How can we cope with the increase in diabetes?

There is an increasing concern that the cost of treating diabetes may bankrupt the National Health Service, as there has been a massive rise in the number of cases over recent years.

According to a Guardian report, Diabetes UK has issued a warning that the cost of diabetes treatment is spiraling out of control as the result of the 60% rise in cases over the last 10 years.

Causes of diabetes

Identifying and tackling the causes of diabetes is vital, and the good news is that diabetes is often preventable. Research claims that sugary drinks, regardless of size, may cause people to develop type 2 diabetes. Obesity is the biggest preventable factor and if the current trend is maintained, one in three people will be obese and one in ten will be diabetic by 2034.

A healthy diet is essential for preventing diabetes and it has been suggested that schools should teach pupils about healthy eating, what 2,000 calories look like, and how to refuse unhealthy alternatives. Sport and exercise are also important as part of a healthy lifestyle and for weight control.

Diabetes care

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has identified nine processes of care for diabetes. These are tests that all diabetics should have annually; however, 40% of diabetics do not currently have them all, meaning that they are at higher risk of complications such as blindness and kidney problems. It is estimated that 80% of the 100 amputations carried out each week would be preventable if patients received optimal care. There is a new initiative to encourage healthcare professionals to identify patients at high risk of diabetes because of an inherited tendency or because they are obese and to offer intervention at an early stage.

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The increase in cases of diabetes can only be stemmed by a total change in our lifestyle, with an evidence-based behavioral programme currently being developed by the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to prevent the increase in obesity and consequently diabetes.

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