With up to 30,000 people with undetected type 2 diabetes in Ireland, diabetes has become very topical amongst Irish health professionals. Early detection is key as there are many effective treatments out there to help you obtain good control of this condition which will help prevent further serious health problems.
Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by abnormal blood glucose levels which often result in symptoms. The symptoms include extreme thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, increased need to urinate, numbness pain or tingling in your hands or feet, frequent infections and rapid and/or unexplained changes in your weight. It’s not just the symptoms of high blood glucose levels that need to be of concern to people but the fact that these high levels cause serious health conditions like blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and nerve damage.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is something that we can prevent. However, for those Irish people with pre-diabetes and the approximate 146,000 people with undetected pre-diabetes, the battle to stop the progression to diabetes must start now. People with pre-diabetes have a 5-15 fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a 3-5 year period. Also the higher than normal blood glucose levels that diagnose pre-diabetes can result in the same health risks.
One of the greatest risk factors for developing diabetes is being overweight. Unfortunately, as you may know losing weight can be challenging. It involves not only changes to you diet but also to your lifestyle. Successful lifestyle change hinges on healthcare professionals recognizing that each patient needs his or her own personalized plan. This plan should incorporate risk reduction and other prevention-related elements like healthful eating, physical activity, monitoring of health issues, taking their medication appropriately and behaviour change.
Also worth noting is that you may avoid having to take any medications by taking control of your diet upon diagnosis.
If you don’t do what’s best for your body, it is you that comes up short in the end. If you are having trouble losing weight, ask for help. As Benjamin Franklin said ‘you may delay, but time will not’.