Paul’s wakeup call gives him the nudge he needs

When Paul Nardone visited the doctor for an NHS health check, he was shocked to discover he had high blood sugar levels which put him at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The news was a wakeup call for the Leeds-based 65-year-old, and he promptly accepted his GP’s offer of a place on the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

“I had no option but to take it seriously,” said Paul. “I had the opportunity to do something, and was determined to make the necessary changes to remain healthy.”

Local Healthier You educator Tash Youngman said, “Paul’s story of drifting into the danger zone is familiar. The aim of the course is to help people understand the damage that can be done, and then learn how they can move towards a healthier future. The food we eat, and the sedentary lifestyles we sometimes adopt, can both have a major impact on our ability to enjoy life to the full.”

Paul has a family history of diabetes. His parents had the disease, and his two sisters also have a diagnosis, so he has seen first-hand the impact it could have on his own health if he continued as he was.

“I reviewed what I ate and decided to lose weight while taking more exercise,” he said. “Everything I had to do was achievable and remaining healthy was my primary goal.

“I’m pleased to report that I’ve since lost two-and-a-half stone and my blood results show that my sugar levels have reduced, taking me out of the high risk category.

“Personally, I have the time to make a difference, but learning what is required through the course is within easy reach of anybody. The content is great, I learned a lot and the group setting was very encouraging. I have a lot planned for my retirement and now I can make it happen.”

Currently around 40,000 people in Leeds have Type 2 diabetes and over 64,000 people are thought to be at risk of getting the disease. Presently, around 44,000 people have been identified as being high risk.

Tash added, “This ten-month course is all about making relatively small changes which together, as Paul’s results demonstrate, can make a dramatic difference and help steer participants away from possible ill-health.”