Confessions of a therapist
PUBLISHED: 13:54 23 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:12 20 February 2013
It's a question of diet says our therapist Helen Skene
Good health is often a question of diet, says our therapist Helen Skene
Lots of things in life make me ask the question why? Such as, why do we get caught up in Christmas commercialism and then spend January broke? And why does someone with diabetes eat so much unhealthy food when they know their health is at risk?
A 20-year-old client spread herself across my two-seater sofa and told me shed recently been diagnosed as a type one diabetic. Her ample posterior covered most of the chair and she became breathless just explaining how her symptoms had led to a visit to the doctor.
She then went on to relate her eating habits. I only have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, usually Frosties or Coco Pops, and maybe a slice of toast, but I only have butter on it. By mid morning I start feeling a bit tired. Its my sugar levels dropping, so I have just a bag of crisps or a small chocolate bar.
So thats plenty of fats and sugar then!
She went on to describe her lunch which consisted of only a small cheese and pickle sandwich on white bread, and an apple. Well done on the apple!
By mid afternoon I get so tired. I just have a bag of crisps or a Mars bar to keep me going until dinner time, she explained.
Last night I had cod and chips (large), she continued, and only one slice of bread and butter and a can of Coke.
She later admitted having cake for dessert and a snack before she went to bed.
I am trying really hard to cut down, but my sugar levels drop and I have to eat something so I feel better again. I dont understand why I cant lose weight. Im eating a lot less than I used to, but I seem to have reached a plateau.
Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level is higher than normal.
November is National Diabetes Month, and aims at raising awareness of this common condition which currently affects 2.3 million people in the UK. It is estimated that another half a million people have the condition but are unaware of it.
There are several types of diabetes. Type one or insulin-dependent diabetes is usually seen in young people; type two tends to affect adults over 40 and overweight people; pregnancy diabetes is associated with pregnancy and the symptoms often disappear after the babys birth; and secondary diabetes is caused by another condition such as inflammation of the pancreas, or the use of certain medication such as steroids.
My client became aware of her condition when she developed an unquenchable thirst, severe lethargy and skin irritation.
Although she had stopped smoking the previous year, my client was aware of her weight increase, which had steadily piled on since quitting the dreaded weed.
During the last 30 years the number of childhood diabetics has increased threefold and, more worryingly, there has been a sharp rise in children and teenagers being diagnosed with type two diabetes, usually only seen in older people and which reflects obesity levels in young people.
However, obesity doesnt explain the increase in the numbers of type one diabetes found in young people, who make up the majority of new cases.
Diabetes is treated with a combination of healthy diet and exercise coupled with medication such as tablets and or insulin.
If anyone is suffering from increased thirst; frequent urination; tiredness; weight loss despite an increased appetite; itchiness or recurrent skin infections, then a trip to the doctor is highly recommended.
by Helen Skene
Complements Mobile Health and Healing for Suffolk Women
Telephone 01473 743038