ChairPerson : Mariam Agha MSc. MBPsS           Treasurer : Sunil Panchal           Secretary: Zain Agha PhD

Diabetes UK, Wellingborough Group:
As a diabetic UK group, we can offer opportunities for you to share experiences, if you wish, with others in your local area and keep up-to-date with diabetic care and management. For many, joining a group can be the first step in learning how to manage their diabetes.


Previous Meetings

JUNE 21st

GUEST SPEAKER: Sarah Story, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, York House, Isebrook Hospital, Irthlingborough Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

Meeting Place: Health Education Room Castle Unit, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough.

Sarah started by giving a brief introduction about her work experience. Then she started explaining to the audience the role of the anti-diabetes medicines, the most popular being METFORMIN.

Although this drug is relatively old, Sarah argued that Metformin is the best medicine the health practitioner can prescribe to help newly diagnosed patients to reduce their HbA1c.

Sarah explained what Metformin does in the body. Patients with diabetes have problem using insulin effectively because the mechanism that allows glucose to penetrate the cells for energy from the blood stream is not working well. That is called insulin resistant. She explained this resistance with a simple comparison: When we eat carbohydrates, it becomes glucose in the blood stream, that can be used as energy for the body cells. For this glucose to enter the cells, it needs the insulin as a “Key” that opens the cell door. In patients with type 2 diabetes, their body is resisting this insulin for opening the cells’ door to get energy from glucose. When the key is at fault, the glucose does not enter the cells and remains in the blood stream causing hyperglycemia.

Metformin helps repair that key or the effectiveness of insulin. In other words, Metformin helps insulin work better. Sarah also answered the audience’s questions about this anti-diabetes drug and its side effects, such as diarrhea. After this, Sarah explained the role of other anti-diabetes medication called gliclazide, which she said works like a pancreas and provides insulin to the body. Sarah said that this drug can cause hypoglycemia and it is prescribed to help patients reduce their HbA1c considerably.

She made this simple comparison: When the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin, Gliclazide encourages the pancreas and squeezes it to produce more insulin. Sarah also suggested that this drug can encourage patients to eat more and put on more weight, therefore it is not the best option.

Then she talked about the DPP4 Inhibitors “Gliptins” tablets:
Sarah explained that these inhibitors can improve the communication system between the pancreas and the stomach, meaning that this drug helps the pancreas to release the right amount of insulin to cover the amount of carbohydrates consumed. However, these drugs are made by different companies and have dis-similar side effects, thus they are prescribed depending on patient's health condition.

The last type of anti-diabetes drugs that Sarah talked about was the SGLT2 inhibitors – “flozins”:
Sarah explained that the body automatically filters the blood from the excess glucose through kidneys. What these drugs do is to facilitate this mechanism by helping the body to get rid of excess glucose through kidneys and filter them out in the urine. She also argued that patients who are on these drugs can be at high risk of developing urine infections because they have a lot of glucose in their urine. In addition, Sarah mentioned that patients with kidney problem should not take these drugs.

During the second half of this educational session, Sarah led an important workshop with the group members. This workshop was very engaging and helped the audience to understand the type of food which is good for diabetes and the food that should be avoided. She explained all kind of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and fats, and talked about their roles in supplying our bodies with the necessary energy and other important nutrients for a better functioning.

Thanks to Sarah Storey, this educational session was very informative and successful. All our group members who attended this session were very happy because they learned a lot from Sarah. The way she explained everything in this session made the information very understandable and made Sarah one of our best Guest Speakers so far.

Our ChairPerson Mariam Agha presenting a Thank You Card and a Bouquet of Flowers to our Guest Speaker Sarah Story


15th JUNE 2019

During the 'World Diabetes Week', we held a KNOW YOUR RISK event in the Wellingborough Swansgate Shopping Centre on Saturday the 15th of June from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm.

(Mariam Agha & Zain Agha pose by the sides of the KNOW YOUR RISK Banner)

The results of today's "Know Your Risk" event was quite satisfactory.
Total checked were 35 people.

(Mariam Agha & Zain Agha ready to start the day)

Out of the 35 people checked, there were 5 at Low Risk, 13 were at Moderate Risk 8 were found to be at Increased Risk, and 8 were at High Risk.

Zain Agha checking the BMI (Body Mass Index) of a lady who was found to be at Increased Risk)

Those with Increased Risk and High Risk were referred to their GP.

(Mariam Agha explaining the lady how to look after herself to avoid geting diabetic.)

During this Event there were many new people with diabetes who became Members of our Group.

Previous Meetings

MAY 2019

GUEST SPEAKER: Lynsey Burgess, Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Diabetes Clinical Lead Northants Diabetes Multi-disciplinary Team (NDMT) at Kettering General Hospital.

Meeting Place: Health Education Room, Castle Unit, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough.

