Diabetes is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, it is one of the leading causes of death in the world. While diabetes may seem fairly common and therefore less serious, it is actually a life threatening disease that could shorten the suffers life. The good news is that diabetes can be avoided!

Read on to find out more and how you can prevent it from becoming a problem for yourself…

The Basic Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 

Put simply, diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become to high.

There are two types: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react normally to insulin.

Type 1 is much rarer than type 2. In the UK around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2. It is also possible to have ‘pre-diabetes’, when your blood sugar level is above normal, but not high enough to be called as diabetes. If your blood sugar level increases, this could develop into diabetes, and so it’s important to monitor your blood sugar level and work to reduce it to avoid developing diabetes.

How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is usually linked to diet, which means it is possible to work to prevent it. There are, however, no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1. As type 1 diabetes is rare, it is important to monitor your diet to avoid developing type 2.

The amount of sugar in the blood stream is controlled by insulin. When you digest food it enters the blood stream and insulin moves glucose out of the blood into the cells. The glucose is then broken down to produce energy. If you have diabetes your body is unable to break down glucose into energy.

Type 2 diabetes is usually linked to being overweight. Therefore, if you maintain a healthy weight you can reduce your risk of developing it. Keeping an eye on your waist measurements and BMI are good indicators as to whether you might be at risk of developing type 2. If your BMI is 25 or above, if you are female and your waist line is 80cm or above, or if you’re male with a waist line of 94cm or more,  you could be at risk.

The key to reducing your risk is to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. To avoid putting on weight it is important to ensure you’re not eating more calories than you are burning off each day. In addition, you can take around 30-60 minutes of exercise everyday from a brisk walk to running and swimming.

Health Checks at Work

As an employer it is important to offer staff incentives to eat well and exercise. Diet related health problems can increase sickness rates and decrease profitability. Health checks in the workplace are a powerful way to raise awareness and help to identify health risk factors for your employees. To learn more about these, follow this link.

Diabetes is a serious disease. But, it is possible to work towards reducing your risk of developing it and helping your employees to as well!

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