It is estimated that just over 4 million people in the UK have diabetes. One million are believed to be undiagnosed and 90% have Type 2.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by raised sugar levels that aren’t used up as energy and therefore stay in your blood. This means that your insulin hormones become less effective in storing and dealing with raised blood sugar levels. Refined carbohydrates, sugary food and drinks are the biggest culprits for creating excess this excess glucose that your body can process.
Weight loss and regular exercise has been shown to improve, and in some cases completely reverse diabetes altogether. Here at Champneys HQ we offer a range of different diabetes retreats designed solely to help those with the condition transform their diet and exercise routine. We reveal the symptoms to watch out for.
The main symptoms which are common to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:
- Urinating more often than usual, especially at night
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very tired
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Cuts and wounds healing slowly
Try avoiding fruits that are higher in natural sugars like grapes and mangoes and stick to fruits which have a lower sugar content like apricots, raspberries and strawberries.
Reduce your consumption of refined carbohydrates (rice, pasta and bread) which will help to stabilise your sugars.
Try and avoid sugary drinks (i.e. squashes, soft fizzy drinks) and stick to water, green tea and coffee/tea without sugar or sweetener.
Do your best to squeeze in daily exercise. This can be as little as 10 mins of moderate activity which can even be split in to two sessions of 5 mins.
Include high quality protein and fat such as such as nuts, avocados, Omega 3 fats (Mackerel, Wild salmon and tuna) virgin olive oil and eggs in every meal. This helps you to feel full and stabilise your blood sugars.
Snacks – try olives, hummus with celery sticks but avoid the temptation of processed foods such as biscuits and crisps.
Try to lose weight. Losing weight can help to increase your insulin sensitivity again and can reduce your diabetic medication requirements. In some cases, it is possible to get patients off all diabetic medications.
Diabetes increases your risk factors for other health issues so make sure you have regular check-ups with your GP. By keeping a blood-sugar diary and a food diary your GP can help you to manage your medications and encourage good lifestyle choices. Blood tests including an HBA1C (long-term blood sugar marker) should be conducted at least 2-3 times per year.
It is also important for patients with diabetes to consider their cholesterol and blood pressure levels as this has an effect on their heart health. It would be recommended that fasting cholesterol blood tests be carried out at least once a year. A six-monthly review of medications would also be part of the GP process.
If you can’t make one of our retreats but would like advice, Your Doctor at Champneys Tring offers a personalised, bespoke service to help support and plan a programme of diabetes management.
Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa MBBS MRCS(ed) DOHNS MRCGP PG Cert Aest
Visit Your-doctor.co.uk for our services and more information