Let’s chat about National Diabetes Week
It’s National Diabetes Week in Australia. It’s a chance to reflect on an illness, which is unfortunately become more common in people of all ages. We don’t mean to scare you, but it’s among the top ten leading causes of causes of death and illness in Australia.
Now, we’ve all heard of diabetes and know that it involves insulin and it’s something to be avoided, but what exactly does this disease do and how do you get it?
Much of your daily energy needs comes from glucose – from carbs (see Dr Ginni’s myth busting blog post on carbs). To access the energy in glucose, your body needs break it down with the help of the hormone insulin.
If you have diabetes, this means that your body is no longer producing insulin or not producing the amount your body needs. So instead of that glucose being turned into energy, it just does the rounds in your bloodstream.
So what’s the issue if it sits in your bloodstream? Well, there are quite a few. High blood glucose levels can lead to kidney failure, an increased risk of heart attack and stroke and it can even make your more susceptible to mental illnesses. Yes it’s depressing just reading these facts!
Symptoms of high blood glucose levels include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. But please, don’t diagnose yourself, check with a doctor if you think you’re showing symptoms!
There are three types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas no longer produces insulin and the immune system is activated to destroy cells within it. We do not know what causes Type 1 diabetes; there is no cure and it cannot be prevented.
Gestational Diabetes is a form of diabetes that happens during pregnancy and usually goes away once the baby is born. This form of diabetes is becoming more prevalent in Australia and affects between 5%-10% of pregnant women.
Type 2 Diabetes however, is perhaps the most common form of the disease and represents 85%- 90% of all cases. It occurs when the body resists the effects of insulin or the pancreas gradually loses the capability of producing enough of the hormone.
This form of diabetes usually develops in adults over 45. However, we are seeing it occur increasingly in children, adolescents and young adults.
There is a strong genetic link with this type of diabetes, but lifestyle factors such as insufficient exercise and poor diet can contribute. Being overweight or obese, or having an apple body shape (where more weight is carried around the middle), are also major contributing factors.
While there is currently no cure for Type 2 Diabetes, it can be managed through lifestyle changes.
At Jenny Craig, our consultants take all your health risks on board before we start you on the program. If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, there’s a lot we can do to help. We can tailor our program to meet your specific needs. We can even coordinate with your doctor, including their directions into your tailored program and send them regular updates on your weight loss progress. It’s another area where our program can help make a real benefit to individuals and the wider community. Chat to a consultant today about how they can adapt your diabetes weight loss program to meet your specific needs.