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Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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At 81 years of age Gloria is one of the most senior names left on television. Launching her career in the 1970s she has remained a reliable and entertaining host, which is why the Northern Irish star is still seen on telly screens to this day. Yet her absence from the industry was felt when the Covid crisis hit back in early 2020. Due to her pre-diabetes the star is classed as high risk, which immediately made the whole ordeal more frightening for her and her husband – who also has health issues.

Talking to the Belfast Telegraph in the height of the pandemic Gloria said: “The scary part with this coronavirus is that you think you have your head in place and then new information comes out.

“My husband has had a few health issues in the past year and is still in recovery. I’m also classified as pre-diabetic.”

In a bid to avoid catching Covid Gloria and her husband planned to keep a well stocked freezer and cupboards so that they didn’t have to go out “panic buying”.

The presenter said: “In our lifetime, there hasn’t been anything like this since the war.

Sometimes known as borderline diabetes, higher than normal blood sugars can be detected via blood tests.

The most common test will be checking your HbA1c levels which is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels. If your HbA1c level is between 42mmol/mol (six percent) – 47mmol/mol (6.4 percent) this means it is higher than normal and you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Currently 13.6 million people are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK according to Diabetes UK.

Those more at risk of the condition include those who are over 40 if you are of white descent and over 25 if you are African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian.

In order to manage her condition as best she can Gloria admitted that she controls it with food.

On learning she had the condition she immediately cut back on sugar intake – what she referred to as “public enemy number one”.

The doctor also advised Gloria to cut out carbs to beat her pre-diabetes, a crucial move to control blood sugar levels.

The drastic decision to tackle her blood sugar levels paid off for the ageing presenter as she revealed: “Inside six weeks, my GP ran another test and said, atarax dose per kg for my age, I had achieved the best reading.”

The condition doesn’t have any symptoms and Diabetes UK warns that if you start to develop symptoms such as:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.
  • Being really thirsty.
  • Feeling more tired than usual.
  • Losing weight without trying to.
  • Genital itching or thrush.
  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Increased hunger.

Then it is probably because you have already developed the condition and prediabetes has developed into type 2.

However, by making changes to the diet, increasing physical activity and losing weight about half of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed.

Gloria and her husband have also managed to evade Covid so far, with Gloria also back on the Loose Women panel.

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