Diabetes in a time of Covid – Know your risks

Saturday 14 November marks World Diabetes Day, and with Newham and the rest of the UK in the grip of another Covid-19 lockdown, it’s more important than ever that everyone is alert to health risks.

That’s why Newham Council is urging residents, and its own staff, to check their health using a quick online tool to assess the risk of having, or developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. It can cause symptoms like excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot and tiredness. It can also increase the risk of developing serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves, but type 2 diabetes can largely be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, exercising and being active.

Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, cabinet member for Education, Health and Adult Social Care said: “This is an extraordinary year, with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting all our lives and increasing threats to our health.

“It is an unprecedented situation, and we know that people with Diabetes, like me and like many of you, are at increased risk if we catch Covid-19. But we are far from alone – there are over 28,000 of us in Newham with type 2 Diabetes.

“So I want to remind you of the key things you can do to stay healthy; protect yourself from Covid by staying at home and maintain hygiene and social distancing, also focus on self-care to manage your diabetes by keeping a healthy diet and reduce your fat and sugar intake.

“The “Know Your Risk online assessment tool only takes a few minutes to complete and could be the most important thing you do today.

“The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day is nurses, so I think it’s a great time to thank our nurses in the NHS who have been doing a wonderful job, working tirelessly and heroically to keep us well. Let’s help them keep this virus under control by keeping ourselves safe, and following basic healthy living guidelines.

“If you have any complications from your diabetes, or feel out of breath doing your usual daily activities, do not hesitate to call your GP practice, call 111 or visit your local A&E. Remember the NHS is open, do not ignore changes in your health and get checked out.

“As we endure lockdown, the cold and dark winter months, and continue battling this virus across the nation, it is vitally important that we all do what we can to stay safe and healthy.”

For more information visit Dibetes UK website  - Please note you will need an accurate measurement of your height, weight and waist to take part.

Published: 11 Nov 2020