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Today is World Diabetes Day which aims to spread awareness of the condition
Catherine Brady had to learn how to live with the condition
Arlene Harris
November 14 2022 02:30 AM
CHAMPION kickboxer Catherine Brady was extremely fit but just after her 20th birthday she was told that she had diabetes.
I had been waking a lot at night to go to the toilet and had an intense thirst. I was also tired constantly, had no appetite and had lost a lot of weight quickly,” she said.
“Kickboxing was my life and I ever missed training so after my mam noticed that I was very lethargic and said I wasn’t going training, she knew something was wrong and suggested that I go to my GP. A few days after having a blood test, I got the results (which revealed Type 1 diabetes) and was sent straight to hospital.”
Following this news, the five-times world champion kickboxer, who is now 38, had to learn how to live with the condition and to inject herself with insulin. But she was determined not to let it hold her back.
“I work from home (as a fitness coach) and train most days (but no longer compete), I walk a lot, eat good foods, and track carbs, proteins, and fat,” she said.
“This still doesn’t mean that my blood glucose levels are going to be on the money. As I train a lot, I would have very fluctuating levels in and around my training. For me, it is about seeing a pattern and seeing what works.”
Today is World Diabetes Day, when experts and health officials aim to spread awareness, encourage people to seek advice, and know how to access the right healthcare.
There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 which is a lifelong condition which occurs because the body stops producing the hormone insulin, and Type 2 which is mainly lifestyle-related.
There is no register to determine the exact number of people living with diabetes in Ireland, but the total is estimated to be 266,000 – and about 10pc are people living with Type 1 diabetes. This includes approximately 3,000 children and adolescents.
Dr Kate Gajewska, clinical manager for advocacy and research with Diabetes Ireland, said that while, historically, Type 1 diabetes was named “juvenile onset diabetes” it was now known that it can develop at any age, with half of the newly diagnosed cases occurring in adults. She added that it was important to know the signs.
“A simple acronym can help to remember the most common signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes,” she says. “TEST – Thirst, Energy reduced, Sudden unexplained weight loss, Toilet – excessively passing urine. A simple finger prick blood test to check the blood glucose level can be done by a GP, nurse or pharmacist and the results are available in a few seconds.
"If this test shows a high glucose reading, the GP will send the individual to A&E to be admitted for assessment and treatment.”
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