Trial fuels diabetic's remarkable improvement

Published: 19 March 2014 at 11:56

Kathy ready for weddings thanks to partnership between small firm and Anglia Ruskin University

A type-two diabetic can look forward to a year of weddings with fresh vigour after dropping 11.5kg of body fat in just 10 weeks and more than halving her blood sugar levels.

Kathy Jenkins, who is 62 and lives in Chelmsford, was faced with an increase in diabetic medication unless she could lower her blood sugar levels.

Kathy had struggled with her weight for years and, as well as being diagnosed with diabetes in December 2012, was also suffering from arthritis, high blood pressure and asthma. Desperate to improve her health, she was referred to The Specialist Health Centre, working in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University’s Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI).

Through the diabetic support programme, the centre’s team created a rigorous exercise plan tailored to her needs backed up with advice from in-house specialists.

The treatment saw her blood sugar levels plunge from 8millimoles per litre (mmol) to 3.8mmol. Her weight dropped by 10.5kg, which factors in an 11.5kg loss in body fat and a 1.5kg gain in muscle mass.

The results were achieved within 10 weeks, despite a setback in January when Kathy suffered lower back whiplash in a car accident.

She is to marry her fiancé, Alan, in September but will also be travelling to Lake Garda to see her son get married in May.

Mother of two Kathy said:

“Since working with The Specialist Health Centre I feel great, it has been positive all round. Although a big commitment – I do two to three hours of exercise a day – it has changed my life. My blood pressure has dropped dramatically and my medication has been reduced.
“My daily use of Metformin has been halved. With the support of the team’s physiotherapist, I have coped with the physical demands of the regime, while their nutritionist ensured my diet supported my exercise programme, whilst lowering my blood sugar levels.
“I was unhappy for many years to be photographed and I was worried about my son’s forthcoming wedding. Now I feel more confident about myself and will not be stressed at the thought of facing a camera. This change has been achieved with the support of the team’s counsellor.”

Anglia Ruskin’s PMI has been working in partnership with The Specialist Health Centre to develop and trial Kathryn’s innovative, non-medical, treatment package that promotes healthy living. 

Professor James Hampton-Till, Deputy Dean for Research, said:

“We have been monitoring Kathy’s progress closely and are delighted by the results. This case study will form the basis of a larger clinical trial that our Institute will shortly be running. We plan to publish the results later this year.” 

The Chelmsford-based Specialist Health Centre was only set up in November and will be one of the first small companies to move into The MedBIC, Anglia Ruskin’s new £6million hub for advanced engineering and medical businesses, which opens its doors in April.

Working alongside Anglia Ruskin’s Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI), The Specialist Health Centre was initially set up to treat cancer sufferers. However, with patients already being referred from Broomfield Hospital, Springfield Hospital, Nuffield Hospital in Brentwood and Colchester General Hospital, sufferers of chronic illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, immunodeficiency diseases and diabetes who could benefit from the four-pronged approach are being seen.

The Centre’s Director of Physical Therapy Mike Jefferson said:

“We feel completely supported by Anglia Ruskin as we know our success is as important to them as it is for us. There has got to be that partnership. We are a young company and we couldn’t really ask for anything more.
“Our services are primarily funded by the patients themselves, however it is our ambition that our research will help highlight the necessity and incentivise the NHS to fund in the future.”

For more information about the trial, contact James Hampton-Till at pmi@anglia.ac.uk