A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR HELPS THE MEDICINE GO DOWN…
So said Mary Poppins, but who knows if she suffered from diabetes in later life?
SO, HOW MANY SPOONFULS IS TOO MUCH?
Here is a list of the top 10 brands purchased in Ireland last year:
2.Cadbury’s Dairy Milk
Which can also be read as:
3.Fat (But at least it’s guaranteed Irish fat!!!)
5.The brown version- good, the white- not so good!
6.Dairy, ok, but fat is talking about butter and cream.
8.Sugar and fat
It’s not looking too good for us is it?
We now have twice as many people suffering from diabetes in Ireland than we had 20 years ago, and the cost of care to those patients is over 2 BILLION euro to the state.. WHY?!
A list of Background:
Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas, that allows the cells in your body to use the glucose (sugar) in our bloodstream, for energy.
Diabetes, of which there are two types, is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin for this to happen, which means that sugar levels will build up in the blood stream causing serious, sometimes life altering complications and even death.
There are two types:
In type 1 diabetes, the body’s own immune system, attacks the beta cells in the pancreas resulting in total loss of insulin production.
It occurs in children and teenagers with an onset of days or weeks. It affects 1 in 500 children and these people will have to inject insulin into the body for the rest of their lives.
HERE’S WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR:
IT’S KNOW AS THE FOUR T’S
1.Thirst- thirsty all the time.
2.Toilet- going to the toilet frequently.
3.Tired- tired all the time as the body is unable to use your food to make energy.
4.Thin- the body loses weight as it cannot take sugar in to use as energy and so uses its own fat supplies.
Other symptoms but less common; vomiting, constipation, mood swings, bad wetting.
IF YOU NOTICE HESE SYMPTOMS IN A YOUNG PERSON, DO NOT DELAY.
TEST- a simple blood test performed by your GP will detect Type 1 diabetes.
As of yet, medical science, can do nothing to prevent type 1 diabetes, but with insulin replacement therapy and a careful diet, it can be managed very well.
With type 2 diabetes, the body resits the effects of insulin or just doesn’t produce quite enough to maintain normal blood glucose levels.
It used to be a condition that occurred much later on in life but now, thanks in part to the top ten brands we purchase; it is formed in much younger people.
Once again, the four T’s already mentioned, are the warning symptoms.
THESE ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING TYPE 2 DIABETES:
1.Weight- being overweight is the main risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. (Thank you, to our top ten brands AGAIN!) However, you don’t have to be overweight to develop Type 2. Other risk factors are;
2.Inactivity- physical activity helps to use up the glucose in the bloodstream and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin, SCARY FACT- A lot of young school children spend 22 hours out of 24 either lying or sitting down. Think about it, sitting is the new smoking when it comes to your health.
3)Smoking- we all know the lung cancer link but did you know that smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
AND there’s other stuff that we can’t do much about.
5.Race of ethnicity, some peoples, including black and South East Asian, are twice to four times more likely to develop it.
7.As a side effect of certain medicines.
8.Pregnancy diabetes- if you had diabetes while pregnant, and if your babies of over 10 pounds in weight, you are also of higher risk.
SO, WHAT IS THE FUSS? JUST POP A FEW TABLETS AND SWITCH TO DIET COKE!?
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the earlier stages when you are feeling fine but that chronic high level of sugar in the bloodstream can lead to serious stuff;
1.HUGELY increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Diabetics are around 50% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
2.NERVE DAMAGE- Excess sugar can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that starts in the fingers and toes and moves upwards. It causes total loss of feeling in all of the affected limbs.
3.EYE DAMAGE- Cataracts, glaucoma (a condition where the pressure inside the eye increases) and even blindness.
4.KIDNEY DAMAGE- Which may lead to kidney failure, the need for dialysis or a transplant.
5.ALZHEIMERIS DISEASE- the worse your blood sugar, the greater the risk seems to be.
6.SKIN INFECTIONS AND SLOW HEALING.
OK, that’s probably enough for now!!
So, there’s some stuff we can’t do anything about but some stuff we can and it is that trio that crops up all the time!
1.Diet- lose weight and remember that our friend the can of coke exceeds the amount of sugar that any adult should eat in a day and that’s before you have even put the ketchup on your chips or the sugar in your coffee.
2.Exercise- 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day. If you find you have to sit for long periods of time, try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes.
3.Stop smoking- money, not spent on cigarettes will hugely improve your health and your bank balance.
If you would like to read more about diabetes because you, someone in your family or a friend may have it, search diabetesireland.ie // healthline.com // The Mayo Clinic // HSE.ie
And as prevention can’t start too early, some great kids books on healthy living:
Fat head kids: By Tom Naughton
The Children’s book of healthy eating by Jo Simpson
Red light, Green light, Eat right by Joanna Dolgoff
HAPPY HEALTHY SNACKING!