Thursday 21 May 2009
Our loyal readers know that we are the biggest advocates of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
But there’s so much conflicting information on the Internet that it’s difficult to know who to trust when it comes to health concerns.
Luckily we’ve got Closer's Dr Christian Jessen to explain ailments in language we understand!
There's a lot of press about diabetes these days, with campaigns set up by the Government to 'look for the warning signs' of the condition (which include being overweight or having a waist measuring more than 34 inches).
But these are only guidelines - you may also have physical symptoms such as tiredness, increased thirst and urination, weight loss or blurred vision. And if diabetes goes undiagnosed, there's a chance that you could develop kidney failure, blindness or even premature death.
Dr Christian is here for the science bit – did you know there are two types, and that each needs different treatment?
Dr Christian says:
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body has difficulty controlling its blood sugar levels, causing them to rise higher than normal. There are two main types: Type 1, which is more often seen in young people; and Type 2, which tends to affect adults over 40 and overweight people. There are also some rarer types, including one that can occur during pregnancy.
There are currently two and a half million people with diabetes in the UK, and it's estimated that more than half a million don’t actually know they have it. Rising obesity levels have led to an increase in Type 2 diabetes, and for the first time, it is starting to occur in young people, too.
The hormone at the heart of the problem is insulin, which controls the levels of glucose within the body. If this hormone is present in inadequate quantities then the level of glucose in the blood will rise. It's thought Type 2 diabetes is related to factors associated with a Western lifestyle, since it's most common in people who are overweight and/or don't get enough exercise.
Diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, and treatments are straightforward and easy to manage, (common treatments include a combination of diet and exercise, plus optional use of tablets or insulin). The best way to avoid developing it is to keep to your healthy weight range and eat a healthy balanced diet.