Finding a source of food has been on our agenda since the dawn of man (and of course woman). Obviously we are less hairy than our caveman ancestors, but the concept has remained the same for thousands of years. Food equals energy! Not only does it give us the get and go each day, but is a vital aspect of internal functions, helping to repair cells and supporting our external functions. Therefore it is an important basic survival mechanism of being human.
Heres the science part..
- As our stomachs digest food, fluids called acids and enzymes are mixed in.
- The carbonhydrates (sugars and starches) in the food break down into another form of sugar called glucose.
- As it enters the blood stream, the body releases a hormone from the pancreas called insulin.
- Insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy.
Why is this relevent?
In cases of diabetes, this process doesn’t happen. Either through a lack of insulin production or the insulin produced simply does not work effectively. Ensuring your blood glucose levels remain high, over time can lead to complex health conditions such as:
- nerve damage
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- eye problems
- gum disease
Every case of diabetes is serious and not without its risks. Reffering to it as ‘sugar diabetes’ will not make it any less serious. Diabetes is a lifelong condition, with almost 4.3 million people across the UK are affected by it. Whilst its understood that type 1 is unavoidable as this an immune response, type 2 diabetes is highly related to diet, inactivety and lifestyle. Almost 90% of diabetics are type 2 and a futher 12.3 million of us are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes within our lifetime.
This figure represents 6% of our population. This is 1 in every 16 people! Figures in Cornwall are also on the rise.
What are the symptoms and who is at risk?
If you have the following symptoms it is advised to see your GP as soon as possible.
- the need to pee more, specially at night
- fatigue/ increased tiredness
- blurred vision
- or wounds that take longer to heel
Anyone can be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. however if you are :
- are over 40 – or 25 for south Asian people
- have a close relative with diabetes – such as a parent, brother or sister
- are overweight or obese
- are of south Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or black African origin – even if you were born in the UK
Your risk is even higher.
Can diabetes be avoided?
Yes! Keeping active, mainting a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet is thought to reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.
So come on Cornwall, lets work together to make this a healthier place!