DIABETES is a debilitating condition and millions in the UK suffer from it.
There are two types of the illness, with one in ten people over the age of 40 in the UK living with type 2.
Those who have it will likely experience symptoms such as excessive thirst, needing to pee a lot and tiredness.
But scientists have now revealed the five key factors that determine if you will develop the deadly condition.
If it’s left untreated it can lead to kidney failure, amputation and stroke – which can be deadly.
Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) medics said that women with a history of the illness in pregnancy are still able to reduce their chances of going on to develop type 2 by addressing five key areas of their lifestyles.
- Eating healthily
- Stopping smoking
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Healthy weight.
Researchers found that those who adhered to these five lifestyle factors had a 90 per cent lower risk of the disorder compared to women who did not adhere to any.
This included those who were overweight or obese, or were at greater genetic risk of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers said their study “highlights the important public health opportunity for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in this high-risk population.”
Medics looked at data from 4,275 women who had a history of gestational diabetes.
This refers to a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually goes away once you give birth.
Over a 28-year period, the medics repeatedly measured the weight and lifestyle factors of these women.
On average, over the 28 years, 924 women developed type 2 diabetes.
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but the two different types do this in different ways.
The distinction lies in what is causing the lack of insulin – often described as the key, that allows glucose to unlock the door to the cells.
With type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces no insulin, but in type 2 cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount of insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
However, doctors now think diabetes could be as many as five different diseases – and say that treatment should be tailored for the different forms
The experts highlight that this is an observational study, so can’t establish the exact cause.
The study from the BMJ comes after medics in Sweden found that that women with the illness have a 60 per cent increased risk of early death.
They will also live five years less than the average woman in the population, medics presenting at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm said.
The study was based on 12,000 patients at the Salford Royal Hospital in Salford, Manchester.
Researchers also found that men with the disease have a 44 per cent increased risk of dying prematurely and live 4.5 years less.
For people with the condition who smoke, the experts said this also shortened their life expectancy by ten years.
Source: The Sun