What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes a persons blood sugars to become too high. There are two types, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 Diabetes is far more common and can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle and diet and Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and cannot be prevented.

Who is most at risk of Diabetes?

Risk increases with age. You are more at risk if you’re white and over 40 or over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian.
  • You’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes.
  • You’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
  • You’re more at risk of Type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight, especially if you’re large around the middle.
How can I help prevent Diabetes?
  • Maintain a healthy balanced diet – make changes in your diet to avoid sugar snacks and drinks. Switch some of your carbs for vegetables. Carbohydrates take a big toll on your body in order to break them down. Plan your meals, if your meals are planned then you’ll be less likely to snack on those naughty treats
  • Regular exercise. This can be anything that gets your heart right elevated. Taking walks is a good way to start, exercise classes, cycling, swimming. Even gardening or cleaning can elevate your heart rate and burn calories to keep you fit and healthy.
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you to lose weight or there are groups you can sign up to aid your weight loss journey.
Why is weight loss important?
  • Extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around organs, like your liver and pancreas. This can cause something called insulin resistance as the insulin can’t get through the fat. This means the insulin your body produces doesn’t work properly, and that increases your chance of having high blood glucose (sugar).
If you are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible for referral to your local Healthier You service. This NHS-funded programme can support you to make simple changes to your diet, weight management and physical activity levels. They are easy to incorporate into your everyday routine and can significantly reduce your risk of diabetes-related health problems. To find out if you are eligible or for more advice visit: https://www.stopdiabetes.co.uk/