This year's focus of Men's Health Awareness Week is diabetes...
It might not be something you've spent a lot of time thinking about before but did you know that diabetes affects more men than women?
A lot of the time, men are less likely to nip into the doctors and talk about their health and how they're feeling. But honestly, there's nothing to be scared of.
Here's everything you need to know about diabetes:
1. There are two different types.
Type 1 diabetes is something about 10% of people with diabetes in the UK have. It's still not clear what the cause is but it just happens.
Type 2 diabetes develops throughout your life and is usually down to lifestyle and diet. Having a lot of sugar and junk food with a lack of exercise is one way to get this type of diabetes. This is preventable by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. This doesn't mean becoming the next Mo Farah, just being active!
2. It causes people to have too much sugar in their blood.
We all need glucose (sugar) in our bodies but if your body produces too much of it, this is how diabetes forms. It all comes down to how much is released into our blood - it can get a bit confusing so watch this video to get a clearer understanding. Diabetes is a lifelong condition but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life...
3. There are some obvious signs to look out for.
If you notice any of these, book an appointment with your doctor:
- regularly feeling thirsty
- always feeling tired
- getting up during most nights to go to the toilet
- experiencing blurred vision
- sudden loss of muscle or weight
- wounds / cuts take a long time to heal
- genital itching
4. It is manageable.
Living with diabetes isn't the easiest thing in the world but it is possible. One of the biggest ways is keeping on top of your diet and making sure you aren't having too much fat and sugar in your diet. Also, check your blood sugar levels regularly so you can monitor any changes in your body.
Living with a lifelong health condition is hard and everyone deals with it differently - if you ever feel overwhelmed by your health then you should seek some support:
- Make an appointment with your GP
- Diabetes UK - 0345 123 2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samaritans - 116 123 or email@example.com