Early diagnosis and health trainer intervention can reduce the risk of diabetes.
Alan, aged 52 from Bolton, was diagnosed as having high blood pressure a few years back. He decided it would be a good idea to take advantage of the BIG Bolton Health Check which was available at his GP surgery and he was glad he did because the simple blood test identified that he had developed impaired glucose intolerance (IGT). This meant Alan was at high risk of developing diabetes in the future so Alan’s GP suggested using the health trainer service to advise about possible changes to his lifestyle which would help to improve his health.
“I was a bit shocked by the diagnosis,” said Alan. “When my GP recommended seeing the surgery’s health trainer I didn’t know what to expect, but knew it was about my lifestyle.”
Alan worked with his health trainer over a period of six months and together they developed a personal health plan and set some small but achievable goals including increasing his physical activity and changing his eating habits.
“I was 104kg at that time and we discussed that to lose weight I needed to change my diet and exercise more. I think exercise really has been the key, I exercise every second day now and managed to lose 11kg!”
Alan successfully integrated regular exercise into his daily routine: he now swims twice a week, at weekends he power walks around the Bolton countryside, he takes the stairs instead of the lift and he tries to fit a quick walk around the city centre in during his lunch break.
Following the advice of the health trainer, Alan not only increased his exercise levels, he altered his eating habits. Alan said: “We very rarely have takeaways now. We had one the other day but that was the first one in months. My partner and I cook ourselves now and are trying to cook with more healthy food like vegetables and fish. I also have been watching my portion sizes.”
Alan admits that it has been “hard work” to lose the weight but he is determined to keep the weight off. The role of Alan’s health trainer cannot be underestimated as the advice, information and support offered to Alan has given him the tools and motivation to change his lifestyle and improve his health.
Alan is confident that with his new increased levels of exercise and his healthier eating habits he will be able to sustain and lose even more weight: “I am sure I will achieve my next weight goal of 90kg. I already fit into a 35 inch trousers now instead of the 39 inch I used to wear!”