The Protecting the Asset that is You campaign is currently focusing on Type 2 Diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, with 96,000 people currently living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. This is a startling 69 per cent increase since 2007.
Our lifestyles have changed dramatically. Farming has become more mechanised, so we are moving less and our portions of food are bigger.
Convenience food and takeaways are more readily available and very tempting due to our busy lifestyles and quick and easy access to them.
However, the onset of this disease can be preventable or be delayed in some cases.
Christina Faulkner, Farm Families Health Checks Programme Co-ordinator, says: “Knowing your risk is the first big step then it is important to take action to lower your risk.”
There are several factors that affect your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Because symptoms are not always obvious, it’s really important to be aware of the risk factors, including your age, family history, ethnic background, high blood pressure or carrying excess weight.
“The Farm Families Health Checks Programme can assess your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and so are encouraging you to call with us for a health check where we can provide tailored advice to help you lead a healthier lifestyle,” Christina advised.
Not everyone experiences symptoms, in fact six out of 10 people have no symptoms when they’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Some people also don’t think the symptoms are significant and don’t seek help.
Christina commented: “If you have been told you are at the “Pre Diabetic stage” the regional Diabetic Prevention Programme is available through all Health and Care Trusts and further information can be obtained from your GP.”
Getting diagnosed early is the key to preventing complications so don’t ignore symptoms – go and see you GP or practice nurse.
You can also have the Diabetes Risk Tool completed at the Farm Families Health Checks van.
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