The two types of diabetes are – Type 1 diabetes is where people’s body do not produce insulin caused by an auto immune reaction, where the immune system attacks the cells producing insulin in the pancreas and is often diagnosed in younger age, and Type 2 diabetes is where the body often develops a resistance to insulin, i.e the body still produces it, but the body has an inability to react to it. Most of the increase in diabetes in the last 20 years is of Type 2.
Early symptoms of diabetes are often undetected because they may not seem that serious. Some of the mildest early diabetes symptoms include:
- frequent urination
- unusual fatigue
- blurred vision
- weight loss, even without dieting
- tingling or numbness in hands and feet
The potential health consequences are often serious. Diabetes raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and can cause problems with your eyes, skin, kidneys, and nervous system (including nerve damage, or neuropathy). Diabetes can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED) and other urological problems such as inability to control urination, and urinary tract infections.
Fortunately, many of these complications are preventable or treatable with awareness and attention to your health.
Many factors can increase your risk for experiencing complications from diabetes, including:
- being overweight
- avoiding physical activity
- having high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- being older than 40
Quitting or reducing smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight are all highly effective ways to prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Certain lifestyle choices can greatly impact your physical and mental well-being if you have diabetes:
- Balancing your meals with an even mixture of starches, fruits and veggies, fats and proteins can improve your bodily health and delay the onset of diabetes symptoms.
- Avoid excess sugar, especially in carbonated drinks like soda and sweets.
- Keep a regular exercise schedule and manage your blood sugar within your exercise regimen. This can allow you to get the full benefits of a workout without feeling shaky, tired, dizzy, or anxious.
Could a Very Low Calorie Diet Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Scientists are busy researching a new weight management treatment, which includes a very low-calorie diet, to help people put their Type 2 diabetes into remission. The study is called DiRECT, short for Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial, and it could completely change the way Type 2 diabetes is treated in the future.
“Our findings suggest that even if you have had Type 2 diabetes for six years, putting the disease into remission is feasible”, says Prof Michael Lean from the University of Glasgow who co-led the study. “In contrast to other approaches, we focus on the need for long-term maintenance of weight loss through diet and exercise and encourage flexibility to optimise individual results.”
The first year results are hugely promising. They show that it’s possible for some people to put their Type 2 diabetes into remission using a low-calorie, diet-based, weight management programme, delivered by their GP. Almost half (45.6 per cent) of those who took part in the programme were in remission after a year.
The study found there was a close link between Type 2 diabetes remission and total weight loss. 86 per cent of people who lost more than 15kg on the programme were in remission after a year, as were 57 per cent of people who lost 10–15kg, and 34 per cent who lost 5–10kg.
In the comparison group, where people had the best diabetes care currently available, but didn't try the new weight management approach, only 4 per cent went into remission.
If you would like to read more about this ongoing research, please visit Diabetes UK to get all the facts http://www.diabetes.org.uk/direct
You can also find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by taking the test: https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start