Experts have described the modern lifestyle of fast food, little or no exercise and stress as a diabetes time bomb.
The situation is now being looked upon as a crisis which will put a great strain on a NHS service that is already fragile. This illness, it is being predicted, could lead to a reduced life expectancy for the first time in 200 years.
There are over two million diabetes sufferers in the UK. What many people may not realise is that diabetes increases the risk of other conditions such as heart disease and strokes. Diabetes is also a major cause of blindness and can lead to leg amputation in severe cases.
The World Health Organisation believes that within a decade up to 41,000 people will die in the UK from this disease which is an increase of 8,000 on current figures.
Things do not have to get to such a level especially as the onset of the disease is avoidable. If you are overweight, the first thing to do is loose weight. Studies have shown that people with a body mass index of 30 or more are at risk. People are also at risk if they have a waistline of more than 32 inches for women and 37 inches for men. The National Obesity Forum says that it only takes loosing 4 inches off the waistline to reduce the chance of getting diabetes by half.
A study by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health revealed women who were pregnant and were diabetic because of being obese, were five times more likely to give birth to a still born child.
The next thing to tackle is what you eat. Your diet should contain foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI), foods such as wholegrain bread, rice, fruit and vegetables. These foods are known to release glucose into your blood slowly, so avoiding sudden sugar rushes.
Becoming more active can help lose weight. This is important as excess fat stops the glucose being absorbed, so leaving it in the blood stream unused. This can lead to trouble.
Smoking increases the risk of diabetes, so stopping will reduce the risk. For those who already suffer from diabetes and still smoke, they are opening themselves up to the risk heart disease and blindness.

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