Valerie Bailey, 56, was first informed that she had a higher probability of Type 2 diabetes when, aged 31, she was expecting her first child. During a more recent health check, the risk was highlighted once again and, this time, Valerie decided she was going to do something about it.
"I willingly signed up for the programme because I knew that not doing anything meant a higher chance my health would suffer and that this would have a significant impact on my life," said Valerie. Her Caribbean parents and grandmother all had diabetes and she saw at first-hand how their lives were affected by the disease. "Whilst I had previously put off the decision to take action, the advice of my doctor kept ringing in my ears and I knew the time was right to do something about it."
Valerie enrolled on the 10-month Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which helps participants understand how simple, achievable actions can make all the difference. Participants are also invited to have the sugar levels in their blood measured during the course of the programme to be sure what they are doing is bringing positive, meaningful benefits.
"I've not found it challenging at all to stick to my individual plan," added Valerie. "Mine is to take more exercise, know what to look for on food labels and be more careful in what I eat. These are positive, achievable things I can do to bring down my risk, and I am determined to do them."
Valerie's course is being led by Tasha Youngman, a Healthier You educator from Ingeus. "The first question we ask our participants is whether they want to change their lifestyles to remain healthy. That's our objective, Valerie has signed up to this, and she's is a great illustration of how the course is making a difference, to herself and to others."
For more information about Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme please visit www.ingeus.co.uk