Posts tagged Weight Loss

Saxenda: the newest recruit into the battle against obesity

Posted 4 April 2019 in Weight Loss

Feet on weighing scales. Source: medicalimages.comObesity is a growing problem in the UK. A quarter of UK adults are obese, and this proportion could rise further with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and readily available cheap, unhealthy food. With many of us moving less due to sitting at desks at work, getting around by car and spending more time on the sofa instead of up and about, we burn fewer calories. Combined with a higher calorific intake thanks to the generally lower cost and greater accessibility of unbalanced ready meals and fast food compared with fresh produce, this equates to weight gain. (1)

Most of us know that on a basic level, the key to losing weight is simply eating less and moving more, so that on a daily basis, calories taken in amount to less than calories burnt. But in reality, many factors can stand in the way of this change in lifestyle, including time constraints and lack of motivation. In addition, several medical conditions such as type II diabetes mellitus, pre-diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism, as well as certain medications, can make weight loss harder to achieve. That’s why medical intervention may sometimes be needed. (1)

Until recently, there was only one medication – orlistat – licensed to treat obesity in this country. Orlistat stops around a third of the fat in your diet being absorbed, helping to prevent weight gain. However, unpleasant side effects directly related to this mode of action include oily, loose stools, flatulence, urgency to pass stools more frequently than is normal for you, and an oily rectal discharge. (1)

What is Saxenda and how does it work?

The newest addition to the obesity treatment market is Saxenda, a brand of the medication liraglutide. Liraglutide was originally developed as an anti-diabetic drug and is licensed for this purpose under the name Victoza, at a different strength to Saxenda. Saxenda is available as a pre-filled pen for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection containing 18mg of liraglutide in 3ml of solution. (2)

Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, meaning it acts at the receptor for GLP-1, an appetite-regulating substance naturally produced in the body. The way in which liraglutide interacts with the receptor is currently unclear. (2)

Saxenda is different from weight management products that you may have taken in the past. Saxenda makes you feel full and less hungry, which can help you eat less and reduce your body weight.  It can help you to not only lose weight, but keep it off as well.

Use the Saxenda pen at home or on the go

You can inject your dose in your stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm.

Saxenda - self-injectable pen can be used in the upper arm, abdomen or thigh

Who can use Saxenda?

Saxenda is licensed to treat obesity in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher, or those with a BMI of 27kg/m2 to 30kg/m2 who have one or more of a number of weight-linked health conditions including type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia (raised fat or cholesterol levels in the blood), high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnoea. It should be used in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise. (2)

Children and young people under the age of 18 should not use Saxenda, as it is not yet known how the drug affects this age group. Furthermore, Saxenda should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to unknown effects on the foetus or baby. (3)

What is the dose for Saxenda?

When starting Saxenda, the initial dose is 0.6mg daily, injected into the abdomen, front of the thigh or upper arm, but not into a vein or muscle. The dose is increased at least on a weekly basis by a further 0.6mg until the daily dose is 3mg, the maximum recommended daily dose. The reason for this gradual increase in dose is that gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation are very common, especially at the beginning of treatment, so lower doses to start improve tolerability and make it more likely that the patient will continue treatment. If Saxenda is still intolerable two weeks after stepping up to the next dose, treatment should be stopped. (2)

How long before Saxenda starts to work?

Patients using Saxenda can expect to have lost at least 5% of their starting weight once they have been on 3mg daily for twelve weeks, given they have also been consuming fewer calories and increasing exercise. If this hasn’t been achieved, treatment with Saxenda should no longer be continued. (2)

What results have been seen with Saxenda?

Medical studies with more than 3,000 people taking Saxenda were conducted to understand the benefits and risks of Saxenda. The results from the study showed significant weight loss.

Along with a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity, some people lost nearly 2.5 times more weight with Saxenda versus placebo (17.3 lb vs 7 lb). Study participants had an average starting weight of 234 lb and an average BMI of 38. (3)

In a different 1-year study, most people who stayed on Saxenda kept the weight off. (3)

Can I use Saxenda alongside other medication?

If you take a type of medication for diabetes known as a sulfonylurea (such as gliclazide or glimepiride), the dose may need to be adjusted while you use Saxenda to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). (4)

If you use Victoza for diabetes you should not use Saxenda at the same time. This is because they both contain liraglutide, so using them together will lead to overdose.

