You are probably aware of the huge increase in people suffering from diabetes. Recent data from NHS Digital shows that nearly 5,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes are admitted to hospital every day. World Diabetes day (14th November) has been created to raise awareness of the condition and the negative impacts that it has on people’s lives. It aims to inform people of the best ways of reducing your chance of getting diabetes as well as to advise you of the best ways to treat the disease. World Diabetes day helps mitigate the damaging effects of diabetes by attempting to prevent the rise of diabetes and helping people who suffer from diabetes to control their condition by educating people on diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease where blood sugar (main source of your energy) levels are too high. Insulin which is made by the pancreas facilitates the travel of sugars into your cells to be used for energy. Diabetes occurs when your body can’t make a sufficient quantity/any insulin or doesn’t use it efficiently. This means that the sugars stay in your blood and don’t reach your cells which can increase the risk of heart disease or a stroke. Click here for more information on diabetes.
What causes diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is generally caused by genes or other environmental factors such as viruses which confuse your immune system.
However, the main causes of type 2 diabetes are:
- Obesity – Physically inactive and overweight people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because the extra weight can occasionally cause insulin resistance. This is more common with people with extra belly fat which is linked to developing type 2 diabetes. So a good idea to lose the fat.
- General insulin resistance means that insulin is not being used efficiently and thus the pancreas makes more insulin to match demand. However, overtime it can’t make enough and blood sugar levels rise.
- Genes can also affect the likeliness of a person to develop type 2 diabetes through a tendency to develop it or the increased likeliness of becoming overweight or obese. So if you have it in the family you need to pay particular attention.
How to reduce the chances of getting diabetes?
There are many ways that you can reduce the chances of getting diabetes but there are three that have the most impact.
- Weight control is the most important factor and will significantly reduce your likeliness of suffering from diabetes as extra weight is more likely to lead to insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- By exercising sufficiently you will not only maintain a healthy weight, but exercise normalises blood sugars and helps to reduce stress which are extremely important in a healthy, diabetes free lifestyle.
- Eating a balanced diet will help to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels whilst also reducing the chance of you getting diabetes.
Living with diabetes can be difficult and demanding but with a good diet and exercise it can be managed very well. Furthermore, research projects have made living with diabetes easier when properly managed and future research will improve things further, potentially finding a permanent cure for the damaging effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In the meantime it is worth noting that even if you don’t suffer from diabetes now following the above health recommendation will dramatically reduce the risk of you developing diabetes in the future.