Lisa George, who’s appeared in ITV’s Coronation Street since 2011 and is now appearing on Dancing On Ice, has never been afraid to speak out when it matters. In an interview with Express.co.uk in 2014, the actress chose to speak about her family’s experience with diabetes.
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Her mother Muriel, known as Min, and father Kenneth both have diabetes – Min as type 1 diabetes and Kenneth has type 2 diabetes. Both conditions affect a person’s blood sugar control.
With type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin so the body’s unable to produce any insulin at all.
With type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to make enough insulin or the insulin the body does make doesn’t work properly.
Both types of diabetes causes too much glucose in the blood.
While Lisa hasn’t been diagnosed with diabetes, she’s aware the condition can be hereditary.
Fortunately, up to 80 percent of cases can be delayed or prevented by making some simple lifestyle changes, and Lisa has been determined to do that.
She told Express.co.uk: “I thought I’d better get right on it, so I’ve been using the MyFitnessPal app and logging what I eat.
“I’ve started power walking and I’ve got an exercise bike that’s no longer just a clothes hanger. And I’ve lost weight – just under a stone.”
The main symptoms of diabetes are listed by the NHS as:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
But many people with type 2 diabetes can have it for years without realising, because early symptoms tend to be general.
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How to prevent diabetes
There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes.
But you can help manage type 2 diabetes through simple lifestyle changes.
The NHS advises a healthy diet and keeping active can help a person manage their blood sugar levels.
When it comes to diet, there’s nothing you cannot eat, but certain foods should be limited.
The health body says: “You should eat a wide range of foods – including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day – do not skip meals.”
When it comes to being active, the health body says you should aim for 2.5 hours of activity a week.
It advises: “You can be active anywhere as long as what you’re doing gets you out of breath. This could be fast walking, climbing stairs and doing more strenuous housework or gardening.”
Losing weight if you’re overweight can also make it easier for the body to lower blood sugar.
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