Patients taking warfarin or other anticoagulants may need to have more frequent tests to monitor how long it takes their blood to clot. (4)

Where can I find Saxenda?

Saxenda is usually only prescribed privately as the manufacturer does not intend for it to be promoted within the NHS. It will be available to purchase from Webmed Pharmacy in the near future, so watch this space! (5)

References

  1. NHS. Obesity – Overview [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/
  2. NICE. Obese, overweight with risk factors: liraglutide (Saxenda) – Product overview [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Product-overview
  3. Novo Nordisk. Saxenda [cited March 2019] https://www.saxenda.com/learn-about-saxenda/what-results-have-been-seen-with-saxenda.html
  4. emc. Saxenda 6 mg/mL solution for injection in pre-filled pen [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/2313/pil
  5. NICE. Obese, overweight with risk factors: liraglutide (Saxenda) – Estimated impact for the NHS [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Estimated-impact-for-the-NHS

Author
Gabby Gallaher MPharm

Medically reviewed by
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
4 April 2019

Is your lifestyle affecting your diabetes risk?

Posted 10 August 2016 in Men's Health, Weight Loss

diabetes wordyThere has been a lot in the news recently about the increasing incidence of Type II Diabetes. So, what’s it all about?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which is caused by a person’s body either producing less of, or becoming resistant to, the hormone insulin. This causes the blood sugar level to become dangerously high, leading to various ailments of the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels to name a few.

The high levels of sugar in your blood make you tired all the time, thirstier than usual and also causes you to go to the toilet more frequently, especially at night.

The symptoms of this type of diabetes are usually quite mild and so aren’t typically obvious, meaning some may be living life with diabetes for years before it is actually diagnosed.

Type II diabetes has now reached epidemic levels in many places and this is thought to be mainly due to changes in lifestyle but is also partly due to improved diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

It's far more common than type I diabetes and it is estimated that more than 1 in 16 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed), with this figure rising rapidly, and 90% of these cases being type II. (1)

There are some things which make a person more likely to develop type II diabetes, such as;

  • Your age
    Most cases are seen in those over the age of 40, but there are now an increasing number of teenagers being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Your ethnicity
    Being of Asian or African decent puts you at higher risk.
  • Your genes
    If you have a close member of your family diagnosed (mother, father, brother or sister) than again you are at a higher risk. There is also an increased incidence in males.
  • Your weight
    Being overweight or obese makes your change of having diabetes much more likely.
    Click here to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) to see if your weight puts you at risk. (2)

The majority of these things, we unfortunately cannot change. However, we are able to reduce our weight. It’s been said by the NHS that reducing your body weight by even just 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%. (3) This can be achieved by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

We have all heard it before and now you’re going to hear it again. The best way to avoid type II diabetes is to;

  • Eat better! Eating a healthy, balanced diet, not forgetting the fruit and veg.
  • Bin the cigarettes! (if you smoke)
  • Drink alcohol in moderation! You don’t need to ditch it all together.
  • Get on the move! Take plenty of regular exercise, ideally 30 minutes a day.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not the end of the world. There are many treatment options available to keep your blood sugar under control and, when managed well, should have no side effects or complications.

Having said that, prevention is most definitely better than cure!

To further your understanding, take a look at this great list of myths and frequently asked questions on type II diabetes here. (4)

  
  1. Choices N.: Department of Health. Type 2 diabetes; 2016 Jul 28 [cited 2016 Apr 20]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes-type2/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. Diet throughout life; 2014 Nov 10 [cited 2016 Apr 20].
    Available from: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/tools-calculators/bmi-calculator
  3. Choices N.: Department of Health. Type 2 diabetes - causes; 2016 Jul 12 [cited 2016 April 20].
    Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes-type2/Pages/Causes.aspx
  4. Myths, questions frequently asked. Myths and frequently asked questions - diabetes UK [cited 2016 Apr 20].
    Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/What-is-diabetes/Myths-and-FAQs/

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 10/08/16

Is Sugar the New Enemy?

Posted 2 June 2016 in Weight Loss

Nutritional or dietary advice changes like the weather and we are never sure if today’s meat is tomorrows poison!

Remember the days when it was "Go to work on an egg", then it was no more than 3 eggs a week and now the advice we’re given is eat as many eggs as you like as although they have cholesterol, its apparently "good" cholesterol.

Then there’s the new superfoods; nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. It’s a list that’s constantly gaining additions, with a few of those being beetroot juice, blueberries, walnuts, edamame beans, pomegranates, coconut oil, oily fish and avocados.

