Diabetes may have been the underlying cause of the frostbite that forced veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes to abandon his expedition across the Antarctic.
Sir Ranulph was part of a six-man Commonwealth team that was attempting to make the first-ever crossing of Antarctica during the region’s winter season.
But he had to pull out of the 2,000-mile cross-continent trip last week after being injured in a fall while skiing during training at a base camp. He then developed severe frostbite last week after removing a glove in temperatures of around -30C.
In his first interview since leaving Antarctican, he told the BBC in Cape Town that while he considered the frostbite “a total mystery”, an earlier annual medical check-up in the UK had indicated that he “was on the verge of type 2 diabetes “.
While examining his damaged left hand last week, a vascular surgeon in South Africa told the 68-year-old that the onset of diabetes could be linked to the condition, explaining that “it could have gone for any area in my body that was susceptible to circulation changes”.
To confirm the theory, Sir Ranulph will undergo further checks, including tests for type 2 diabetes, when he arrives back in the UK.
He insisted that he’ll continue to help his team in their efforts to generate £10m for the Seeing is Believing charity, to prevent and treat avoidable blindness, by making maximum use of his talents for raising money.

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