A RUNCORN man who shed more than three stone after joining Weight Watchers has praised the group for restoring confidence and health.

Andy McKay was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic with high cholesterol and also high blood pressure in March last year and has been a member of WeightWatchers in Halton Lea since January.

Since joining, he has lost 47lbs, which equates to over three and a half stone.

Reflecting on his experience at Weightwatchers Andy said: "I joined to help take control of my diabetes, as it was spiralling out of control and I did not want to have to rely on medication for the rest of my life.

"I have lost 10% of my body weight which has helped with my wellbeing and also motivated me to keep going."

Recalling the events that leading up to joining a slimming group, he explained: "I saw a diabetic nurse who told me that I had to eat less sugar and gave me some information on my condition.

"I tried a 12-week low sugar programme, which helped a little and I did lose a little bit of weight.

"My levels came down a little but, but after going on holiday in June and feeling fine I thought I would be ok so continued as I had prior to march."

A review appointment with the diabetic nurse in September last year, revealed the levels had gone back up and Andy was still overweight.

The nurse decided to put Andy on a course of Metformin, a drug prescribed for treating type 2 diabetes and also chlorestol medication.

Andy said: "I started taking the medication as prescribed but had not been told anything about the Metformin and noticed that once I started taking them that I was always hungry and was eating double of what I was eating previously and was still hungry all the time.

"It was only after speaking to a friend who is a nurse I found out that the Metformin was taking all the sugar out of my body which was why I was continuously hungry.

"My blood sugar levels were not going down any at all and neither was my weight and the medication was not helping me so I decided to stop taking the medication before Christmas.

"After having a horrible Christmas period of feeling ill and my blood sugar levels being the highest they had been, I felt like I was getting nowhere and was worried that this would be the way of life for me for the rest of my life.

"After Christmas my wife decided to look into various Weight Loss plans to see which would be best for me and we both joined WeightWatchers on January 22.

"This was a massive step for me as I have never been worried about my weight or dieting before, as I used to be very slim and only started putting on weight in the last 12 months which I now know was due to the diabetes."

When he first went to the doctors in March 2018 they did some tests.

The results revealed his weight was 97.524 kg (just under 15 and a half stone), he had a Body Mass Index (BMi) of 31.8, blood pressure reading of 134/94, a diabetes reading of 74 and Chlorestol was 5.8.

During a review on April 2 with the diabetic nurse, he was given the good news that the levels were normal and he was now classed as pre-diabetic.

He explained: "I will always be a diabetic, but no longer needed to be on medication and do not need to monitor my blood sugar levels three times a day anymore.

"I had the same blood test done prior to this appointment and the results came back as: weight 86kg, BMi 27.5, blood pressure 124/66, HB1 (diabetes) 42 (42-48 is pre-diabetic and the recommended level is below 48) and Chlorsterol 4.8 (below 5 is normal).

"The nurse was amazed that I had done this off my own back by joining WW and told me to keep going as I was nearly at my BMI goal also.

"My time with WeightWatchers has boosted my confidence in speaking to people and class members and sharing my story with new members, food knowledge.

"I am also not embarrassed to talk about my health anymore."