Fylde Coast diabetics are being told help is at hand.
A local support group – the Blackpool branch of Diabetes UK – wants to get the message out it can offer help and advice.
It comes after the national charity Diabetes UK revealed shocking statistics showing a predicted increase of 13 per cent in the number of people in Blackpool living with the condition in the next eight years.
Currently, there are 9,900 people who have diabetes in the resort and by 2020, there are expected to be 11,400 - according to analysis by the charity.
The majority of the extra 1,500 cases are likely to be Type 2 diabetes, which can often be prevented by making healthy lifestyle changes and losing weight.
Robert Edge, a Diabetes UK champion, runs the Blackpool Support Group and said prevention could be better than cure, when it came to diabetics looking after themselves.
Robert – whose wife Marjorie was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 12 years ago – said: “The support group provides somewhere for people who have diabetes to go to talk to other people in a similar situation.
“With people who have diabetes, it can lead to other problems and health conditions, so it can be useful to see how other people manage and prevent further issues.
“People can swop tips and advice for coping and we have people who are newly-diagnosed, along with people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years.
“It can be particularly helpful for those who are newly diagnosed, as they can be quite concerned.
“With the management of the condition, it’s about making lifestyle changes.
“You can live a normal life, just making some changes – it’s learning to manage.
“Of course people are now living longer and have a different lifestyle – there are more cases of Type 2 diabetes, which can be caused by lifestyle – if people are not getting enough exercise and are overweight.
“But lifestyle habits can change.”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01253) 358067.