Combating diabetes

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DIABETES is in the news with reports of increasing numbers of UK cases.

New studies suggest levels have reached 2.8m diagnosed cases and an estimated 850,000 others suspected to have the condition.

In 85 per cent of those diagnosed, they have Type 2 diabetes, which is more likely to develop in later life and is often a result of lifestyle factors such as being overweight, obese or not being active enough.

There are ways to reduce your risk and help you lead a life free from this increasingly escalating condition:

It’s now thought that men are perhaps biologically more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes.

By looking at the ages and body mass index (BMI) scores at the time of diagnosis, a recent Scottish study revealed a clear trend, with men developing Type 2 diabetes at a lower BMI than women of a similar age, indicating that men need to gain far less weight than women to develop the condition.

Those with diabetes are five times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, as well as being more at risk of kidney disease, eye problems and nerve damage.

But the good news is that the onset of Type 2 Diabetes can be greatly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle.

Follow these simple steps from national charity Heart Research UK to reduce your risk;

l Eat a balanced diet – a diet that is low in sugar, saturated fat and salt and don’t forget to include your five fruit and vegetables a day

l Maintain a healthy weight – cutting down the amount of food you eat isn’t always easy so switch to healthier foods that are naturally low in calories

l Be waist wise – keep your waist measurement below 31.5 inches if you are a woman, 37 inches if you are a man. If you are an Asian man try to keep your waist measurement below 35 inches. Take extra care if you are ‘apple’ shaped to keep your waistline under control

l Get physical - do at least 30 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days of the week (i.e. cycling or fast walking)

l Check it out – get regular health checks and take steps to keep a healthy blood pressure and control your cholesterol levels

l Drink alcohol in moderation – keep within the recommended maximum intake of 14 units per week for women and 21 units for men

l Avoid tobacco – give it up for good and contact your local GP for advice on how to do so.

For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on 0113 2347474 or email lifestyle@heartresearch.org.uk