Diabetes is probably one of the most common medical complaints. I suspect all of us will know someone who either has it or has been classed as being pre-diabetic, but what exactly is it and what can we do to help lessen our chances of getting it?
There are 2 main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2
Type 1- in diabetes type 1 the pancreas doesn’t make insulin and so this can cause the bodies blood glucose level to rise, which can lead to organs being damaged if not treated. Type 1 diabetes accounts for less than 10% of all diabetic patients. People with this type will need lifelong management and monitoring.
Type 2-Here the pancreas is either not making enough insulin or the body has become resistant to insulin. Just as in type 1, there is high blood glucose, but unlike type 1 changes in lifestyle can and do make all the difference. Some people with this type may continue to need medication, but a lot can reduce or stop medication by making changes to their lives.
In this blog post we will look at what you should look out for and what changes you can make to help lessen the likelihood of developing type 2 or if you have type 2, improving it.
It should be noted that type 2 tends to manifest over many months/years and is much slower to develop than type 1. It tends to be more common in older age groups but, with increasing childhood obesity, there is increase prevalence in the younger ages too.
So what are the common symptoms you should watch out for?
Some of the most common are, increased urination, tiredness, thirst, weight change, delayed healing, thrush. If you are experiencing these, get tested by your GP.
What will put me at greater risk?
Some risk factors include, being heavier, especially around the middle, being over 40, having a parent or close family relative with it, having high blood pressure, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being inactive, not sleeping well and having polycystic ovary disease.
So why should I worry about having diabetes?
Diabetes can have really serious consequences if left uncontrolled. Any part of you that needs a blood supply to it, can be effected, especially the most distant parts of our limbs or the areas that are fed by small arteries. Diabetic eye issues and foot problems are common complaints, but poor wound healing and ulceration can cause months and months of prolonged problems.
So what can I do to help myself?
Looking at your diet, weight and lifestyle is a great starting point.
Your waist should be smaller than your hip measurement and your BMI be within healthy ranges. Look to increase exercise, incorporating 10,000 steps a day and making small changes to your routine.
Look to cut back on smoking and alcohol. Ideally quitting would be great, but small steps really do help.
Look to improve your sleep and overall wellness. Allow your body time to restore and repair with rest.
Keep on top of your monitoring if you do have diabetes and attend all of your check up appointments. Follow advice given and remain pro-active and positive.
If you have foot troubles or have diabetes, make friends with a chiropodist to check them regularly and help you stay ahead of any problems.
Our team are here to support your health goals. If you can achieve these alone, then great. If you need help, support, guidance and a plan, we are here to help you. Just ask!