As Britain’s waistlines expand, being overweight is having a serious effect on the nation’s health. Whilst the obvious maladies of heart disease and obesity ballooned in the 20th century, diabetes managed to largely slip in under the public’s radar. But is it as much of a life sentence as its more infamous cousins?
Well, it won’t kill you itself. Diabetes can be treated by insulin or through your diet but ignore it and you run the risk of complications such as blindness or amputation.
Test for diabetes
There are many tell-tale signs but is believed that there are still 850,000 sufferers in the UK that aren’t aware they have the disease. Are you always thirsty? Always hungry? Does this blog appear blurry? If so, it might be because your blood glucose levels are high and it would be worth getting a test for diabetes.
And what happens if you do have diabetes?
5 tips to live healthily with diabetes
Having high blood sugar doesn’t have to be high maintenance. Awareness is key. There are many ways to stave off the effects of this chronic disease. Here are five top tips for staying healthy:
1) Good nutrition
Depending on the type of diabetes, patients will need to get used to incorporating dietary changes into their lives alongside insulin use. Starchy carbohydrates are crucial. Potatoes, pasta, bread and plenty of fruit are vital to staying healthy. Missing meals and late-night takeaways are definite no-nos.
2) Plenty of exercise
As well as kicking fatty foods, diabetics should also look out their running shoes from the back of the wardrobe. Regular exercise will aid in the control of blood sugar and also help lower the odds of accompanying diseases, such as heart disease.
3) Quit smoking
Alongside a more active lifestyle, giving up cigarettes is also imperative, so try a stop smoking service. Smoking increases the chance of other diabetes-related conditions developing so quitting will help your health as well as your wallet.
Smart phones aren’t just for checking Facebook and listening to music. Check out an app called Glooko, which was launched earlier in the year and allows diabetics to download and analyse data from their blood sugar meters and share with their doctors if necessary. Monitoring your glucose levels has never been easier.
5) No Alcohol
Yip, diabetics will also have to give up Britain’s most popular vice or at least seriously curtail how much they drink, according to this article in the Guardian.
So whilst being diagnosed with diabetes will remain daunting, there is hope. Vigilance, understanding and following a healthy lifestyle will mean that sufferers should be able to control their condition and limit its effects.
Are you diabetic? How do you stay healthy?