Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Diabetes is a serious and life changing condition that causes the sugar levels in your blood to become too high. Although it is unknown what causes this among type 1 diabetes patients, the more common type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. Therefore, making certain lifestyle changes could help lower your risk of the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in the UK, now affecting almost five million people.
If left untreated it can raise your risk of serious conditions like heart disease and strokes.
Doctor Vishal Shah from health site Thriva spoke with Express.co.uk about the best lifestyle choices to make to slash your chances of developing diabetes.
One such choice was to add berries to your meals.
He explained: “Eating carbohydrates typically results in an increase in blood glucose along with blood insulin which is released to handle the glucose.
“Dramatic spikes in your blood sugar and insulin increase the risk of heart disease and complications of diabetes.
“Adding berries to a meal can improve how your body metabolises glucose, so less insulin is needed and glucose levels don’t fluctuate as dramatically.
“Even though berries contain sugar in the form of fructose, they provide other chemicals which change the way the body responds to food.”
This was backed by a study published in the Food and Function journal in 2019.
As part of the research the team conducted a meta-analysis of 22 existing trials assessing the effects of dietary berries in China, Korea,the US and Europe.
Berries included in the trials were cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, black currants, black raspberries, elderberries, lingonberries, and whortleberries.
It found that the trials reported “positive outcomes that are relevant to diabetes management”.
These were decreases in low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol), systolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar levels, body mass index and average blood sugar levels.
The study concludes: “Commonly consumed berries, especially cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, ameliorate postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in overweight or obese adults with insulin resistance, and in adults with the metabolic syndrome.
“In non-acute long-term studies, these berries either alone, or in combination with other functional foods or dietary interventions, can improve glycemic and lipid profiles, blood pressure and surrogate markers of atherosclerosis.
“Studies specifically in people with type 2 diabetes are few, and more knowledge is needed.
“Nevertheless, existing evidence, although sparse, suggests that berries have an emerging role in dietary strategies for the prevention of diabetes and its complications in adults.
“Despite the beneficial effects of berries on diabetes prevention and management, they must be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.”
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Urinating more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
The NHS advises seeing a GP if you have any of these symptoms.
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