Transforming the Lives of Diabetes Patients

Community dietitians have been working with patients with diabetes and have reported big successes in weight management.  A pilot project has seen individuals shed up to three stones, blood glucose levels dramatically reduced, and in some cases a reduction in prescribed drugs.

Anne Clarke, NHS Forth Valley’s Community Dietitian and Weight Management Project Lead said: “We are very encouraged by the results. Our patients have told us that this programme has completely changed their lives and increased their confidence. We have also been able to reduce the amount of drugs some patients are taking and this has helped to improve their wellbeing.”

NHS Forth Valley Community Dietitian Lesley Hetherington who helps deliver the programme added: “Patients have been very enthusiastic about being on this programme.  They have done really well as it’s not always easy to lose lots of weight and embarking on a long-term approach needs a lot of commitment.”

The dietitians believe the secret of their success is supporting people for up to a year after the first tranche of weight loss. They say the biggest problems patients experience is keeping weight off. Many worry that once food is re-introduced they will return to their old habits of over-eating.

The weight loss programme, Counterweight Plus, available on the NHS, is aimed at people with a BMI greater than 40 and a study claimed it offers a safer, more cost-effective remedy than gastric band surgery.