I know loads of people who have diabetes and it’s one of those conditions that can actually creep up on you without you realising it. Firstly, it is important to highlight that there are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes – Your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – Your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational (jest-TAY-shun-al) diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.

Today I was joined by Dr C. Rajeswaran (Dr Raj), who currently works as a consultant physician in Diabetes, Obesity & Endocrinology and is the clinical lead for obesity at Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust. He is also the advisor for simplyweight Ltd, which a global specialist weight management organisation. He also runs the reputed ‘The London Obesity Clinic’

He said that it was important for each person to not deprive themselves of food such as chocolate — a little bit was fine, however eating a lot could cause sugar levels to rise and problems later on. He spoke of the importance of each person to own a measuring tape. Yes, really!! even I was baffled when he pulled it out of his pocket. However, he said one should measure their stomach and not like me from the smallest part of my waist, but around the bellybutton area.Dr Raj said 90cms circumference was a good estimate for men and 80cms for women, anything above that would be deemed worrying.

Dr Raj said it was important to maintain a good diet, eat bread with seeds, switch to brown Atta (flour) and make sure that you NEVER stop the medication your GP or specialist has prescribed unless they have told you to do so.

 He amazed me when he said that if well-controlled, people who had diabetes over the last 7-10 years could in fact reverse their diabetes if they worked hard on it. However, those who had it longer would sadly find it incredibly difficult to reverse the effects.

My mum is a diabetic and if there is one thing I have realised, one’s Doctor is NOT the only person who should be guiding, helping and supporting you. There are a number of healthcare professionals who should be advising you, and if they aren’t, make sure they do: dentist, diabetes doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian, eye doctor, foot doctor, mental health counsellor and a pharmacist.