Help BEAT Diabetes is part of Research for the Future, an initiative to encourage people living in and around Greater Manchester to get more involved with local NHS health research. The campaign encourages people to hear more about research going on in to their condition. They can then decide if they would like to find out more or take part.
More than twenty Research for the Future 'Help BEAT Diabetes' volunteers are participating in the Cloudy study, helping researchers understand if the weather influences pain.
Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face. There are currently four million adults in the UK diagnosed with diabetes with over 200 000 people living in Greater Manchester with the condition. If not well controlled, diabetes can be serious, causing blindness, kidney failure and amputation. One of the lesser known complications is neuropathy (nerve damage) which can cause numbness, pain or tingling in the legs and feet.
It is only possible to better understand diabetes and bring about improvements in its prevention, treatment and care through research. It might sound obvious, but any research can only take place with the help of people who have the condition.
Katherine Grady, Research for the Future manager explained, 'People with diabetes are often passionate about helping researchers understand more about their condition and willing to take part, however it can be difficult to find out what research is going on locally. When we heard the Cloudy research team were looking for people with painful diabetic neuropathy to look at the link between the weather and pain, we knew some Help BEAT Diabetes volunteers with this condition would want to take part. It's wonderful that more than twenty people have joined the study and will make a difference to our understanding of painful neuropathy, which can be so difficult to live with'.
Current Research for the Future campaigns consists of Help BEAT Diabetes; Help BEAT Heart Disease and Help BEAT Respiratory Disease. If you are over the age of 18, live in or around Greater Manchester and have one or more of these conditions, you are welcome to join. Katherine explained what it involves, 'Joining a Help BEAT campaign means we will ask for your basic contact details, a little bit about your condition and the types of research you are interested in. There are lots of opportunities from simple questionnaires and group discussions to taking part in trials of new treatments. We'll let you know what's going on in your local area so you can get involved if you want'.
'Over a thousand people across Greater Manchester took part in research last year after hearing about it from Research for the Future. Lots of people tell us they enjoy taking part, knowing they are helping improve care and treatments for others in the future. Imagine what a difference we could make if even more people get involved!'
You can find out more about the Help BEAT campaigns and sign up online at www.researchforthefuture.org or alternatively text research and your name to 81400