Obese and overweight people have a higher chance of developing type II diabetes and many people go undiagnosed for years. Here, we look at some key facts you should know about diabetes.
Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDs combined. It affects almost 3 million people in the UK and it is thought that a further 850,000 people have undiagnosed diabetes.
While type I diabetes usually starts in childhood and has nothing to do with lifestyle, type II diabetes affects 85-95% of all diabetes sufferers, and is most commonly caused by obesity – which means it could be prevented by reducing your risk factors.
Here are a few need-to-know facts about the condition.
- Type II diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin (this is the hormone that breaks down glucose and turns it into energy). You are more likely to get diabetes if you are over 40, if you have a relative with the condition, if you are of South Asian, Black African or African Caribbean descent (even if you were born in the UK) or if you are overweight. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels (which you may do if you are obese or overweight), you are at a higher risk of developing type II diabetes. Did you know that 8 in 10 people who have diabetes are overweight, and the condition is becoming more common in children?
- Fat around the tummy can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems and put you at risk. Women with a waist measuring 31.5 inches or more, and men with a waist measuring 37 inches or more are more likely to get diabetes. Reducing your body weight by 5% can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by more than 50%.
- Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with careful management of glucose levels and other treatments. In type II sufferers it may be possible to control glucose levels by maintaining a healthy diet, but more advanced diabetes does require insulin medication or injections. Taking care of your health, having a balanced diet, stopping smoking, moderating your alcohol intake, and regular exercise are all necessary to control diabetes.
- The symptoms of diabetes include frequently feeling thirsty, frequent urination (especially at night), feeling very tired, unexplained weight loss or loss of muscle bulk, genital itching or regular thrush, blurred vision, cramps, constipation and skin infections. If you are suffering from diabetes you will probably exhibit some rather than all of these symptoms. It is crucial that diabetes be caught early to begin treatment and diet management.
- Contrary to popular belief, type II diabetes is not a mild form of the illness. It is a serious condition and left untreated it can develop into more serious health risks. Complications that can arise from diabetes include eye and foot problems, and long-term damage to blood vessels, nerves and organs. This in turn can lead to heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, sexual malfunction and problems during pregnancy. Heart disease and strokes are five times more likely in diabetics.
Many of our clients have told us that after losing weight with LighterLife, they’ve been able to stop taking their diabetes medication.
Research has also shown that following a formula based weight loss plan, was in the majority of cases, successful at putting type 2 diabetes suffers into remission.
This study, carried out by Newcastle University in 2011, is only a first step and because data was so promising, a new five-year study (called the DiRECT study) began in 2013 which will investigate the possibility of formula based weight loss plans being used to effectively help induce and maintain type 2 diabetes remission.
Ultimately, this would help more people live longer, with an improved quality of life, by following a VLCD or LCD such as LighterLife Lite or Total, without the need for surgery.
For information on how to lose weight safely and reduce your risk of diabetes, get in touch with your local LighterLife counsellor today.