Over the past 30 years, the number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has rapidly increased. One in ten adults now has the condition, meaning the chances are high that you, or someone close to you, will have been diagnosed. The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes brings with it a worry of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, visual problems, nerve damage, and even amputation. However, it doesn’t need to be this way. At Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, we are working to help change the story of type 2 diabetes by supporting people to take back control of their health. Type 2 diabetes is now known to be a reversible condition, and with this comes an era of new hope.
Dr Campbell Murdoch from Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital explains more: “20 years ago, when I was at medical school, I was taught that type 2 diabetes was progressive. This meant that once someone had type 2 diabetes, it would only get worse. Therefore, as a doctor, my job was to try to help make the best of a bad situation. This did not provide me or my patients with much hope. However, today the message to my patients is completely different. I tell them that type 2 diabetes can be significantly improved. Many of them are able to come off their diabetes medication, while also achieving normal blood sugars once again. This is called type 2 diabetes remission. The story of type 2 diabetes is now very different, and it’s a far more hopeful and inspiring situation.”
Dr Murdoch comes to Nuffield Health with a range of other professional roles, which include working for NHS England and Public Health England. He is also the Chief Medical Officer for the website Diabetes.co.uk, and is a clinical adviser to the Royal College of General Practitioners.
He continues: “My personal drive is to put my efforts into optimising individual and population health and wellbeing. This is why it is such a privilege to have joined the team at Nuffield Health with its core aim to build a healthier nation, and champion the health of the individual. I’ve found the secret to success for my patients is when we focus on what truly matters to them. Then, having the support and resources to move towards their goals is when the inspiring life changes happen.”
There are some key ingredients that make reversing type 2 diabetes more likely. Dr Murdoch suggests getting the best results requires an individualised approach, but there are common themes. Understanding your own physiology with blood tests, such as insulin level, gives you clarity on the lifestyle choices that will be most effective for you. Tracking how your body changes with the tests will also show that you are on the path to better health. Equally important is being clear on your individual needs and goals, as well as your preferences, options and choices. By combining all these components with the right support, a successful and enjoyable journey is far more likely.
Dr Murdoch goes on to say: “With the right awareness, knowledge and support, everyone can make significant improvements to their type 2 diabetes. Around 50% of people manage to put their type 2 diabetes into remission. If we get the management plan right, then the lifestyle changes needed to achieve the improvement in blood sugar should also be enjoyable. I believe that if we do things right we should be able to achieve a good day today, and a healthier future. I am constantly learning from my patients, about what works and what doesn’t for different people. One of the greatest joys in my work is seeing people’s blood sugar improve and being able to take them off medication.”
At Nuffield Health, we are committed to supporting you on your journey to better health. We have a range of services to help meet your needs within the hospital and across our local network of gyms in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. In addition to supporting people to improve their type 2 diabetes, we can also help with conditions such as prediabetes, sustained weight loss, and optimised health and wellbeing.
If you have type 2 diabetes, or feel you could be at risk of developing it, and would like to book an appointment with Dr Murdoch, please telephone the Bookings team at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital on 0300 131 1413, or visit our website: www.nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol.