I woke up this morning to a beautiful day – blue sky and sunshine and warm temperatures.
I also woke up to the radio news full of the latest medical opinion saying that Diabetes is causing the National Health Service too much money and that up to 750 people per day in the UK are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I would provide a link to the news if I could find one, but I can’t seem to find it on the BBC website. I find this interesting bearing in mind how often it was on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning. However, moving on to the subject of this blog post.
There is no denying that more people are being diagnosed with this serious condition. I suspect there are more than the obvious “It’s all about Obesity” issues in play here though.
First, I fear that people believe that diabetes isn’t actually that serious. Wrong. It is very serious. People can die from the complications resulting from diabetes. You can go blind from diabetic glaucoma. You can lose a limb from the circulation issues surrounding diabetes. This is serious stuff people. Not to mention when you have to inject yourself every time you eat with insulin. That thought alone makes me shudder. The fact that some people brush off diabetes as “not that serious” means that when the doctor tells their patient that their blood sugar levels are putting them at risk, people just ignore them and carry on regardless.
Second, I have seen from my own medical appointments that the doctors are reducing the blood sugar threshold’s so that more people are being diagnosed with diabetes because their blood sugar numbers are over the new limits. I know this because when my Father was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the required number for his blood sugar to be considered under control was 8. By the time he died, two years ago it was 6. That is quite a big difference.
Then we have the lifestyle issues. Obesity is probably the first target for most people. You probably all know that I am overweight. According to the stupid BMI calculations (which are total garbage, but that is another ranty blog post entirely) I am morbidly obese. The medical establishment therefore tell me I am going to be diabetic and I am going to die early. I personally think this is a pile of horse hocky. My weight is higher than I would like it to be, yes, but I am healthy as a horse, I have tonnes of energy and the side of the family I take after are all phenomenally long lived. I have also been pre-diabetic (you may know it as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X) for 21 years. According to the medical textbooks, I should have been diabetic after 7 years. Well, suck on that Doctors… because I am not. I am still fine. Every single fasting glucose test I have ever had comes up with normal numbers.
I personally think that the biggest issue for the upsurge in diabetes is our society’s reliance on convenience foods. In any convenience food there is a huge amount of hidden fat, sugar and salt. All three of these ingredients effect your health. I am lucky; I am a capable cook, but I know a lot of people who simply cannot cook anything. At all. They may not even have an oven or a hob, just a microwave. How on earth can you have a healthy diet when you don’t eat food that you prepare yourself? It is terrible to think of a generation of children not being able to make scrambled egg on toast.
Another problem is the fact that the convenience food is so much less expensive than proper food. Just go to your local supermarket and do a cost comparison. It is a frightening concept that junk is cheap and good food is expensive. I know a lot of people who are suffering from hard economic times and they are trying to find cheaper ways to eat. Luckily, I have found http://www.mortgagefreeinthree.com, which is an amazing source of fabulous recipes for greatly reduced costs. www.agirlcalledjack.com is another great resource as well.
As for me, I am going to continue with what I am doing. I am losing weight (frustratingly slowly) and I am going to continue to keep on the right side of the diabetes diagnosis. Partly because I want to live a long and healthy life, but mostly to prove the doctors completely and utterly WRONG.