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Are You at Risk of Diabetes?

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With one in 10 adults expected to have diabetes by 2035, could you be next?

Over the past 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes just in the UK has more than doubled to almost 3.5 million. This dramatic rise has put an extreme burden on the government, costing the UK £8.8 billion each year. There’s a very real risk that these costs will rise to unsustainable levels, warn senior clinical advisors at Diabetes UK, but it’s not all bad news.

Mainly because type 2 diabetes is a reversible condition for many, much of the costs could be saved, say Doctors, GPs and medical officers. The challenge now is to empower and support as many people as possible.

What Makes Us Susceptible and a Diabetes Risk?

Type 2 diabetes, which makes up 90% of all diabetes cases, is linked to age, genes, diet, obesity and lack of exercise (it’s been nicknamed ‘walking deficiency syndrome’), stress and lack of sleep. Diabetes can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, blindness and limb gangrene/amputation, warn GPs, so careful monitoring, effective lifestyle changes and treatment are vital.

Children at Diabetes Risk

With digital revelations that one in five children in US leave primary school obese, it won’t be long before type 2 diabetes affects even more under-16s. The amount of children with type 2 diabetes is currently very small, but the numbers are increasing all the time warns the health system. Despite the fact that food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar was banned across all children’ s media in summer in the UK, some say that’s simply not enough. Governments also need to ban price promotions on unhealthy foods and introduce mandatory front-of-pack food labelling, says health officials globally.

In a survey, 33% of people have no interest in giving up the sweet stuff, despite worrying about its effect on diabetes, say health professionals.

It is estimated 1.1 million people in the UK have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed.

Know the Signs

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can often creep up on people, say doctors and GPs with a long-term interest in preventive medicine and medical officers for diabetes. You might be more tired than normal, have central obesity (think beer belly, love handles or back boobs), be getting up more at night to urinate, possibly have increased thirst and need to sleep more after a big meal. Some people also report ‘brain fog’. So, basically, all the things we put down to ageing!

Going Carb-Free is the Key Reduce Diabetes Risk

The main culprit is sugar in the diet, say doctors, but type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body can ’t process carbohydrate. So there’s good evidence for a total low-carb approach instead.

Our advice to patients is not to buy any food advertised on TV. Most of it’s processed, even the ‘healthy’ stuff isn’t healthy for low-carb lifestyles.

Screening for Over-40’s

Medical professionals are encouraging all over-40s to get tested (or if you’re 25-39 and an ethnic minority, as you’re at higher risk). Drug stores offer free tests in store, yet nothing beats seeing you GP for a blood glucose test.

According to statistics, 10% of the a countries budget is spent on diabetes — a $1.5 million every hour!

Will the Sugar Tax Help the UK?

Recently, the Government launched a tax of 18p per litre on drinks with over 5g of added sugar and 24p for 8g or more. The good news is that manufacturers are cutting sugar in their products to beat the tax. It’s predicted to raise £1 billion per year, presumably to spend on complications of sugar-related diseases. The bad news is fruit juice and sugar added to milk are exempt.

6 Ways to Cut your Risk

1. Avoid being overweight. Women should keep their waist size below 31.5in/80cm.

2. Reduce high-sugar, starchy foods, especially sugary drinks, confectionery, cakes and biscuits.

3. Eat more veg, whole fruits, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and fish.

4. Get moving. Do 30 mins of brisk activity five times/a week and 10 mins standing and stretching for every hour of sitting.

5. De-stress. Practise regular relaxation techniques, get enough sleep and stick to recommended alcohol levels.

6. Stop snacking late at night. Some hormonal cycles that peak at night can be disrupted by digesting food. So, if you have, or are vulnerable to diabetes, this is one area for maximum attention.

E277 – Are You at Risk of Diabetes? – www.diabetic.today

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