Skip to main content

Gwent resident urges people to get checked for diabetes after turning his life around amid Type 2 diabetes diagnosis

Monday 10th June 2024

There are currently 44,000 people living with diabetes in Gwent and many more people at risk of developing diabetes in the future.

Type 1 diabetes often presents rapidly over days or weeks with some or all the symptoms of 4T’s, thirst, toilet (passing urine frequently), tired, thinner (losing weight), seek medical advice urgently if these symptoms are present.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and can often be present without these symptoms. We advise people who are at risk, those who are overweight, or have high blood pressure, to have regular check-ups to monitor glucose levels to identify any early signs of diabetes.

We are delighted to share our chat with local Gwent resident, Keith (pictured below with his wife on holiday), on how he transformed his health and fitness when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in his 40’s.

What were your first signs/symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes that made you go and get checked?
I had a constant dry throat and was very thirsty, I needed to urinate all the time and I was doing a lot of driving for work so it meant I had to stop all the time.

What would you say to others who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes?
With today’s knowledge and treatment, get yourself checked with your GP, exercise and watch your diet.

What were your lifestyle and eating habits at the time?
Too much work and too little exercise, I probably drank too much alcohol too. Diet was average, but obviously could have been better- I was significantly overweight.

How did you find the change to having to inject insulin daily to manage your blood sugars?
It was challenging at first, and once I learnt about how I could inject less by managing my diet better, I progressively reduced my insulin injections as I got healthier and slimmer. I still inject at night time, but this is considerably less than it was and have no need to inject in the day now as my diet and exercise has made my blood sugars more stable.

What was your motivation to get healthier?
I moved to Wales to get fitter- to be closer to my work so it meant less driving and more time for exercise. I have been going to the gym multiple times a week now since 1998 and managing my diet.


Sian Bodman, one of our Senior Nurses for Diabetes said:

“As part of our campaign to raise aware of diabetes prevention and management we are proud to launch our brand-new diabetes web pages which brings together a wealth of diabetes information and resource to support individuals affected by diabetes across Gwent.  We know how important self-management is to manage diabetes safely and these web pages are designed to improve awareness of diabetes, the risks of developing complications and importantly , what we can do to reduce those risks, take a look: Diabetes UK Cymru | Diabetes UK