A-Z of Health T – Type 2 Diabetes

If ever there was one of my A-Z posts where there was a direct link with the food that we eat it’s this one! Although people know this somehow the facts don’t seem to be sinking in. I still see pre-diabetics eating cake and processed foods.  I want people to understand just how serious a condition Type 2 Diabetes is and their own role in prevention.

The life expectancy of someone with Type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years.

Diabetes in the UK – Key statistics on Diabetes

Scary? Should be but doesn’t seem to be! Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90% of all Diabetes cases and is by far, the most prevalent and preventable form of diabetes.  We know this yet it is on the rise:-

Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million.  Predictions are that this will rise to 5million by 2025.  There are however, a lot of undiagnosed people.

Diabetes UK

The rise of Type 2 Diabetes is undoubtedly linked to the global rise in obesity (although you don’t have to be overweight or obese to develop the condition).  How big is the problem worldwide?

It is estimated that 415 million people are living with diabetes in the world, which is estimated to be 1 in 11 of the world’s adult population. 46% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. The figure is expected to rise to 642 million people living with diabetes worldwide by 2040.

Diabetes UK

How sustainable are these figures in terms of healthcare?

So, they are the numbers in terms of humans developing a largely preventable disease, That’s a lot of people and an awful lot of health conditions please keep reading to see them! But how on earth can we cope financially with this? Will Type 2 Diabetes cripple the NHS?

The financial cost to the NHS on Type 2 Diabetes alone is:

  • 1.5million per hour
  • £25,000 spent every minute
  • £14 billion pounds is spent a year on treating diabetes
  • 10% of the NHS total budget goes to Type 2 Diabetes

One more fact linked to the above before I move on! We have seen a 40% increase in Type 2 Diabetes in children in the UK in recent years. 40%. With that rate of increase consider not only the human health aspect but the financial burden.

What can we do to help ourselves? 

Firstly, let’s look at how is Type 2 Diabetes caused and what are we getting so wrong?  

Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which results in abnormally high levels of blood glucose.  Over time the body becomes unable to metabolise glucose leading to dangerously high levels of blood glucose.  In a normal metabolic situation, the body would produce insulin for cells to take in the glucose for energy but in type 2 diabetes the body becomes resistant to insulin causing blood sugars to rise.

How is this happening? Many of my A-Z posts have pin-pointed health problems to a typical western diet: –

  • Processed foods
  • High in sugar and trans fats
  • Nutrient devoid (see M – Malnourished)
  • Emotional eating (see E)
  • Lacking in essential fats
  • Wrong balance of carbohydrates
  • Misunderstanding of food in general

What this means is, many people are eating without ever feeling full (satisfied) from food, without getting any nutrients from food so they keep eating over and over again, couple this with obesity, stress, sedentary lifestyles and we have a big problem.

Family link

This is another disease I mention in my blog on epigenetics, when it comes to heritable information, if you have Type 2 Diabetes your unborn child may be more at risk and if you already have a family – if one parent has Type 2 Diabetes there is an increased risk of 15% of the child(ren) developing but if both parents have it there is a 75% risk of the child(ren) developing.

Type 2 Diabetes is a serious condition, more people have it now, so just like obesity it has become more normalised and acceptable but I stress again, it is a serious condition.  I opened up this blog with the life expectancy reduction but for some people that doesn’t worry them as it still seems too far in the future!

Type 2 Diabetes has a whole host of complications and co-morbidities, there’s actually too many to mention in this blog! Here’s a few to consider: –

  • More than 135 amputations resulting from diabetes are carried out every week in the UK.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in the UK.
  • Every week diabetes causes 530 heart attacks and 680 strokes in the UK
  • People with diabetes are five times more likely to need either kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant

It may be common.  It may be normalised but it is not OK. It is a horrible disease and almost entirely preventable.  I am qualified in supporting people reversing this and giving themselves and their family the best future health they can influence. I keep saying it, being in denial doesn’t make the problem go away.

About the author of this blog

Louise Mercieca is a multi award-winning author on children’s nutrition with her book ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ winning the Parenting award in Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum awards.  Louise is the host of Early Years TV Food Channel – a channel dedicated to children’s health and nutrition.

Food and health are intrinsically linked.

Louise has also won a SBS or Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis and was recently crowned as Queen of Child Nutrition in the #Queenof Twitter awards.

Louise has worked as a Nutritional Therapist for 8 years supporting hundreds of clients and does take on a limited number of personal coaching clients each month – contact Louise to discuss this. Louise has also created an accessible and affordable webinar schedule covering many topics discussed in this A-Z post series. https://www.louisemercieca.co.uk/webinar There is actually a Type 2 Diabetes webinar on Tuesday 11th June and is only £10.

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