MP Diane Abbott blames type 2 diabetes for election break

Jack Woodfield
Wed, 14 Jun 2017
MP Diane Abbott blames type 2 diabetes for election break
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has announced she has type 2 diabetes and the condition forced her to bow out of the recent election campaign.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper the 63-year-old said she was diagnosed with the condition in 2015 and it had become increasingly worse during the political battle.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, who was re-elected last Thursday with an increased majority, was temporarily removed from the shadow cabinet after taking a break from election events due to "a period of ill health".

The Labour frontbencher said: "During the election campaign, everything went crazy - and the diabetes was out of control, the blood sugar was out of control."

She said conducting interviews without eating regularly had significantly affected her health.

Ms Abbott was heavily criticised for some of the interviews she gave during the campaign trail, including one where she repeatedly stumbled on figures relating to Labour's key policy on police funding. The politician said her brother had heard several of her interviews and intervened.

Ms Abbott explained: "He said 'that is not Diane', because ever since I've been a child I've had a great memory for figures, and he said he knew it was my blood sugar and gave me a lecture about eating and having glucose tablets. It is a condition you can manage. I am doing that now and I feel ready to get back to work."

Prime Minister Theresa May has type 1 diabetes, which is a condition that is normally diagnosed in childhood and cannot be treated. It can only be controlled with insulin and is not associated with excess weight.

People with type 2 diabetes can lose weight, improve their mood and reduce their dependency on medication by joining the Low Carb Program, a 10-week education program. On average, users reduce their HbA1c by 12 mmol/mol (1.1%) after six months.
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