One of our patients at Luck’s Yard is Neil Hunter who has Type 2 diabetes.  He is currently preparing  for a solo expedition to the South Pole in November this year.  The photo shows him on a previous expedition to Greenland.

Neil says: “I am a Type 2 insulin-using diabetic and will be raising funds for Diabetes UK with a solo trek to the South Pole.  You can find details for my trip on my facebook page at www.facebook.com/90DegreesSouthSolo.”

Neil is also  raising funds at his Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/southpolesolo

What is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high.  It’s caused by problems with the hormone insulin. It’s often linked to having a family history of type 2 diabetes and other contributory factors include being overweight or inactive.

It is estimated that there are over 4.5 million people living with either diagnosed or undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in the UK today.

According to Diabetes UK (www.diabetes.org.uk) there are about 12.3 million people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the UK and obesity is the leading cause in the majority of preventable cases.

It is thought that 3 in 5 cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by:

  • making healthier food and lifestyle choices
  • helping people understand their own risk of developing the condition and how to reduce it
  • securing early diagnosis for those known to be at high risk

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said:

“Diabetes is the fastest growing health crisis of our time; and the fact that diagnoses have doubled in just twenty years should give all of us serious pause for thought.”

What are the symptoms?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell, but they may include:

  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • feeling very tired
  • unexplained weight loss
  • cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • blurred vision

If you think that you have any of the above symptoms, please make an appointment at your GP surgery to get your blood sugar levels assessed.

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

Unfortunately diabetes can lead to more debilitating health problems and if left untreated it can increase your risk of getting serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves.

What you can do to help yourself

  • Losing weight (if you’re overweight) will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Physical exercise helps lower your blood sugar level. You should aim for at least 2.5 hours of activity a week.

You can be active anywhere so long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath so you can try:

  • fast walking
  • climbing stairs
  • doing more strenuous housework or gardening
  • researchers have found that regular exercise helps to lower the incidence of ‘insulin spikes’ throughout the day.

You can eat many types of foods and research shows the Mediterranean diet is very beneficial for Type 2 Diabetics.

Cutting out ‘fast release’ carbohydrates is an important step to take while increasing good quality fats and fibre in the form of vegetables and salads.

Read our Nutritional Therapist, Pippa Mitchell’s blog here on making food swops: https://www.lucksyardclinic.com/mediterranean-diet-does-work/

In the meantime we wish Neil all the best for this epic journey and will be following his progress when he sets off in November.