The number 1 killer disease worldwide is Coronary Heart or Artery Disease. Number 2 is death from Strokes, caused when those same arteries become blocked. These are well-known facts.
What people do not realise is the links between the cause of both diseases and the number 6 on the list of biggest killers, which is Diabetes.
Almost a third of those in the United Kingdom who died of Covid-19 had a form of Diabetes.
The risks which produce all those diseases overlap but diabetes also contributes to the first two.
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- family history
- being overweight
- high blood pressure
Diabetes is known worldwide as “The Silent Killer.” Most people are aware that there are types 1 & 2 and that Type 1 is incurable. Those with Type 1 have a pancreas that is not keeping the body’s blood sugar levels to the correct amount and have to add insulin by injection.
The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of Type 1 Diabetes and affects close to half a million people. In America there are over one and a quarter million victims. Where it really hurts is in the developing world where the International Insulin Federation calls for International Donors and Organisations to recognise diabetes as a health problem in developing countries and allocate appropriate resources for it.
- National governments in developing countries should adopt policies with regards to diabetes care, including prevention and to address the financial burden of the condition.
- The International Diabetes Federation must also support and increase the availability of insulin to those who cannot afford it and be an advocate for people with diabetes worldwide.
- The private sector must also address the issue of cost of insulin, medicines, testing materials and syringes for the world’s poorest peoples.
- Individuals worldwide must surely protest and encourage their governments to be aware that diabetes is an emerging problem in the developing world. It is disgusting that in today’s world these problems are allowed to go on.
In the United Kingdom the recent Prime Minister Theresa May, and her opposition’s number 2, Dianne Abbott are both type 1 Diabetics and great examples that regular provision of a free health service supply of Insulin needn’t be a hindrance to carrying out important duties of state.
Every 30 Seconds a leg is amputated!
What many people do not realise is how many sufferers have to have a limb amputated every year!
Worldwide, it is estimated that every 30 seconds a leg is amputated and 85% of those were the result of a diabetic foot ulcer.
The poor old Type 1 sufferer also gets more severe bacterial infections. This wasn’t previously seen as a problem with viral infections such as coronavirus, but any severe infection can cause problems with their insulin control and then will likely contribute to the increased death rate in type 1 patients.
In America over 200,000 limbs are amputated annually, and 230 legs will be amputated daily. There is a direct correlation with poverty there as people rationed their insulin and cut back on doses because of the rising costs. That then translated to the African Americans who are 4 times more likely to experience diabetes-related amputations than whites. In America and other countries where their medical care is tied to having a health insurance policy the direct connection of deaths and amputations from insulin rationing is down to cost.
Surely that example of America and its reliance on the private sector for health insurance proves the point. Those that cannot afford either the policies, or to buy the insulin direct are the ones affected. A modern caring society should not allow that to happen.
A Healthy Set of Preventions for Diabetes Types 1 & 2
Type 1 sufferers have an incurable disease that is non-communicable. Many are born with it or their body develops it later, but Type 2 sufferers can reduce the effects considerably by changes in diet, healthy exercise, and weight loss. Both Types 1 & 2 will benefit considerably from the same lifestyle changes.
A typical diet for Diabetes patients should be based on the regularity of eating three meals a day at set times.
This way your body uses the insulin that it produces or gets with medication.
If you see a registered dietitian they will develop a personal diet based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. They will also talk with you on how to improve your eating habits, choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level.
Nutritious foods with healthy carbohydrates, fibre-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats make your calories work for you.
During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose.
Take in healthy carbohydrates, such as:
- Whole grains
- Legumes, such as beans and peas
- Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese.
- Use healthier Goat’s and Ewe’s milk products as an alternative if available.
Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and salt.
The fibre you need includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb.
fibre helps your body digest and control your blood sugar levels.
Foods high in fibre include:
- Vegetable such as beans and peas
- Whole grains
Fish For Your Heart
Eat fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and they help prevent the diabetes developing into heart disease.
Avoid fried fish and those with high levels of mercury, such as king mackerel.
Foods that can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include:
- Olive, and peanut oils
Foods NOT to have
Diabetes increases that risk of progressing on to heart disease and stroke by causing the blocked and hardened arteries. The following foods work against a heart-healthy diet.
Saturated fats. Say NO to high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Also limit coconut and palm kernel oils.
Trans fats. Say NO to trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods.
Cholesterol. Say NO to cholesterol sources like high-fat dairy and animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other offal meats.
Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
Sodium(Salt). Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.
A Great Way To Measure Food Portions
Stop any confusion over what portion sizes and use this devised by the American Diabetes Association. They call it the Plate Method and it simplifies everything to suit my plans. You can vary the plate size to suit your regular meals and your body.
They focus on eating more vegetables. Just follow these easy steps when preparing your food:
- Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with a protein, such as tuna, lean pork, or chicken.
- Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item, such as brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
- Include “good” fats such as nuts or avocados in small amounts.
- Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.
If you are diabetic, you must partner with your doctor and dietitian to create an eating plan that works for you. Use healthy foods, portion control and set times to manage your blood glucose level. If you stray from a prescribed diet, you run the risk of fluctuating blood sugar levels and more-serious complications.