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Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two types of diabetes; type 1 diabetes is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin and type 2 diabetes is where the body does not produce enough insulin or react to insulin. It is thought 90% of adults with diabetes in the UK have type 2 diabetes, but whilst there are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, you can help manage type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of getting the disease in the first place.

Around three in five cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active. We support Richmond residents to find out their risk of diabetes and offer a local service to help reduce their risk.

Preventing diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is delayable, preventable and/or reversible.

Find out if you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes

Each year around 350 people in Richmond are told they have diabetes. There are already an estimated 12,000 residents living with diabetes but help is available in Richmond to prevent one of those people being you. Finding out your risk is the first step – it's important to know the risk factors and understand your risk, so you can make changes to reduce it.

Find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes at Diabetes UK - Know Your Risk, it's free and only takes a few minutes.

You can see your results on-screen, and get links to advice and information about services in Richmond to help you reduce your risk.

If you find out that you're at moderate or high risk, don't forget to visit your GP surgery. They will help you plan your next steps and you may also need a blood test.

Richmond Healthier You: NHS Diabetes prevention programme

If you've found out that you are at risk of developing diabetes, the good news is that you can take steps to reduce your risk by:

  • Eating well
  • Moving more
  • Losing weight (if you’re overweight)

The Richmond Healthier You programme can support you in taking action in all of these areas. Those referred to the local service will receive tailored, personalised support, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, being more active, and help to lose weight, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

If you have had a blood test confirming you are at high risk and would like to be referred to the service, please discuss this with your GP. Programmes are held in a range of community locations across Richmond.

Find out more about the Healthier You programme.

David from Richmond upon Thames completed the NHS Healthier You programme with amazing results. View how David has improved his quality life

Spotting the signs

It’s very important for diabetes to be diagnosed as early as possible to stop it from getting worse. People should visit their GP as soon as possible if experiencing any of the below symptoms:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Peeing more frequently than usual
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • Frequent episodes of thrush
  • Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • Blurred vision

Further help

Further information on diabetes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, preventing diabetes, or living with diabetes is available at:

For free tips, tools and support to help you get healthier and feel better, visit One You. Whether it’s moving more, eating more healthily or checking yourself - One You can help you make small, practical changes that fit in with your life.

Updated: 15 June 2021