Run to help manage or reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
According to new analysis this year by Diabetes UK, there are around 4.7 million people in the UK living with diabetes - with that number expected to rise to 5.5 million by 2030. It’s also estimated that there are nearly 1 million people living with Type 2 diabetes, but have not yet been diagnosed and a further 12.3 million people at risk of developing it. If not managed well, diabetes can lead to devastating health complications, so the need to take preventative measures against the condition has never been greater.
That’s why Simplyhealth has chosen Diabetes UK as the official charity partner of the Simplyhealth Great Run Series 2019; encouraging people to become more active to help manage the condition or reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Here, Douglas Twenefour, Deputy Head of Care at Diabetes UK, explains the benefits physical activity such as running can have for those at risk of, or with Type 2 diabetes.
"There are a number of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, including age and ethnicity, but being overweight is the most significant. It’s also the one that many people can take steps to manage or reduce.
Eating healthily and doing regular physical activity like running can help you manage your weight and ultimately lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Nobody is expecting you to become a marathon runner overnight but running regularly benefits the body in a number of ways which will ultimately help prevent or manage the condition.
Using insulin more effectively
When you’re living with Type 2 diabetes, the insulin your body produces can be less effective at processing the glucose in your blood, which can lead to glucose building up in your bloodstream. Running can help your body use the insulin it produces more efficiently, meaning your body becomes more effective at processing the glucose in your blood. This helps keep blood glucose levels in the short-term healthy range (4-7 millimoles per litre).
Lowering short-term glucose levels
Exercise like running can increase the amount of glucose your body’s muscles use for energy, which in turn can help to lower blood glucose levels in the short-term. This is important because a short-term rise in blood glucose levels can lead to symptoms such as the need to urinate more; thirstiness; and tiredness. Maintaining a short-term blood glucose level of 4-7 millimoles per litre lowers the risk of developing such symptoms.However, different people could be given different blood glucose targets depending on how their diabetes is treated and their personal circumstance.
Lowering long-term glucose levels
Running not only helps keep glucose levels low in the short-term. More effective processing of the glucose in your blood helps it stay within the healthy long-term range too. Having high long-term blood glucose levels (HbA1c) of more than 48 millimoles per moles over time has been associated with life-changing complications of diabetes such as sight loss, kidney disease and amputations. Running regularly will keep your long-term glucose levels in check, which in turn can prevent damage to the blood vessels supplying blood to your eyes, kidneys and nerves.
Simplyhealth has partnered with Diabetes UK for the 2019 Simplyhealth Great Run Series. For expert tips and training advice visit www.greatrun.org/training-simplyhealth
Since 1872 we’ve been helping people get healthcare through our health plans, charity partnerships and by being a voice in healthcare. Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading provider of health plans, dental plans and pet health plans, which help individuals, families, employees and pets to get support with their health when they need it. We don’t have shareholders which means we are totally focused on making sure no one goes without the healthcare support they need, and why we are passionate about being a voice in healthcare and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality. Last year we donated £1.13 million to our charity partners which equates to over 10% of our pre-tax profits. Additionally, our partnership with the Simplyhealth Great Run Series raised over £40 million for charitable causes.
About Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK - more than dementia and cancer combined. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life. For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk• Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.• People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 8 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.• People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.• About 2 per cent of people have other types of diabetes. Other types include 11 different forms of monogenic diabetes, cystic fibrosis related diabetes and diabetes caused by rare syndromes. Certain medication such as steroids and antipsychotics, surgery or hormonal imbalances could also lead to other types of diabetes.• For more information on reporting on diabetes, download our journalists’ guide: Diabetes in the News: A Guide for Journalists on Reporting on Diabetes (PDF, 3MB).• For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
Diabetes UK’s media relations team can be reached on:
Tel (office hours 9am and 5pm): 020 7424 1165
Out-of-hours duty press officer: 07711 176028