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Diabetes: an increasing risk

How to stop the rise of diabetes

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The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increasing all over the world. However, in the UK the risk level has been rising particularly steeply, with 1 in 3 adults at high risk of developing diabetes. A change in lifestyle and attitude can be all it takes to reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

 

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that results in high blood sugar levels. The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, produced in the pancreas. Insulin moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where it is broken down to produce energy. If a person has diabetes, they are unable to break glucose down into energy.

 

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There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that usually arises in childhood. The body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 1 is usually an inherited condition and cannot be prevented by making lifestyle changes.

Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the body’s cells don’t react properly to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1, and most commonly affects those who are overweight and over 40. It is also more prevalent in certain ethnicities, such as South Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or Middle Eastern. It is possible to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making lifestyle changes.

 

Symptoms

The main indicator of diabetes is high blood sugar levels. If a person’s blood sugar levels are at the high edge of the normal range, they may be diagnosed with having pre-diabetes, meaning their risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes is significantly increased. Although symptoms of diabetes can be hard to identify, it is important for the condition to be diagnosed as early as possible to prevent it from becoming progressively worse. It is time to see a doctor if you are experiencing:

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Urinating more frequently than normal, especially at night

  • Feeling very tired

  • Weight loss, particularly of bulk muscle

  • Frequent episodes of thrush

  • Itching around the genital area

  • Slow healing of cuts or wounds

  • Blurred vision

 

Lifestyle Changes

If diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to make some lifestyle changes to support treatment. However, making the same changes can also significantly reduce or delay the risk of developing diabetes.

Lifestyle changes include eating a balanced diet and staying active to control your body mass index (BMI), as well as reducing your sugar and alcohol intake and stopping smoking. You can speak to a doctor for advice on losing weight healthily and quitting smoking.

Although diabetes cannot be cured, there are treatments available (such as Metformin) to help manage the condition. Dr Felix can give you advice on the right type 2 diabetes treatment for you. Click here to find out more.

 

Sources

NHS - Diabetes: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/food-and-keeping-active/

Dr Felix - Diabetes Treatment: https://www.drfelix.co.uk/treatment/diabetes/


 

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