Health Impacts of Too Much Sugar
You‘ve probably seen headlines and articles saying that sugar is a cause of the rise in cardiovascular diseases and obesity levels in the UK, but what exactly about this innocent looking substance is so harmful to our health? And what health conditions is it actually linked to?
What Is Sugar?
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Fructose is broken down in the liver, whereas glucose is digested in the stomach and requires insulin to metabolise it properly.
Naturally occurring sugar is found in all fruits, vegetables and dairy foods, but in relatively low quantities. In these foods it is accompanied by vitamins, antioxidants, water and fibre, all of which have health benefits. Processed sugar doesn’t have any of these added nutrients, proteins or fats, and is just pure energy, which is why you get an initial boost but then a come-down shortly after eating sugary foods. Read more
Dog Lover dies from Type 1 Diabetes
Retired care worker Richard Black, 68, had been fighting Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years but sadly succumbed to the disease in February this year. His close friend Lucy Simmons spoke to us about his passion for dogs and his charity work with Help Pozega Dogs
A Caring Man
Lucy met Richard six years ago and they’d been friends ever since.
“He was a customer at the little cafe where I work. It’s a small and friendly place so we got to know Richard by chatting every time he came in for tea. The cafe owner and I knew he was diabetic and wanted to make sure he was looking after himself, so we always made sure he had something to eat and drink.
“Some days we could see that he wasn’t feeling well and we would sit with him until he felt better. A day or two after he would bring us a little gift each and tell us that we always looked after him so he wanted to say thank you.
“He was so thoughtful, always worrying about everyone else and never himself. He was constantly having to deal with infections in his legs caused by small cuts or scratches – when his sugar levels were too high he collapsed, often hurting himself. He was receiving treatment at the clinic but he never once complained. I wish he’d talked to us more about what he was going through but I think he didn’t want to worry us. Instead he used to make light of the situation by making jokes.”
When Managing Multiple Health Conditions, “Take Control and Never Give Up”
For Peter Haswell, 59, from the Wirral in Merseyside, managing multiple health conditions requires organisation and perseverance.
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1973, and later with asthma in 2005 after feeling his chest tighten up whilst out on a run. Whilst his diabetes took only 24 hours to be diagnosed, his asthma took 7 days.
Pictured above: Peter (far right) with his son Alexander, wife Ann and daughter Victoria
Being Diagnosed with Diabetes
Peter experienced symptoms of increased thirst and extreme tiredness before being diagnosed with the least common form of diabetes, type 1. He has daily insulin injections, but even with controlled treatment he’s had medical emergencies.
“On several occasions at work my blood sugars have got too low and I’ve needed help to recover.”