Lynsey started by giving an introduction about her practice. Then she started explaining how diabetes specialist nurses make decision on which diabetes medications are best for the patient. Lynsey then talked about the things that need to be considered, such as the health state of the patient:

After that, she started presenting the existing prescribed medicine in the UK, such as Metformin. She stated that Metformin is the most prescribed anti-diabetes medication for type 2 diabetes that is proven to be very useful in reducing HbA1c.

Lynsey also presented the rest of existing prescribed, such as DPP-4 inhibitors “gliptins” (Alogliptin / Linagliptin / Saxagliptin / Sitagliptin / vildagliptin). She explained their benefits on lowering the HbA1c and their side effects. Similarly, Lynsey also explained the role of Sulphonylureas (Gliclazide / Glimepiride / Glipizide / Tolbutamide) and their health benefits as well as their side effects. Likewise, she also talked about Thiazolidinediones “Pioglitazone” (actos / diabiom / glidipion) and their role in lowering HbA1c. However, this treatment can have a side effect on people with kidneys problem.

Lynsey also talked about the relatively new anti-diabetes treatment called GLP-1 receptor agonist - Albiglutide / dulaglutide / exenatide / liraglutide / lixisentide / semaglutide.

At the end of the presentation, Lynsey presented the role of insulin in lowering HbA1c. However, insulin also can cause hypos.

Thanks to Lynsey Burgess, this educational session was very informative and successful. All our group members who attended this session were very happy because they learned a lot from her.



27th APRIL 2019

This Event was held on the 27th of April 2019 at the Swansgate shopping Centre, Wellingborough from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm.
Because of the extreme bad weather, not many people came out of their home. We checked 14 people out of which we found that 2 were at low risk of developiung diabetes and 2 were at Increased Risk, 6 were at Moderate Risk and 4 were at High Risk.

Those with Moderate Risk and High Risk were given letters and referred to their GPs.


Previous Meetings

MARCH 2019

GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Khalid Ayes, Stroke Consultant (Kettering & Northampton General Hospitals.

Meeting Place: Health Education Room, Castle Unit, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough.

The opening of the first meeting of this year carried out by Zain Agha. Zain welcomed Dr. Khalid Ayes and all members who attended this session, especially the new members. After that, Dr. Khalid Ayes started with presenting himself and the work he is doing as a health professional specialist in stroke. Dr. Khalid then started explaining stroke and its relationship with diabetes. He emphasized that stroke is not a disease, it is rather a syndrom (a common end-organ damage) that occurs as a result of a blockage in blood vessel that supply blood into the brain. He further specified the different type of vessels formed of vein and artery and their roles in supplying blood to the brain.

Dr. Ayes also explained how diabetes, together with cholesterol helps the accumulation of fatty acids inside the artery walls causing a blockage of vessels, this in turn causes blood leakage in the brain and results in what is called stroke.

After that, he explained how to avoid stroke in the future by changing our way of life. He suggested that managing diabetes is one of the major preventive ways, in addition to practicing physical activity, smoking secession, reducing alcohol consumption and managing stress.

During this educational session, Dr. Khalid talked about some research on stroke conducted around the world and explained their results.


Guest speaker: Mariam Agha, MSc Health Psychology, Chairperson of the Diabetes UK Wellingborough Group, Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Researcher, recently qualified in “Understanding Nutrition and Health”. Meeting Place: Health Education Room, Castle Unit, Isebrook Hospital. Theme: “Nutrition and Diabetes”

The opening of the first meeting of this year carried out by Mariam Agha. Mariam welcomed all members who attended this session, especially the new members. This session is considered a great opportunity for the group members volunteer to reflect on their performance so far and to use the feedback obtained from the group members to improve the performance in the future. After that, Mariam Agha started with presenting the group performance and its achievements.

Mariam also went through this year’s meeting programs and the importance of attending each one of them.

The second part of this session, Mariam played two short Diabetes UK Educational Videos regarding how insulin works, and complications due to diabetes.

After that, Mariam invited the group members to share their experiences in diabetes self-management, with the group members that were present. This was an open discussion about different aspects of diabetes. Mariam was able to answer some of the group members’ questions about their diabetes-related concerns. During this open discussion, members were able to share their successful and unsuccessful experiences with diabetes. There were some amazing stories, especially from the members who attended the group meetings regularly. Indeed, the members who attended most of the meetings reported that their HbA1c has improved a lot since they joined Diabetes UK Wellingborough Group. To preserve our group members’ confidentiality, the result of this discussion cannot be published.

At the end of this session, all Diabetes UK Wellingborough group members were very happy, to learn as much information as possible. Some members said: “this session was the best educational session they have ever attended”. This is because they were able to acquire a lot of knowledge, thanks to Mariam Agha, who was able to answer all of the questions regarding how best to Manage Diabetes.


Ph: 01933 385175 Mobile: 07446 173 088

ChairPerson : Mariam Agha MSc. MBPsS           Treasurer : Sunil Panchal           Secretary: Zain Agha PhD