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Diabetes

Diabetes affects over 3.2 million people in the UK with 90% of people suffering from Type 2 diabetes and 10% suffering. Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who have African, Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origins (NICE, 2013). Having diabetes can create many life altering changes which may reduce a person’s quality of life. 

 

Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to break down glucose in the blood due to faulty insulin being produced or the insulin in a person’s body not working properly. Check out the videe below

Diabetes Type 1 and 2

 

Type 1 Diabetes also known as insulin-dependent diabetes makes up for 10% of all diabetes. This occurs when the body's own immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin and therefore the body produces little or no insulin at all. The direct cause is not known however it can be hereditary which suggests that there may be a genetic link. Type 1 diabetes is more common for people under the age of 40 and often occurs during the teenage years.  Type 1 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in children.

 

Type 2 Diabetes also known as non insulin-resistant diabetes and occurs in 90% of all diabetes sufferers. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not make enough insulin or the cells in your body become less resistant to the raised insulin levels. Symptoms tend to develop gradually over weeks and months with insufficient evidence suggesting that it may be over a lifetime.

Diabetes and insulin

  • When you eat a meal the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose as a result of the digestive process and absorbed from the small intestines and into the blood as glucose.

  • As the body detects the increased level of glucose in the blood the pancreas begins to produce more of the hormone insulin.

  • Insulin acts as a key that unlocks the membranes of cells to allow glucose to enter the cell and provide energy for the body's cells.

  • Insulin encourages the liver to store excess glucose in the blood as glycogen.​

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Symptoms of Diabetes

 

  • Thirst and Frequent urination-As glucose cannot enter the cell the body attempts to release glucose through the kidneys.

  • Blurred vision- Glucose build up in the lens of eyes causing liquid in lens to become cloudy.

  • Tiredness- Caused by not enough glucose being absorbed by your muscles.

  • Slow healing- High glucose in blood causes bacteria to thrive making you more prone to infection.

  • Break down of own body fat- Your body will go to readily available sources of energy including your own body fat.

 

In worse cases diabetes can also lead to:

 

  • Premature mortality and morbidity related to cardiovascular disease

  • Blindness

  • Kidney damage

  • Nerve disease

  • Amputation

Risk Factors for Diabetes

 

•Increased BMI

•A waist larger than 80cms/31inches for women

•A waist larger than 94cms/37 inches for male

•Afro-Caribbean, Chinese or south Asian background

•History of high blood pressure, stroke

•Diabetes runs in the family

•History of polycystic ovaries, a history of gestational diabetes

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

 

Exercise:

The majority of people with type 2 diabetes are not considered to be active. Physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and have an impact on lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality and quality of life. Physical activity and modest weight loss have been shown to lower the risk of type two diabetes by up to 58% in high risk populations.

 

Nutrition:

Mostly diabetes is the accumulation of poor eating habits and high sugar content in processed foods. As poor food habits and choices lead to diabetes, diabetes can therefore be controlled and managed by good eating habits.