There are many reasons why people develop diabetes, but there are also lots of steps people can take to reduce the possibility of developing the disease. A healthy lifestyle, including regular sport and physical activity, such as football, is shown to reduce people’s risks and help regulate the condition if it does develop. One of the biggest risks for developing diabetes is being overweight.
'MJ' recently started playing football at MANvFAT in Salford and was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010;
"After ignoring what I now know to be the symptoms for a good few months, I was diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago. My symptoms included rapid weight loss, zero energy, unquenchable thirst, cravings for sugary drinks, needing to wee every few minutes, low moods and feeling tired all the time."
Since being diagnosed MJ has made several changes to his lifestyle, including his diet and physical activity;
"I am/was a massive chocoholic and would plough through several bars a day, now I won't have any as a rule, only the odd treat here and there. I also drank a lot of fizzy drinks, I would easily get through 4 litres of coke in a day, now I live off water.
"The main thing for me with MANvFAT is the camaraderie, the support of other guys in your team and being accountable for weight loss. The fear of not wanting to let your team down has given me a new focus and drive.
"When I started losing weight and playing regular football six months ago they were 105. They are now in the 70s. I still have a way to go but I have seen big improvements in my heath since I started playing football and losing weight.
"There are so many gains in physical activity, mentally and physically. I’ve seen improvements; more energy, clearer head, work and life has improved and that has been noticed by others, which is evidence for me to keep going."
MJ is a fine example of how little changes in lifestyle, including playing football with your mates, can make a big difference to people living with diabetes.
MANvFAT Salford play weekly on a Thursday night at Soccer in the City, Castlefield 7:30-9pm.
MANvFAT Manchester play weekly at the Armitage Centre on Monday night's 8-10pm.