SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Type II diabetes

17/08/2015

Those of you who have been listening to the radio this morning, or taking in a news broadcast in any other way, may have heard about the “epidemic” of Type II diabetes, and the 60% rise in people diagnosed with Type II diabetes in the last 10 years.

Without a doubt, this is a big problem.  The complications that arise from a condition like diabetes are widespread and sometimes quite severe, including loss of limbs, loss of sight, kidney failure and even death.  Why has the rise been so rapid? The media are placing the blame firmly at the feet of the rise in obesity, and I do believe that answers for the majority, but an increase in awareness of the condition amongst the general population and healthcare practitioners will also be resulting in a greater number of people being picked up who may previously have gone undiagnosed.

The other thing to bear in mind is that there are different types of diabetes.  The one they are talking about today is Type II, or Diabetes Mellitus Type II to give it its full name – this generally develops later in life, and is linked in some cases to lifestyle factors such as obesity.  The other kind is Type I, which is something people tend to develop in childhood and is the result of the pancreas not producing insulin which your body requires to maintain a steady blood glucose level.  This type of diabetes requires lifelong insulin injections, with the patient having to test their blood sugar levels at regular intervals to make sure they are staying within normal boundaries.  (There is also a condition called diabetes insipidus, but this is totally separate so I’ll leave that alone for today!)

Type II diabetes, on the other hand, is either where the pancreas is producing some insulin, but not enough to maintain the steady blood sugar level, or the cells the insulin act on no longer respond to it.  This is called insulin resistance. 

In some cases, type II diabetes can be controlled simply by making a few lifestyle changes – controlling what you eat and making sure you are getting enough exercise.  If this is insufficient, the next step is taking tablets to help your body maintain normal blood glucose levels.  It is a progressive condition, and eventually it may be necessary to use the same insulin injections those suffering with type I diabetes use.

The important thing to remember is that you can significantly reduce your chances of developing Type II diabetes by making sure you make healthy food choices and exercising regularly.  This doesn’t mean you can only eat raw vegetables, lean meat and weird “super foods”, but it does mean you should limit your intake of salty, fatty or sugary foods and drinks to occasional treats rather than having them every day.  As for exercise, the current NHS guidelines stipulate that adults over the age of 19 should try to be active daily, and do at least 3 hours of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, combines with strength exercise on two or more days of the week.  This can be reduced to 75 minutes of activity if you make it vigorous, such as running.

If you are worried that you are suffering from Type II diabetes, then it is important to visit your GP as soon as possible for a few simple tests.  Symptoms include: urinating frequently, particularly at night; feeling very thirsty; feeling very tired; unexplained weight loss and loss of muscle bulk; itching of the genitals or frequent episodes of thrush; cuts and wounds that heal slowly; blurred vision.  These may develop extremely slowly over the course of several years.

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