This World Diabetes Day, the topic is “Accessibility to Treatment”. In that vein, we wanted to provide information and support if you’re concerned about Diabetes.
Diabetes is a long-term illness characterised by the World Health Organisation as, “occurring either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose.”
We know, thanks to research from the Independent Diabetes Foundation, that 1 in 10 adults have Diabetes and that close to half of those living with Diabetes have not yet been diagnosed.
Diabetes can fall into either Type 1 or Type 2. The difference being that in Type 1, the body cannot produce enough insulin or type 2, where the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively. Whilst environmental or genetic factors tend to be the cause for Type 1, Type 2 Diabetes, which accounts for up to 90% of cases, is more likely to be caused by lifestyle factors such as:
- Family history of diabetes
- Weight or high BMI
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Increasing age
- High blood pressure
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)*
- History of gestational diabetes
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
*Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is a category of higher than normal blood glucose, but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.
If you wanted to find out what your own risk factor for developing Type 2 Diabetes is, click here.
What you can do
There are numerous things you can do to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, relating to your health, diet and fitness levels:
- Choosing water rather than fruit juice or fizzy drinks
- Eating at least three servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day
- Choosing nuts, fresh fruit or unsweetened yoghurt as a snack
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Choosing whole grain bread, rice or pasta
- Choosing unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil) instead of saturated fats (butter, ghee, animal fat, coconut oil or palm oil
- Aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread out over several days. This might include walking, jogging, swimming or cycling.
When drawing up the Health and Wellbeing Strategy for 2021 – 2025, Diabetes support and management was given a big focus. This policy shapes the way that diabetes is managed and the way that patients are cared for. Read more here.
Locally, support and care is provided by the Diabetic 8 Care Team. Find them here.
You can also access help from your GP or local pharmacy.
Finally, if you’re looking to improve your fitness or diet, why not consider one of our local leisure centres. Find them here.