Department of Sport and Exercise Hosts its Third Mid Wales Diabetes Information Evening

12 April 2013

Working alongside professionals from the NHS the Department of Sport and Exercise Science hosted its third Diabetes Information Evening on Thursday the 21st of March. There are an increasing number of local people attending this event with some having travelled over 20 miles to attend the evening. This is a much needed service as more than 160,000 people in Wales have been diagnosed with diabetes which is nearly 5% of the population. On top of that it’s estimated that there are 66,000 more people that have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed.

The evening was designed to raise awareness of diabetes, and to enable local people living in mid Wales to find out more about the care they should expect and the support available. There were also tours of the state of the art laboratories in the department with the opportunity to find out about the type of research that is being conducted at the university.

The event was organised by Ffion Curtis, who is studying the effects of vitamin D deficiency on diabetes. She said: “One of the primary reasons we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of diabetes is because of our changing lifestyles.”

Our diets have changed and we are much less physically active than we used to be, spending more time indoors, and in front of computer screens. We are now also seeing an increase in the number of children that are developing type 2 diabetes. If not properly managed and treated, diabetes can lead to many complications including heart disease and strokes.”

This type of event gives people the opportunity to learn more about diabetes, and the small changes we can make to our lives, and the lives of our families that can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and help in the management of the condition. It also brings people together, following last night's meeting several parents of children with diabetes are now forming their own support network for themselves and their children.

As well as researchers from the Department itself, health experts were on hand during the evening to answer questions about diabetes including; a Consultant Diabetologist from Hywel Dda Health Board, diabetic nurses who deliver the XPERT program, the coordinator of the Exercise for Life programme, Volunteer Development Officer from Diabetes UK, members of the Machynlleth Diabetes UK group and members of a local patient reference group.

Professionals from the NHS and the Department of Sport and Exercise Science are looking forward to continuing to provide their support in this area, and plans are already in place for the 'Fourth Mid Wales Diabetes Information Evening' which will be in six months time.