For years we’ve been told that for good health we should eat a low fat diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. The general consensus was that low fat foods were better than full fat foods. Now we’re being told that the diet industry that produces a lot of these low fat foods supplement them with sugar to improve the flavour lost by reducing the fat content. We all thought that to lose weight we had only to count the calories and that fat was higher in calories than sugar and therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Now the nutritionists are saying that fat doesn’t make you fat but sugar does and is responsible for the increasing obesity crisis in the UK.

This debate has been going on for a long time and while there is really no good sugar that you can eat, fat can be good or bad for you, depending of what kind you choose.

 

Sugar comes in many guises on food labels, including:

corn sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose glucose syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, isoglucose, levulose, maltose, molasses, sucrose, invert sugar
Table 1. (1)

The government recommends that free or added sugars shouldn't make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) you get from food and drink each day. That's a maximum of 30g of added sugar a day for adults, which is roughly seven sugar cubes. (2)

Added sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks – these are the sugary foods we should cut down on. For example, a 500ml bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar!

If you want to lose weight, you need to find a diet plan that avoids refined sugars and uses only healthy fats. These are monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil instead of saturated fats like butter and dairy products. There is good evidence to show that there is a link between saturated fat and raised cholesterol levels.

Bad fats increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, while good fats protect your heart and support overall health. In fact, good fats - such as omega-3 fats - are essential to physical and emotional health.

Therefore, a healthy diet shouldn’t cut out the fat but replace bad fats with the good ones that promote health and well-being.

Eating foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. These fats may also benefit insulin levels and control blood sugar, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes. These good fats are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed vegetable oils. (3)

Trans fats raise your LDL or "bad" cholesterol and lower your HDL "good" cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Any amount of trans fats is unhealthy. They are found in commercially baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, and pastry. Any product with "partially hydrogenated oil" in the ingredients contains trans fats.

When trying to lose weight, eating a balanced diet and being more active will help you lose weight steadily and gradually which is better for keeping weight off long term.

The traditional Mediterranean diet naturally includes most of the key diet changes that will help to lose weight and keep your heart healthy. This means that your meals should contain carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread and pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables. (4)

Protein should be obtained by having more fish in your diet and less meat as well as including beans and pulses. You should also cut down on the foods that provide a lot of saturated fat in your diet such as dairy products and butter.

The healthiest diet is to cut out processed foods that are high in sugar and salt and cook from scratch as often as possible.

         

References;

  1. Dolson L. Verywell. How to spot hidden sugar in foods; 2016 Mar 6 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: https://www.verywell.com/sugars-many-disguises-2242526
  2. Choices N. Department of Health. How does sugar in our diet affect our health?; 2016 May 24 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/sugars.aspx
  3. Helpguide. Good fats, bad fats, and the power of Omega-3s [cited 2016 May 27]. Available from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm
  4. Choices N. Department of Health. What is a Mediterranean diet?; 2016 Mar 17 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/what-is-a-Mediterranean-diet.aspx
  5. Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 02/06/16

Are you buying fake medicines online?

Posted 17 March 2016 in Erectile Dysfunction, Men's Health, Sexual Health, Weight Loss

We have all become familiar with the great convenience and ease of buying goods online but what about when it comes to medicines?

Buying medicines online, in the comfort of your own home, without having to take time off work or interrupt your busy schedule to visit your GP is a service we would all like to access. It becomes even more attractive if the nature of your treatment is for sensitive or intimate conditions.

How do you know if you are buying genuine medicines from a reputable registered seller?

ED to the left and STI's to the right

It is illegal to buy any prescription only medicine unless a doctor has written a prescription specifically for you.

More importantly, if a website or indeed any supplier is willing to sell you a prescription only medicine without a prescription then these unscrupulous dealers do not have any concerns about the dire consequences of supplying you fake, potentially harmful medicines.

Fake medicines range from being useless to highly dangerous as they often contain the wrong amount of active ingredient or a completely different ingredient to the one advertised. Some fake medicines have even been found to contain highly toxic substances such as rat poison, lead paint, floor wax and printer ink. The medicines may be made in dirty factories with no quality control and so the person taking the counterfeit medicine may find they are putting their health, even their life, at risk. These fake medicines may look identical to the genuine article and are often packaged to a high standard, making it very difficult to tell the difference.

