Diabetes has become an increasingly important issue over the past 20 years, as the UK has been experiencing a gradual surge in type-2 diabetes diagnoses in over 40’s.
The latest data from Diabetes UK (from 2020) shows that 10% of adults over the age of 40 are living with a diabetes diagnosis. The new figures show that there are 3.8 million people living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, and 90% of those with type 2.
The data also suggests that there are almost 1 million more people living with type 2 diabetes, who don’t know they have it. This means, there are 4.7 million Brits living with type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that by 2030 this number will rise to 5.5 million.
So what is driving this increase? Primarily it’s the increase in obesity levels that is a by-product of people’s poor eating choices and inactive lifestyles. Three in five adults in the UK are overweight or obese, and this is also set to get worse over the coming decade. This isn’t the sole reason behind diabetes but obesity is the single biggest risk factor for developing the condition.
Other risk factors might be age, hereditary issues, and even ethnicity are all factors too. Of course, these factors are not controllable, so I won’t be focussing on them here.
So what is type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that causes your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) to be too high. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or insulin production isn’t effective. This is what is known as Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is when your body can’t produce any insulin at all and is a completely different disease from Type 2. There are other types of diabetes too, but type 2 is the one that lifestyle choices factor into in a significant way.
Diabetes occurs when glucose can’t get into your cells properly, and it begins to build up in your bloodstream. It’s this high blood glucose that causes a lot of complications and health problems and symptoms:
- Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
- Feeling constantly dehydrated
- Blurred vision
- Feeling lethargic
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
- Suddenly losing weight without making lifestyle alterations
- Genital itching or thrush
If left undiagnosed and treated then diabetes can cause a whole host of chronic health issues. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then be sure to contact your GP right away.
How to avoid type 2 diabetes complications through healthy diet and exercise
First of all, I want to make it clear that I’m not a doctor. Any advice given here shouldn’t be taken without first consulting your GP. DMC Fitness has worked with individuals living with type 2 diabetes before. In fact one of Grant ‘s students, Ian had type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea high blood pressure and was heavily medicated for those issues.
“I’ve been with DMC for over 8 years now. When I started, I was over 22 stone, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, high blood pressure and a load of joint and mobility problems. I was only 43! I had been a member of around 30 gyms ( seriously, around 30! ) and been given the same programme over and over again!!”
“I joined in August 2013, and just 13 months later, following their nutrition programme, doing a couple of home workouts per week, attending a circuits class and my weekly personal training with Grant, I’d lost 6.5 stone, reversed my diabetes and all of my medical problems.”
“I now have the skills to live my life healthily without getting bogged down with diets or strict programmes. I go out, I drink beer, I overeat, I don’t live like a saint! I know exactly what to do to stay on track, to keep healthy but to also live!!”
Like I mentioned earlier, there are multiple factors at play, and sadly not all of them are within our control, but there is one that we can, and that’s lifestyle.
Many cases of type-2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by eating healthier, moving more, and losing weight. Changes to lifestyle can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%. It is well worth making these changes
Researchers at the University of Florida – who monitored patients aged 50 to 80 found that making such lifestyle changes could extend their lives by as many as 10 years. But mentioned that gains were much lower among older patients, meaning the sooner sufferers act the greater the gain.
We’ve got plenty of resources to help those who are pre-diabetic and living with type-2 diabetes get started.
Download our Mobility is Medicine ebook
Motivation and Mindset:
If you find that you need additional support, then we’re only a message or phone call away. We offer a Success Session where we can discuss your health and fitness challenges and discover how to tackle them effectively.
Until next time, “Strength for Life”
Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker, and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true mission in life.
In his own fitness journey, Davie has athletically competed in Mixed Martial Arts fighting for Scottish and British titles, boxed for Scotland’s top amateur boxing team, and competed internationally in Girevoy (kettlebell) Sport.
Diving into the world of sports and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own inner demons. He. overcame many dark times using his own unique method to complete his cycle of H.E.A.L.I.N.G.