Welsh pharmacies offer free diabetes risk assessments

image captionBeing overweight can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

Pharmacies across Wales have begun a campaign against diabetes by offering free risk assessments.

About 700 pharmacies are taking part in the 10-day Diabetes UK Cymru/Community Pharmacy Wales project.

Diabetes UK said 153,000 people in Wales have been diagnosed with the condition and some 66,000 more people are undiagnosed.

"The sooner diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner it can be controlled," said Dai Williams of Diabetes UK Cymru.

To coincide with Diabetes Week, customers will be offered free risk assessments for Type 2 diabetes - the most common form of the condition.

The tests will identify those at risk of developing the condition in the next 10 years and those most at risk will be referred to their GP for a diabetes test.

People at risk due to their weight or waist size will also be advised how they can lead a healthier lifestyle.

Mr Williams said the campaign hoped to reduce the risk of the "devastating" complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, strokes and kidney disease.

The campaign is being supported by a Carmarthenshire man who was surprised to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Eirian Jones, 42, of Pencader, said he was feeling well when he was told he may have the condition in November last year during routine testing for his high blood pressure.

"It was a bit of a shock, and it took a couple of days to get used to it," he said.

"But thinking back, my father had Type 2 diabetes, although it was much later in life.

"I knew the symptoms, like excessive thirst, as I saw them in him before he was diagnosed.

"But I didn't have any of those symptoms - the only thing I can think of really is that I was a bit more tired and I had put that down to work and travelling to work."

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