The  World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1 per cent of medicines available in the developed world are likely to be counterfeit. This figure rises to 10 per cent globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America counterfeit goods can form up to 30 per cent of the market.

This does not mean that all websites which sell medicines are doing so illegally or without a prescription but it’s very important to be sure that the website that YOU are using is selling genuine medicines from a UK regulated and registered pharmacy.

How can you check that the website you want to use to obtain medicines is a legitimate online pharmacy?

All websites selling prescription medication in England should be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who are a government appointed independent regulator of health and social care.

CQC Regulated LogoAll fully approved and regulated websites should have a clickable link that will take you to the CQC register to show that they are compliant.


All medicines must be supplied from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

If you are thinking of obtaining medicines from an online pharmacy, we would advise you to check if the website is legitimately registered by looking for the General Pharmaceutical Council, GPhC, voluntary logo and the mandatory EU common logo

We would then recommend that you click on each logo which should take you through to that particular pharmacy’s entry on the GPhC register and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) register.

All websites operating in the UK, but outside of England, must be registered with the CQC equivalent body in each country: Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (Northern Ireland).

The common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU Member States was introduced by Directive 2011/62/EU (the Falsified Medicines Directive) as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines.

Therefore, since 1st of July 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers legally operating in the EU have to display the following logo:-

EU Registered Pharmacy
 

How does the logo work?

The logo links to the website of the national competent authority listing all legally operating online pharmacies/retailers. National websites are listed with the European Medicines Agency. By simply clicking on the logo a purchaser of the medicines online will be sent to the entry of the pharmacy on that national list, thus completing the verification process.

The logo can be trusted only if a purchaser, after clicking, is redirected to the entry of that pharmacy on the list of legally operating on-line pharmacies and retailers registered in that Member State on the national authority web-page

Also, all pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC and meet their standards for registered pharmacies.

GPhC Registered Pharmacy logo
 
The GPhC operates a voluntary internet pharmacy logo scheme to provide reassurance to patients and the public that they are purchasing medicines online from registered pharmacies who have to meet GPhC standards.

Therefore, anybody buying medicines from an online pharmacy can check if the pharmacy is legitimately registered by clicking on the logo or going directly to the GPhC website and searching their online register.

The EU common logo is a legal requirement across Europe that applies to all retailers of medicines whilst the GPhC voluntary logo is applicable only to UK registered pharmacies.

What other checks can be made?

You should be able to easily find the name and address of the pharmacy operating the website, as an online supplier who conceals its physical address is a warning sign that their products could be dangerous. The WHO estimates that 50 per cent of medicines available from such websites are counterfeit.

You should avoid websites which offer to supply prescription only medicines without a prescription as registered pharmacies are required to check that a medicine is suitable for a patient before selling it. Therefore, if you are not asked to provide information about your health before making a purchase then you would be wise to go elsewhere.

When you order any medication from our UK registered and regulated pharmacy you can be assured that you are doing so safely, legally and discreetly.

WebMed Pharmacy Ltd, a fully approved and Regulated UK Pharmacy (http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registers/pharmacy/registrationnumber/1126048), only supplies medicines from a MHRA accredited wholesaler. You can confidently order from us, knowing that you can complete an online medical questionnaire in the comfort of your own home and if suitable can be prescribed by our GMC regulated doctor.

WebMed Pharmacy specialises in treatments where patients may feel embarrassed or awkward talking to their GP or simply find it difficult to get an appointment or don’t want to take time off work. We provide a confidential, discreet next working day delivery, of your chosen medicine, within a 1 hour time slot to the vast majority of postcodes in the UK or New Click & Collect from a store near you, with a choice of 2,500+ stores nationwide.

Quick easy links to our most popular pages with the confidence of knowing we are a fully approved and regulated pharmacy, only supplying UK sourced medication:

Erectile dysfunction | Sildenafil | Tadalafil

Gonorrhoea treatment | Chlamydia treatment

Hair Loss treatment | Finasteride

STI Tests | HIV Test Kits

Medically reviewed by: Super intendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 17/03/16. Updated and reviewed 02/05/17.

The Bittersweet Truth About the Implications of Diabetes

Posted 18 November 2015 in Weight Loss

Diabetes symptoms bodyThe World Health Organisation, WHO, is so concerned about the worldwide chronic health condition, diabetes that they have decided to focus on the problem for the Organisation’s World Health day on 7th April 2016.

