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Erith man urges people with diabetes to take care of their health

PUBLISHED: 09:50 12 November 2014 | UPDATED: 09:50 12 November 2014

Tony Hatcher.

Tony Hatcher.

Archant

He is calling on people to use an online e-learning tool to take control of their condition.

Tony Hatcher, 61, of Erith, has Type 2 diabetes and wants to urge others to protect their health.

He was diagnosed 14 years ago and his father and grandmother both had the condition too.

The recent death of a friend from a diabetes-related condition made Tony re-evaluate his lifestyle and decide to look for help.

He took a free e-learning course- “Type 2 Diabetes and Me”- which has been developed by Diabetes UK in partnership with Bupa.

Now he has a better understanding about the effects that diet, exercise and medication have on his condition and he wants other people in Bexley - which has a high number of people with diabetes - to follow his lead and get help online.

Mr Hatcher said: “I heard about the online Type 2 Diabetes and Me course in a Diabetes UK e-newsletter and it made me re-evaluate a few bad habits and pinpoint small changes I could make that would improve my health, such as the need to monitor my blood glucose levels regularly when I’m ill.

“I also found out information I’d never have thought about asking my doctor.

“I try and eat lots of fruit to make up my five-a-day and I used to eat three pieces in one go.

“The course made me realise I would reduce the risk of having blood glucose levels that are too high if I ate them at intervals throughout the day.

“Little changes like that can make a big difference in the long run.

“I would recommend the course to anyone with Type 2 diabetes as the more you know about the condition, the more you can work with it.

“My diabetes is not going to rule my life any more than it needs to.”

Currently more than 11,000 people living in Bexley have diabetes and approximately 90 per cent of those have Type 2 diabetes.

Roz Rosenblatt, London Region Manager for Diabetes UK, said: “Better management of diabetes has great potential to improve the care and quality of life of people like Tony who are living with diabetes.

“The online course gives people with Type 2 diabetes another tool to help empower them to take better control of their condition by understanding how diabetes can affect their everyday lives. Eighty per cent of the £10 billion annual NHS spend on diabetes goes into managing avoidable complications, such as blindness, amputation and stroke.”

Dr. Paula Franklin, Medical Director at Bupa UK, said: “Many people who are living with diabetes or have just been diagnosed, find the condition overwhelming and are very concerned by the possibility of life-altering complications. So it is vital that these people are provided with the necessary support to help them manage the condition effectively and reduce the risks.

“Bupa partnered with Diabetes UK to do exactly this and help people with Type 2 diabetes understand that despite a diagnosis of diabetes, with the right knowledge and lifestyle changes people can go on to live long and healthy lives.”

The e-learning programme can be accessed for free at www.type2diabetesandme.co.uk.

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