Retreats to help people manage diabetes

The number of people living with diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years, according to the charity Diabetes UK and most have  type 2 diabetes, which is a condition when the body is unable to adequately control blood sugar levels. We know that it is strongly linked to lifestyle and issues such as obesity and lack of exercise and there are a lot of ways that people who are diagnosed can help themselves to live healthier lives.

At Champneys Tring, we run a one day programme, which can be part of a longer stay at the resort, when people who have just been diagnosed and those who have been diagnosed for over a year, can meet up with experts, nutritionists and their peers to talk about the issues. We use the DESMOND (Diabetes Self Management for Ongoing and Diagnosed) programme, which is an evidence-based programme that is widely used throughout the NHS, but we have a lovely environment where people can relax and also follow healthy eating plans to choose their menus wisely throughout their stay.

It’s very important that we teach people about self-management of their condition. People do have to make choices about the menus every day and we let them choose whether they want a pudding or not and if they can opt for fish rather than red meat. People with diabetes should not be on a ‘special diet’, but instead should choose wisely from common foods they will encounter every day.

It’s very important that we teach people about self-management of their condition. People do have to make choices about the menus every day and we let them choose whether they want a pudding or not and if they can opt for fish rather than red meat. People with diabetes should not be on a ‘special diet’, but instead should choose wisely from common foods they will encounter every day.

Those who have just been given the news can be a little shell shocked so we aim to create an atmostphere that is upbeat and positive. We use games to highlight issues such as high glycaemic foods and what you should avoid. We always include a discussion on exercise and fitness, and how you can take basic steps to build more movement into your day. Standing is better than sitting for example and a little movement is better than none at all. 10,000 steps a day is a good manageable target for most people in reasonable health and you don’t need any equipment apart from some stout shoes. We welcome all ages and a growing number of younger people who have been diagnosed with the disease.

We ask everyone who comes to bring their latest blood test results so we can discuss where they are now and look at targets for them. We don’t do any medical tests at Tring itself, although we do have medically trained staff on site to help deal with any issues that may arise, such as low blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes can actually be quite complicated to manage, so we go through what different blood tests actually mean and how to interpret them. Some people take the attitude that they don’t need to worry about the actual figures and a doctor will let them know if they have worrying results, but it’s much better to know yourself. What’s wrong with you taking control of your own health? We feel that people with diabetes should know what HBA1C results mean and the perameters for good and bad cholesterol in the blood.

At the end of the day, we want to empower people to become capable of managing their own condition successfully and our retreat is an important first step, or a motivating push, in the right direction.

Champneys Tring

Living with Type 2 Diabetes 8th March – 1 Day

Living with Type 2 8th March – 1 Night

Living with Type 2 Diabetes 19th April – 1 Day

Living with Type 2 Diabetes 19th April – 1 Night

Sandra Tomkins

Sandra Tomkins

Sandra Tomkins is a diabetes specialist nurse who leads the Living with Type 2 Diabetes retreats at Champneys Tring Resort.
Sandra Tomkins

Latest posts by Sandra Tomkins (see all)

Share:  

More in this category

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of