World Health Day will be used to highlight the disease in order to promote strategies to help prevent diabetes and ensure optimal management for people living with one of the various forms of the condition. About 350 million people in the world have diabetes and as this chronic disease becomes more common the importance of learning how to prevent, detect, treat and manage it becomes more crucial.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body has raised blood sugar - hyperglycamia, which can lead to serious damage, especially to the nerves and blood vessels. This is caused when either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, which gives us the energy we need to live. If the sugar is unable to get into the cells to be burned as energy, it can build up to harmful levels in the blood.

There are two main forms of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is characterised by the lack of insulin production and requires daily insulin injections for survival. The cause is not known and is not preventable at the moment.

Type 2 diabetes results from the body not producing enough insulin or the body is resistant to any insulin produced. This form of diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world and is largely due to excess body weight and lack of physical activity. Until recently, this type of diabetes was only seen in adults but now it’s found in children. In fact, in some parts of the world, type 2 diabetes has become the main type of diabetes in children and adolescents. This is thought to be due to the global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity.

Ultimately, high blood sugars can have devastating effects on every major organ in the body, leading to heart attacks, strokes, impotence, blindness, kidney failure and infections that can lead to amputations.

Other less common types

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia with blood glucose values above normal but below those of diagnostic diabetes, when a woman is pregnant. These women are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery as well as being at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

Impaired glucose intolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG)

These are intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and diabetes but the progression is not inevitable and can be prevented by following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Urinating more frequently, especially at night
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very tired
  • Cuts or wounds that don’t heal properly or heal slowly
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss (more common with type 1 diabetes)
  • Itching around the penis or vagina or frequent bouts of thrush
  • Intense hunger which may lead to weight gain
  • Irritability due to lack of energy
  • Gum disease/infection
  • Sexual  dysfunction
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

Type 1 diabetes symptoms usually present suddenly and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and stomach pains.

It’s possible to have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all with type 2 diabetes. In fact, about half of all people with type 2 diabetes are unaware of their condition and are therefore undiagnosed. Also, the condition known as prediabetes, that often leads to type 2 diabetes, produces no symptoms. Usually, type 2 diabetes and its symptoms develop very slowly.

Diabetes Diagnosis

Excess glucose in the urine can be detected by a simple urine test.  This can be followed up by a blood test that measures blood glucose levels and can confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.

Therefore, if you have any of the symptoms described above you should visit your GP as soon as possible. It’s very important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated leading to serious health conditions.

If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes you will need insulin injections for the rest of your life. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you may be able to control your symptoms by following a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis and careful monitoring of your blood glucose levels. However, you may eventually require medication in the form of tablets or insulin as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition.

In the UK there are 3.9 million people living with diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed, which is a staggering more than one in 16 people. This figure is constantly increasing and it’s estimated that by 2025 five million people in the UK alone will have diabetes. Furthermore, many more people are estimated to have blood sugar levels above the normal range but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. The health implications of this prediction and the cost to the NHS is frightening.

Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. Those with a lot of belly fat or abdominal obesity are especially at risk. That is why it’s recommended for males  to have a waist measurement of less than 94cm(37 inches) and females to measure less than 80cm(31.5 inches). Diabetes experts are asking world leaders at the G20 leaders summit in Turkey this weekend to use sugar taxes to fight obesity, arguing that it would save lives and slash health care budgets . A new report published in the journal Diabetic Medicine has projected that the NHS’s annual spending on diabetes in the UK will increase from £9.8 billion to £16.9 billion over the next 25 years, a rise that means the NHS would be spending 17% of its entire budget on the condition.

Many things can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes through embracing personal  responsibility by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This means achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by being physically active for at least 30 minutes every day and walking has been advocated in the press recently as the best way to keep fit. Also, by eating a healthy diet that includes between 3 and 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily and reducing our intake of sugar and saturated fats. Avoiding the use of tobacco is essential as smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Being overweight, physically inactive and eating the wrong foods all contribute to our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking just one can of (non-diet) soda per day can raise our risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%, researchers from Imperial College London reported in the journal Diabetologia. The scientists believe that the impact of sugary soft drinks on diabetes risk may be a direct one, rather than simply an influence on body weight.

There are many diseases which we have no power over but diabetes is not one of them. Properly treated and managed, the impact of diabetes can be minimised. Even people with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives if they keep their blood sugar well controlled.

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 18/11/15

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