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Diabetes Cases Rocket in Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 2nd October 2013.

Pirate FM has learnt more than 800 people in Cornwall are diagnosed with diabetes every year.

It is most common if you are over 40, overweight or the condition is in your family.

Diabetes UK is urging us to know the risk factors.

It says a lot of the increase is being fuelled by type two - and some of the cases could be prevented by eating healthily and taking more exercise.

Simon Reed from Penzance has the condition. He said: "It has a massive impact on your daily life. If you're sick, for example, things you can eat, what you should and shouldn't be doing. You have to moderate your behaviour more than you imagine. It takes over a big chunk of your life.

"There are complications which are part and parcel of having diabetes - I've had several of them myself. One of them was life threatening.

"The number of things that come and bite you over time are more prominent and more serious."

Jill Rodgers from Bude has written a series of books about managing the condition. She said: "For type two, insulin resistance is the big issue. The work that needs to be done is really about what is going on inside people's bodies. What can be done to try to combat or reverse some of those things that cause diabetes.

"Make small changes that are a bit more healthy. It doesn't mean running marathons or going to the gym - but if they just take a short walk every day, the more active they are the better their insulin will work."

Graham Cooper, Diabetes UK's regional manager for the South West, said: "It is alarming that the number of people with diabetes in Cornwall has gone up by more than 810  in a single year and addressing this situation needs to be one of the top health priorities in the area. Given that the increase in diabetes cases is mainly due to a sharp rise in Type 2 diabetes, we need to get much better at preventing cases of Type 2.

"A vital first step towards this is to ensure both that people realise how serious it is and also that they understand their own personal risk so that if they are at high risk they can make the lifestyle changes that can help prevent it.

"This is why we need to raise awareness that if people are over 40, overweight, have a large waist, or have a family history of diabetes, they need to get a risk assessment, as should people from who are South Asian and aged over 25.

"I know that we all have busy lives and that thinking about future health can be uncomfortable, but it is only if people in Cornwall grasp the nettle and get their risk assessed that we can start to bring the rise in diabetes in the area to an end."

While most cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle, about 10 per cent of cases are Type 1 diabetes, which tends to occur in younger people and is not linked to lifestyle or weight at all.

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