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Health Fact vs Fiction - Diabetes explained

In episode 13 of the Health Fact vs Fiction podcast, Anna Richardson talks to Dr Alex Miras, a consultant endocrinologist at HCA Healthcare UK’s London Bridge Hospital all about diabetes, and the personal measures we can take to prevent and manage it.

Listen to Diabetes Explained now: 

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Episode 13- Diabetes explained

Genes play a very important role in the development of diabetes - and there were fewer cases of type 2 diabetes 50 years ago, compared to what there are now. The reason behind this is that genetics haven't changed, but the environment has changed. We call it the obesogenic environment, which allows access to a lot of cheap, unhealthy food causing weight gain.
Dr Alex Miras

Consultant Endocrinologist

Diabetes now affects more people than cancer and dementia combined, with one in 15 living with the condition in the UK alone. As we celebrate the positive impact of Diabetes Week, it’s more important than ever that we become more educated on the different facts, figures and fictions surrounding the illness.

 

Although the statistics clearly don’t paint the brightest picture, as Alex tells Anna there’s plenty of hope on the horizon. While type 1 diabetes is insulin-dependent, with simple lifestyle and dietary improvements it’s easier to manage type 2 diabetes. 

 

Furthermore, surgeons are able to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity patients using bariatric surgical techniques. Known as metabolic surgery, it can result in dramatic improvements in glycaemic control or, in 50 per cent of patients, reversal of the condition.

Listen now

Things we learn in this episode on diabetes

In 2019, 4.7 million people in the UK are living with diabetes, with the vast majority having Type 2, which is linked to diet. There's twice the number of people living with diabetes now than there was 20 years ago. And those numbers keep rising.

In this episode, Anna Richardson talks to Dr Alex Miras, a consultant endocrinologist at HCA Healthcare UK’s London Bridge Hospital about what we need to know about diabetes and what we can do to prevent it. We also hear how bariatric surgery can help to change the way we think about hunger.

Diabetes types Fact 

There are more than two types of diabetes. We’ve all heard of type 1 and type 2, but there are also sub-types of diabetes. Ninety per cent of cases of diabetes in the UK are type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Type 1 Fiction

You only get type 1 diabetes as a child. Alex tells us while the majority of cases are discovered in childhood or adolescence, people in their 30s and 40s, or even later, can be diagnosed with the condition.

Diabetes Type 2 Fiction

Type 2 diabetes is all about bad food choices. In fact, our susceptibility to develop type 2 can be due to our genetic make-up. However Alex says because your parents might have it, doesn’t mean you will: your lifestyle and dietary choices can help you reduce your risk of developing the condition.

Bariatric surgery for diabetes Fact

Bariatric surgery can help change our relationship with food. Dr Miras explains by changing the anatomy of the gut we can help control our appetite and type 2 diabetes. 

What to do next

Alex Miras

Dr Alex Miras

Dr Alex Miras is a consultant endocrinologist at HCA Healthcare UK’s London Bridge Hospital and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  Dr Alex Miras has been looking after patients with obesity, type 2 diabetes and other endocrine disorders for nearly 10 years.

Alex graduated from medical school at Imperial College London, UK, and trained as a junior doctor and specialist registrar in diabetes and endocrinology in the London deanery rotations between 2002-2010.   In 2010, Alex was awarded with a Medical Research Council (MRC) clinical research training PhD fellowship, which enabled him to investigate the effects of obesity surgery on food reward using functional neuroimaging and behavioural methodologies in humans and rodents. 

Alex is also a senior clinical lecturer in endocrinology at Imperial College London and interested in how lifestyle, medications, obesity surgery and medical devices improve weight, metabolic control and diabetes-related complications.
London Bridge Hospital and River Thames

Diabetes, metabolic and bariatric services at London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital is the first private hospital in the UK to provide surgical treatment of Type 2 Diabetes (for patients with obesity). 
 
Led by Professor Francesco Rubino, this NICE approved, minimally invasive procedure has seen 50% of patients diabetes-free post-surgery and in the majority of the remainder, better management of the disease and glycaemic control.   
 
Appropriately named metabolic surgery, the procedure alters the anatomy of the stomach to improve blood sugar control, dramatically reducing a patient’s dependence on diabetes medication, and in 50% of cases achieves remission. This proven treatment can thereby result in the lowering of blood pressure, cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, as well as weight loss.

Contact us

If our podcast topics have inspired you to seek further advice, our team will be happy to make an appointment for you with a consultant. 

Call us on 020 3993 3468
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