It’s officially Diabetes Day! It’s a good time to remind people that diabetes has officially been labelled a global epidemic. An estimated 4.5 million people in the UK alone are living with Diabetes and worse still 11.9 million are estimated to be at increased risk.
You could have a higher risk of having diabetes if you have any of the following:
- Your parent(s) were diagnosed with diabetes. If just one of your parents has diabetes, you have a 1 in 7 chance of having it too, but if both your parents have diabetes you have a50% chance of having it.
- You are overweight. BMI is strongly related to Type 2 diabetes. So if your BMI is over 35 kg/m2 your risk is 93 times greater. Women with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 have a 28 times greater risk of developing diabetes than do women of a healthy weight.
- High blood pressure
- You are not physically active
- You are over 40 years old. You’re more at risk if you’re white and over 40 or over 25 if you’re African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian.
Type 2 diabetes is a killer, so why don’t we know more about it?
Simply explained, it’s a disease that impacts on the hormones produced by the body. Type 2 diabetes effectively causes excess sugar (glucose) in the blood. This can lead to severe dehydration and, over the long term, to problems with the nerves/nerve endings. This can lead to damage to the eyes and to limbs. In extreme cases Type 2 diabetes can lead to premature death.
Are you overweight and have Type 2 diabetes?
The best way to avoid or to treat Type 2 diabetes is to get your weight down to a healthy level. Generally this means keeping a body mass index below the 27-30 range. The healthy range for you could be even lower than this if you are in one of the higher risk ethnic groups I mentioned earlier.
So, Type 2 diabetes is a serious threat to health and can cause death or disability.
If you are obese, i.e. you have a BMI over 30, and you are worried about Type 2 diabetes, the good news is that weight loss surgery represents a very safe and effective treatment. Recent research showed that 77% of weight loss surgery patients who had Type 2 diabetes at the time of their surgery were completely cured when tested 2 years later. Although the gastric band is a good option of this patient group, the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are the better options. In the case of the bypass the health benefits are often immediate!