5 key areas to check to see if you’re in the diabetes danger zone
1/06/2021 - Natasha is Wide Eyed
Do you know anyone with Type 2 diabetes? These days it is more than likely that you do. Unfortunately, with ever-increasing numbers diagnosed each year, you will hear more and more of acquaintances, friends and family joining the almost 5 million already living with the disease and a probable further million undiagnosed. And conservative estimates for people with prediabetes, meaning on the brink of full-blown type 2 diabetes, is currently a staggering 7 million. Could you be one of them? And what if you are, what could that mean?
You might be thinking that being type 2 diabetic in the 21st century cannot be too bad. There are loads of effective medications, and people live for years with it. Medications treat the symptoms not the cause. And as each year goes on, type 2 diabetes is taking its toll on the body. It is the leading cause of below the knee amputations. The leading cause of kidney failure. The leading cause of blindness. It increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. In short, you do not want to ‘live with it’.
Do not leave things to chance. Don’t bury your head in the sand, put your fingers in your ears and go ‘La,la,la’!
Luckily, there are things you can check for yourself and with the help of your doctor, to see if you’re heading in the wrong direction.
Here are the best 5 checks to take heed of:
Central obesity – This means your spare tyre or waist measurement. For a man anything over 94cm and for a woman anything over 80cm needs to be addressed. There is fat building up around your vital organs.
(For the other 4 checks you will need results from your doctor, you might even have had these checks done in your NHS Health Check after age 40.)
Blood sugar levels – The most common check is the glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c level. Anything over 5.7% or 42 mmol/l and you need to be taking action by changing what you eat.
Your HDL ‘good’ cholesterol – this should be above 60 mg/dl or 1.6 mmol/l, lower than this is a problem.
Triglyceride level – This is how much fat is in your blood because your liver is converting glucose into fat for storage, and it might not be ending up where it should. If your triglycerides levels are above 150 mg/dl or 1.7 mmol/l you should be concerned.
Blood pressure – If your top number is over 130 and your bottom number is over 85, this can also indicate that prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is on the cards.
Is there any good news? Yes, there is! The absolutely brilliant news is that it can be managed and even reversed. Yes, it is a disease that can be reversed. This is done by addressing the cause, which is too much sugar. Type 2 diabetes is when the body’s coping mechanism to too much sugary food leads to overproduction of insulin, to the point where the cells become resistant to its glucose lowering effects.
If you have tipped over into any of the above danger zones, rest assured that you can take easy steps to avoid a possible future diagnosis.
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