There are a lot of myths around diabetes, and a lot of things people don’t and should know. As we mark World Diabetes Day on November 14th, here are our top five for starters…
- More than three and a half million people in Britain have been diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s now considered one of the fastest growing health threats of our times. In the last 20 years the number of people living with the condition (which occurs when the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly) has more than doubled.
- There are two types of diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2 - but Type 2 Diabetes is NOT mild form of diabetes and shouldn’t be ignored. If not properly controlled it can lead to serious complications.
- Diabetics don’t have to eat ‘diabetic’ labelled foods or avoid sugar or sweet fruits. People with diabetes need a healthy, balanced diet, low in fat, sugar and salt, but they can enjoy treats. Those fruits are high in fibre, low in fat, full of goodness and can be part of a diet that still gives you good blood glucose control.
- You can exercise and play sports (look at Olympian Steve Redgrave who lives with the condition and who is honorary vice president of Diabetes UK). In fact being active is one way (along with weight control, healthy blood pressure, and not smoking) to help you stay healthy. Just check with your doctor or nurse before embarking on something new.
5. There are 15 healthcare essentials you should expect if you’re living with diabetes (from having your feet and legs checked to local education, from support to quit smoking to a free flu jab - a must this month). Check out the full list at www.diabetes.org.uk and talk to your doctor if you’re not receiving the help you deserve.