The number of people living with diabetes in the UK is estimated to be over 4 million. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes accounting for 90 per cent of diabetics. This figure is expected to rise to 5 million by 2025 (Diabetes UK). Diabetes education courses, often known as structured education, help people to stay healthy and can reduce complications.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Foundation deliver the X-PERT education programme to Type 2 diabetics living in Wolverhampton. X-PERT diabetes is a 6-week structured education programme in which participants learn more about their condition and how to better manage it. This takes place in an informal group setting in which individuals can share their own experiences and ask any questions they may have about their condition.
Across the six weeks the course covers the following topics:
Week 1 - What is diabetes? What the condition is, what is blood glucose, exploring medications and understanding own health results.
Week 2 - Nutrition for Health- Energy balance, diet myths, dietary approaches, myths and misconceptions about fat.
Week 3 - Carbohydrate Awareness- An important nutrient in diabetes, how does the amount and type of carbohydrate you eat affect your condition.
Week 4 - Reading and Understanding food labels & Physical Activity- Understanding the labels on the foods you buy, interpreting traffic lights, reference intake and nutritional claims. Understanding why physical activity is important and guidelines.
Week 5 - Possible Complications- Possible complications of having diabetes and how these can be prevented. The importance of regular health checks/ annual review and how to live with diabetes.
Week 6 - Are you an X-PERT? Plenary of the course and signposting to other Wolverhampton based services.
Nationwide the programme has been shown to improve diabetes control, reduce diabetes medication, increase self-management skills, and improve lifestyle and quality of life. Here are some comments from previous attendees:
'Not something I was initially looking forward to but I loved it and learnt a lot. Would recommend to anyone!'
'I thought I knew everything about diabetes but this course really opened my eyes - 10/10'