13 to 19 June is National Diabetes Week. Its organised by Diabetes UK, a UK charity that helps to inform about and fight Diabetes. So, what is diabetes? Well it’s a disorder characterised by prolonged high blood sugar levels (Hyperglycaemia). And it’s more common than you might think – 1 in 14 people in the UK have some form of diabetes.
It is caused by either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the body not responding properly to the insulin produced. Insulin is the hormone which is responsible for regulating glucose and helping the body extract sugar from food and getting it into cells to be used for energy.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes results from the pancreas not producing enough insulin. This is caused by an autoimmune response that attacks the cells that produce insulin. Why this happens is not currently known. Symptoms typically appear in childhood or adolescence, although it can develop in later life. It is not lifestyle and diet related.
- Type 2 diabetes starts with insulin resistance, a condition in which the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. As it progresses, a lack of enough insulin can also develop. It is more common in older adults. However, there has been a significant increase in obesity among children and this has led to more cases in younger people. The most common cause is a combination of being overweight and a lack of exercise.
- A less well known type is Gestational diabetes which occurs when pregnant women develop high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar level usually returns to normal soon after giving birth.
So how do you know if you have diabetes? Well the most common symptoms are going to the bathroom a lot, thirst, feeling tired, weight loss (without trying), genital itching and thrush, wounds take longer to heal, blurred vision and increased hunger.
But, fear not, the good news is if you have type 2 diabetes you can do something about it, manage and even put it into remission. To do this you have to change your lifestyle to eat more healthily and take more exercise. Now this is not a crash, short term diet, but a permanent change in your habits. As Sonia Sotomayor (US Supreme Court Justice) said, “Diabetes taught me discipline”.
Being overweight, not exercising and smoking are three of the largest risk factors that lead to serious conditions such as diabetes and cancer. Unfortunately, these can be some of hardest things to change in your life. As Stephen Furst (American Actor, Director and Producer) put it, “The way to deal with the devil of obesity and diabetes is literally one day at a time”.
But Hypnotherapy can help you to break habits and routines, get motivated, stay focused and explore the root causes of these life style choices. This is such a powerful tool to fight type 2 diabetes that I have made a short film to illustrate it. If you think hypnotherapy can help with your diabetes or to make lifestyle changes then contact me.