot wiser to eat healthily and sensibly so out went the "junk food" and quick meals and I started to feel good about myself and want to do a lot more with my family instead of sitting things out."

To find out more about finding out your risk, the Just Beat It! programme or to register your interest visit , email or call 0191 5692847.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital