A diabetes specialist is offering patients advice and the most up-to-date treatment at a private hospital in Hove.
Sunil Zachariah, 43, has joined the Montefiore Hospital, in Hove, as obesity and, with it, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increases in the Brighton and Hove area.
More than four in ten adults in Brighton and Hove are overweight or obese, according to the Active People Survey, with more than one in ten classed as obese.
And an estimated 18,000 patients over 16 who are registered with a GP (general practitioner) in Brighton and Hove have type 2 diabetes.
The condition occurs when the body is not making enough insulin – or the insulin that it is making is not being used properly.
It usually appears in people in middle aged or older – and Dr Zachariah has already noticed a higher prevalence among the pockets of retirement homes in the local area.
Dr Zachariah said: “Type 2 diabetes is definitely going to increase here if you factor in the numbers of people who are severely overweight as this is the main risk factor.
“It can be managed with the latest drugs but advice on lifestyle changes is very important in treating patients.
“It’s crucial they are treated properly as they are at a greater risk of a range of chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation, kidney disease and depression, than people without diabetes.”
Shortly after joining the Montefiore Hospital as the area’s only private endocrinologist, Dr Zachariah was warmly welcomed by 25 local family doctors when he led an education evening on diabetes.
In feedback after the event, the GPs that said they had better knowledge of treatments available and were more informed about diabetes, thanks to the consultant’s talk.
Dr Zachariah is an endocrinologist – an expert in hormones and glands. As well as diabetes, he will help patients with thyroid problems, adrenal lesions, obesity, polycystic ovaries and chronic fatigue.
The 43-year-old has been a doctor for the past 20 years, specialising in endocrinology since 2008. He lives in Sussex with his wife, Indu Koshi, who is also a doctor, specialising in acute medicine and geriatrics, and his 18-year-old son, who hopes to study medicine at university.
Dr Zachariah is currently running clinics on alternate Saturdays at the Montefiore Hospital, in Montefiore Road, Hove, but he expects this to become weekly by the end of this year.
The hospital, which opened four years ago in the old Legal and General offices and Hanningtons furniture depository, is owned by Spire Healthcare.