November 2017 Newsletter

                                                       NEWSLETTER              November 2017      

                                                                                                                                                                   Welcome to this evening`s meeting, we are delighted to welcome back tonight`s speaker,  Lara Wessels  who is a Diabetes Advanced Dietitian, based at the Diabetes Unit, St Helens Hospital. Lara will be talking to us about diabetes and Low Carb Diets. Remember this is our last meeting until February 2018. Have a lovely Christmas and we wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2018!

Good News! Extra funding for St Helens Hospital Diabetes Centre, in partnership with St H Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with a special Patient Engagement Event for people with diabetes. The CCG and the Diabetes Team have received funding to improve the following areas of care for patients with diabetes in St Helens:- local structured Diabetes Patient Education Programmes, such as  BEND 2, and encouraging more people to take part in them. Helping patients to achieve NICE recommended diabetes targets, such as HbA1c, B.P. etc. To improve community links, resources, and the Diabetes Multi-disciplinary foot team. There are also plans to increase the number of Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurses in order to improve the inpatient care for people with diabetes. We can all find out more about these exciting plans that will improve our diabetes care, by going along to the Diabetes Patient Engagement Event on Thurs 30th Nov from 09.30 – 12.00 at the Chalon Court Hotel in St Helens. For more details, phone the Diabetes Unit on 01744 646 266. To book a place, go to The password is Diabetes1

The DUK  Fundraising Team have gone into partnership with “Home Fundraising” They will be visiting Households, to tell them about the work of Diabetes UK and asking if they would like to help by giving a regular donation by Direct Debit. Each fundraiser will have pledge forms, welcome packs, and ID etc and will be wearing DUK branded clothing so they should be easily recognisable.

Stay well this winter. DUK has teamed up with the NHS and Public Health England, to encourage people with diabetes to get their free flu jab, and to take other simple steps to help them stay well during the colder months. Help yourself to one of the info cards from the front. If you`ve not already had your Flu jab contact your GP surgery or Pharmacy asap for more details.

Has anyone ever encountered difficulties with life insurance applications because of their Diabetes? Liverpool John Moores University and Torofugu are looking to work with people who have Type 2 Diabetes and have previously bought, or applied for life insurance products. They would like to hear about any problems you’ve experienced and any good experiences or products. They are hoping to develop innovative life insurance products that respond to life style changes. For further info please take one of the sheets from the front and contact Dr Laura Kelly on If you would like more information about the Health Innovation Exchange please go to 

Christmas food and drink information, to help you cope with the tempting range of food and drink that surrounds us at Christmas, help yourselves to the sheets at the front.

DUK Xmas Catalogues are still available at the front, please take a copy. Just submit your order and it will be delivered to your home. Alternately you can visit the DUK online shop at where you will find a big selection of diabetes-related products, Xmas cards and gifts. Shopping with DUK helps raise funds to continue the valuable work of helping the 3.8 million people with diabetes in the UK.

Help yourself to some back issues of Diabetes UK`s Balance magazine, they are full of interesting diabetes-related articles, news, recipes and much more.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? Many people are under the misapprehension that Type 1 diabetes is far more serious than Type 2, and that if you were diagnosed with Type 2 but start using insulin, then that means you have become Type1. Both these statements are Not true! Help yourself to a sheet from the front to find out the facts.

Can you be a blood or organ donor if you have diabetes? Having diabetes does not prevent you from being an organ donor, but if you do wish to donate, make sure your next of kin is aware of your wishes. For further details phone 0300 123 23 23 and select “Organ Donation” or visit However if you would like to donate blood, the rules are different – if your diabetes is treated by diet alone or diet & tablets, you can give blood, but if you are on insulin you cannot give blood. This is because the National Blood Service is concerned about the health of the blood donor and how their blood glucose control will be affected by the donation. For further details phone the no above and select “Blood Donation” or visit

Statins and grapefruit- a reminder! There is a known interaction between grapefruit and statins that can cause serious side effects, such as muscle disorders and liver damage. If you are taking statins (to lower your cholesterol levels) it is best to avoid grapefruit completely. Atorvastatin interacts with grapefruit juice if you drink large quantities (greater than1.2 litres daily), but an occasional glass is thought to be safe. If you`re on simvastatin, the grapefruit increases the level of it in the blood, thus making side effects more likely. If you really want to eat grapefruit ask your Dr about alternatives, like rosuvastatin, fluvastatin and pravastatin.

Take care of your kidneys, Kidney disease (nephropathy) can happen to anyone, but if you have diabetes you`re more at risk. So make sure you attend all your medical appts, try and keep your blood sugars, cholesterol & B.P. levels within your target range (if you`re not sure what this is, ask your Dr or Nurse). If you smoke, get help to stop, try to eat a healthy balanced diet that`s low in fat, sugar and salt with plenty of fruit & veg. Keep active and have a urine test for protein, and a blood test to measure kidney function at least once a year.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy

New Year! Remember our next meeting isn`t until Feb 2018! When the speaker will be different from the published one, as Jessica will be on Mat leave. Jenni Shaw has very kindly agreed to do the talk instead.

Date  . . . . . . Wednesday 7th February 2018, 7.30pm.

Subject . . . . Driving with diabetes

Speaker . . . . Jenni Shaw, Group Liaison Officer, NW Office of Diabetes UK.

Venue . . . . . . St Helens United Reformed Church, King St, St Helens, WA10  2JZ.



The charity for people with diabetes                                                                       

Diabetes UK is the operating name of the British Diabetic Association                                                                             

Company limited by guarantee.  Registered Office: 10 Parkway, London NW1 7AA no. 339181

Registered charity no. 215199