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Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish

Promoting Discussion on TYPE 2 Diabetes

Two Rivers Medical Partnership  Known as Whitchurch Surgery & Derrydown Clinic

THINKING OUTSIDE THE (CEREAL) BOX: PROMOTING DISCUSSION ON TYPE 2 DIABETES
It seemed that the festive season was barely over (and the goodies not yet eaten up!) before news items on health, diet
and lifestyle and the struggling NHS began to appear on our TV screens. We have had articles on the latest scientific evidence, medical advice and depressing statistics to digest. For me, they have been ingested pretty uncomfortably for one simple reason;
the negatives are rarely followed up with positives! Some of us enjoy learning of the latest in medical research and most of us need to heed advice on lifestyle as well as reflect on how we are using our Health Service (use it WELL or lose it, is the apparent warning.) But negatives without positives can surely only bring about guilt and hopelessness and even a personal denial
in health matters. The Patient Group is hoping to encourage and promote sound but more enjoyable approaches!


Following the BBC’s discussion with Dr Alison Tedstone on the potential harm that sugary cereals can do to our children (and everyone, of course) I asked them why, as this professional lady is responsible for the NHS’s ‘eat well’ (food plate) diagram, she didn’t offer alternatives for children’s breakfasts. Parents need sound advice with children’s diets more than ever and I am not qualified to offer it publicly. For myself I am trying to eat more single ingredient and natural foods, even for breakfast and in so doing enjoy a more colourful plate of food! Most foods, besides pure fats, contain carbohydrates (sugars) in some form, including fruit and veg. Think outside the (cereal) box! No reply from the BBC came, of course, just my realisation that armed with the best resources we can find, we must continue to work it out for ourselves and support one another.


So, this ‘potential harm’ from sugar and refined carbohydrates in those cereals and a lot of other manufactured foods and drinks, needs to be taken seriously. A great disease is spreading throughout the world: Type 2 diabetes. This is different to Type 1 diabetes which is a genetic condition. Rather it is largely (though there can be a genetic predisposition) caused by consuming over the years more sugar and refined carbs than our bodies can process; a scientific fact for which the NHS now spends £14billion a year on treatment. Even those who are slim are not immune as I battle to shift excess tummy fat; the first ‘clue’ perhaps that I could be pre-diabetic. Some media shows have helped me. A YouTube recording of an Australian TV discussion programme with our own BBC doctor Michael Moseley as guest was interesting. The audience was multi-ethnic so ate a variety of carb foods (rice, noodles, bread and potatoes).
Any individual ‘guilt’ from those diabetic, or pre-disposed, was readily turned into positive advice punctuated by good humour and applause. ITV have produced another series of Sugar Free Farm, a light-hearted attempt (though tough for the celebrities!) to remove excess sugar from their menus. The series was again filmed in Laverstoke.

You see, the good news is that the majority of us who are as yet undiagnosed can prevent Type 2 diabetes. Even if we are diagnosed already but start now, with medical help, we can slow or reverse it to some and often considerable degree. A nurse practitioner at our local surgery suggests finding advice on www.diabetes.org.uk and through Ian Marber’s Food Doctor books. She adds: ‘I have seen patients make dramatic improvements to their diabetic control by changing diet and lifestyle and some have even reversed their diabetes’. On this wonderfully
positive statement may we take hope, inform ourselves and press on to better health!
Alison Harbour, Patient Participation Group, Two Rivers Medical Practice alisonharbour@hotmail.co.uk
or for enquiries by those without a computer or needing assistance with Patient Participation Group computer matters: 01256 892474
Two Rivers Medical Partnership (Known as Whitchurch Surgery & Derrydown Clinic)