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You may not be as healthy as you think

PUBLISHED: 10:14 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 01 May 2019

Exercise is a vital part of Darren Eadie's routine to look after his health Picture Richard Kelly

Exercise is a vital part of Darren Eadie's routine to look after his health Picture Richard Kelly

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He's fit and feels healthy, but ex-Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie had a shock result when he went for a diabetes check

Ex city footballer Darren Eadie tries to keep healthy. Here he checks his own blood pressure. Picture Richard KellyEx city footballer Darren Eadie tries to keep healthy. Here he checks his own blood pressure. Picture Richard Kelly

When I turned 40 I had an NHS MOT health check and had a blood test for diabetes. I'm not overweight, I'm still fit and active but you don't know what's going on inside your body. I was expecting the results to come back with flying colours and with no problems at all.

PRE-DIABETES

I was actually only a few points off from having pre diabetes which for me was a massive shock.

A variety of foods and cutting down the amount of time spent sitting can help reduce your risk of diabetes  Picture Getty ImagesA variety of foods and cutting down the amount of time spent sitting can help reduce your risk of diabetes Picture Getty Images

On the face of it I looked like a fit and healthy middle-aged man but you don't know what's going on inside.

Diabetes is a disease where the amount of glucose (or sugar) in the blood is too high.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. It's a growing problem; the number of people with diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years, mainly through the rise in Type 2 diabetes. I had a scare a couple of years ago – I don't have diabetes, but it's made me really think about my diet.

Menkind is a Norfolk County Council campaign to encourage men to look after their health      Logo supplied by Norfolk County CouncilMenkind is a Norfolk County Council campaign to encourage men to look after their health Logo supplied by Norfolk County Council

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION RISK

Over time, and if poorly managed, diabetes can be harmful to your health, affecting your heart, eyes, feet and kidneys; it can even increase the risk of sexual dysfunction. But with the right care and treatment people with diabetes can live a healthy life.

Managing diabetes can be hard work but there is lots of support and advice available. Diabetes UK has a great website with loads of helpful advice. With an improved diet and exercise plan, medication, and by cutting back on drinking, some people with Type 2 diabetes have even been able to reverse their diagnosis.

In Norfolk alone it's estimated that there are 69,000 people aged 16 and over with diabetes – that's an incredible number.

Exercise and a healthy diet will help reduce your risk of diabetes Picture Getty ImagesExercise and a healthy diet will help reduce your risk of diabetes Picture Getty Images

WATCH OUT MEN

It seems that it's us middle aged men who are twice as likely to have diabetes and be at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes, mainly because men tend to be more overweight than women. Worse than that, a lot of men don't even know they've got it. So, what can we do?

The way we live today is putting more people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There are also other factors that could put you at greater risk. Your age, weight, blood pressure, family history and ethnicity can all add to the risk of getting the condition. The good news is there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Being physically active and managing your weight by eating a healthy diet will help and are things that you can do yourself.

A healthy diet can help in the battle to steer clear of diabetes Picture Getty ImagesA healthy diet can help in the battle to steer clear of diabetes Picture Getty Images

As I say, Type 1 is something you may be born with – Type 2 is something you may be able to avoid.

FEELING HEALTHY

It doesn't matter what you look like or how you're feeling – check out your risk level on www.diabetes.org.uk and, if need be, get yourself tested at the GP. You only get one life! Take their advice.

Norfolk County Council launched the Menkind campaign with Darren Eadie to encourage men to look after their healthNorfolk County Council launched the Menkind campaign with Darren Eadie to encourage men to look after their health

For me being pre diabetic was a big wake-up call – it's about managing my lifestyle. I'm still fairly active but it's about my lifestyle choices.

It's the samewith many issues we've talked about in this MenKind campaign – many of our health issues are easily preventable. Check out your risk level, plan for the changes you want to make and, if you have concerns, take the advice from your GP.

69000 IN COUNTY WITH DIABETES

In Norfolk alone it's estimated there are 69,000 people with diabetes

Type 1 diabetes can occur when you're younger, it happens when your body can not produce enough of a hormone called insulin and it cannot be prevented. It is not down to lifestyle, your age or being overweight but it can be treated with injections of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is much more prevalent, it develops slowly usually in people over the age of 40 and is often linked to being overweight or obese, inactive or having a family history of Type 2 diabetes. It can be delayed or prevented, and Type 2 diabetes can usually be controlled and even reversed using diet, exercise and medication. Approximately 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2.

REDUCE YOUR RISK

• Be physically active - aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week to help lower your blood pressure and manage your weight

• Reduce time spent sitting

• Find ways to incorporate activity into your day, whether it's walking the dog or taking the stairs

• Eat a healthy diet

You may also want to watch:

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie is the ambassador for Menkind, the Norfolk County Council campaign to encourage men to look after their health. Read his stories and find
out more at www.norfolk.gov.uk/menkind

DISCLAIMER: Norfolk County Council's men's health campaign Menkind is not affiliated with the gift and gadget retailer 'Menkind'

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