Follow us on twitter OVLMagazine Find us on Facebook OVL Magazine 57 Defeating Diabetes when prevention is the cure HEALTH Olivia Waker Recent statistics released by charity Diabetes UK claim that the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has soared by nearly 60 in a decade. This amounts to more than 3.3 million people. The majority of these cases are type 2 acquired diabetes. Type 1 develops in early childhood often with genetic links sometimes associated with other autoimmune conditions for example coeliac disease gluten intolerance. Diabetes causes uncontrolled blood sugar levels this can be extremely dangerous leading to complications such as loss of vision organ and nerve damage. In this country there are 135 foot amputations a week caused by diabetes. It is not a disease to be taken lightly. The rise in cases of type 2 diabetes is blamed on our obesity crisis with prevention centred around lifestyle change. Diabetes medication costs the NHS nearly 869 million a year and nearly 10 billion if you include the cost of managing complications. Here lies potential for huge amounts of money to be saved and strain relieved from the NHS if people would take prevention measures and lifestyle advice seriously. Other than the usual advice of a balanced diet and regular exercise one step towards lowering your risk of diabetes is to lower your total sugar intake. Eating too much sugar is likely to make you overweight in turn increasing your risk of diabetes. The guideline daily intake in the UK is 90g. It is important to keep an eye on food labels in particular the per 100g measurement. As a simple reference point greater than 15g per 100g is high less than 5g per 100g is low. We could all guess that a bag of sweets or an ice lolly is going to be high in sugar but some foods that we may regard as savoury or healthy can surprise you bread salad dressing pasta sauce cereal and yoghurt to name just a few. Two spoonfuls of barbecue sauce can add the same amount of sugar to a meal as eating an original glaze doughnut and a pot of low fat yoghurt provides more sugar than three chocolate biscuits. The UK is in the midst of a diabetes crisis spending huge sums on treating its end stages. If we could avoid its development from the outset almost 10 billion could be saved.