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How We ‘fixed’ Our Diabetic Dad – And Saved His Life

How we ‘fixed’ our diabetic dad – and saved his life

How we ‘fixed’ our diabetic dad – and saved his life

When their father, Geoff, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 50, brothers Ian and Anthony Whitington were not hugely surprised, and for 10 years, they drifted along and watched from the sidelines.
“Dad had always been the ‘big man’,” says Anthony, 39. “As kids, we thought it was funny. Dad could drink more than anyone, he could eat more than anyone. It was his identity. That’s our dad and that’s what he does.”
“As we got older, of course we worried,” adds Ian, 37. “But everyone around us would say, ‘If he doesn’t want to change, you can’t change him. He has to do it himself.’” So nothing much was done – and Geoff joined the 3.5m adults in the UK who manage their diabetes with ever-greater doses of medication and regular check-ups.
“We were all resigned to our family roles,” says Anthony. “I was a busy financial adviser with four kids of my own. Ian was a busy cameraman with jobs all over the world. Dad was a funny fat guy who drank too much.”
The wake-up calls were different for both of them. For Anthony, it was a family trip to Chessington zoo in 2013. By then, Geoff weighed 127kg (20 stone), had high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm), plus everything diabetes could throw at him – a swollen prostate, poor circulation, ulcers on one foot and a bone deformity on the other.
“We were walking around this theme park when the bones collapsed through his foot,” says Anthony. “I remember him grabbing a railing, the blood in his sock, getting him back to the car. Suddenly, this thing that the d Continue reading

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11 ways to start reversing type 2 diabetes today

11 ways to start reversing type 2 diabetes today

Whether you have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or or you’ve been told you’re at risk, read on for 11 ways to start reversing the effects immediately.
Type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions. There are 3.9 million people living with diabetes – 90 per cent those of being affected by type 2 diabetes. Here’s another shocking statistic: 1 in 3 UK adults has prediabetes, the condition that precedes diabetes.
As you’ll soon see on BBC One’s Doctor in the House, it is entirely possible to both prevent as well as reverse type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, a lot of the advice that is given for the condition is, in my opinion, unhelpful and misguided. Most people think of it as a blood sugar problem but this is the ultimate effect rather than the cause.
WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that is characterised by chronically elevated blood sugar levels. However, the main cause as well as the driver for this condition is something called Insulin Resistance. When you eat certain foods, particularly refined carbohydrates, that food is converted to sugar inside your body. Your body’s way of dealing with this sugar is to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin moves the sugar inside your cells so that it can be used for energy. Sounds great, right?
Well, yes and no. When working efficiently, this is a fantastic system that helps your body to function well. But when you have type 2 diabetes, prediabetes or significant abdominal obesity, that system does not work so well.
Eating too many refined carbohydrates elevates your insulin levels for long pe Continue reading

What Fruit Can You Eat If You Have Diabetes?

What Fruit Can You Eat If You Have Diabetes?

You may have heard at some point that you cannot eat fruit if you have diabetes. Perhaps someone even told you that watermelon and bananas are off limits because they are too sweet. Neither of these is entirely true. You can enjoy fruit, you simply need to make smart decisions about which fruits and how much you eat.
Fruits and Diabetes
Fruits have many health benefits and they can be beneficial to a diabetic diet if eaten in moderation.
The key to eating fruit is to make sure you eat the right kinds in the appropriate portions.
For instance, fruits contain fiber. Fiber can help prevent blood sugar spikes, pull cholesterol away from your heart, and help you feel full, causing you to eat less. Fruit is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, which can help reduce your blood pressure.
On the flip side, fruit is a carbohydrate and it contains a natural sugar called fructose. Carbohydrates, whether from bread, milk, yogurt, potatoes, or fruit, get broken down and turn into sugar or glucose. For this reason, it's recommended that people who have diabetes monitor how many carbohydrates they eat, including fruit servings.
When choosing fruit you'll want to take a few tips into consideration.
Avoid Dried Fruit and Fruit Juices
Dried fruit, especially if it is sweetened, is higher in carbohydrates per serving than natural whole fruit.
It also contains more sugar because sugars are added to flavor it and can be lower in fiber if the skin has been removed. Just two tablespoons of raisins (1 ounce) will cost you: 100 calories, 23 grams carbohydrate, and 18 Continue reading

Half of Americans Have Diabetes or High Blood Sugar, Survey Finds

Half of Americans Have Diabetes or High Blood Sugar, Survey Finds

Half of all U.S. adults have diabetes or blood sugar so high they’re almost diabetic, researchers reported Tuesday.
And for the first time they’ve looked at diabetes rates among Asian-Americans and find they are nearly as high as rates among other minorities. Twenty percent of Asian-Americans had diabetes, the survey found, and half of them were not aware of it.
Andy Menke of global health research company Social & Scientific Systems, Catherine Cowie of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others used annual national survey data of 5,000 people for their report.
They found that 12 percent to 14 percent of adults had diagnosed diabetes in 2012, the latest data available. It’s almost all Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by poor diet, obesity and a lack of exercise.
While 11 percent of whites had diabetes, nearly twice as many – 22 percent – of blacks did. More than 20 percent of Asians had diabetes and 22.6 percent of Hispanics did.
“The proportion of diabetes that’s undiagnosed is as high as 50 percent in Asian-Americans and the Hispanic population compared to about a third in whites and it blacks,” Cowie said.
They found a steep rise in diabetes between 1990 and 2008, and found it started leveling off after that.
“Diabetes prevalence significantly increased over time in every age group, in both sexes, in every racial/ethnic group, by all education levels, and in all poverty income (groups),” the team wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“When stratified by BMI, diabetes only increased among peopl Continue reading

Diabetes breakthrough: New smartphone app could help million of sufferers

Diabetes breakthrough: New smartphone app could help million of sufferers

Scientists believe revolutionary smartphone technology, which can painlessly measure blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin, could transform the lives of millions of diabetics and prevent others from developing the deadly condition.
More than four million people in the UK live with diabetes and it is believed a further 12 million are at risk of developing the illness that can lead to blindness, amputation, heart disease and stroke.
High-profile sufferers of the condition include former Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave, Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and Prime Minister Theresa May who has revealed that she is a Type 1 diabetic and has to inject insulin up to five times a day.
The Epic Health app, which is set to undergo clinical trials in the UK in the coming months, replaces the need for diabetics to prick their fingers several times a day which patients complain is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
The app, which is suitable for both Type 1 and 2 diabetics, works by placing a fingertip over the camera lens of a smartphone and capturing a series of close-up images that convey information about the user’s heart rate, temperature and blood pressure to respiration rate and blood oxygen saturation.
Similar innovations have been developed using laser technology and sensor pads to avoid using needles but most need an accompanying gadget to interpret the results.
But the makers claim that the real breakthrough of the Epic app is its ability to measure insulin resistance levels – a key way of determining whether someone is pre-diabetic. It does this by measuring the variatio Continue reading

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