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Sunday 2 October 2016

Diabetes epidemic could spell the end of the NHS, says surgeon

BRITAIN’S diabetes epidemic could bankrupt the NHS within years, surgeons have warned.

Experts fear it is only a matter of time before hospitals are forced to pick and choose what to treat.

Diabetes now costs more than £10bn year – 10 per cent of the NHS budget – with one person diagnosed every two minutes in the UK.

But that could rise to 17 per cent by 2036. At the heart of the crisis is lifestyle driven Type 2, a preventable but deadly condition, caused by our obsession with sugary snacks.

Vascular surgeon Martin Claridge said: “I am worried... the NHS will have to decide what conditions it does or does not treat and that is a very difficult decision to make.

“All aspects of healthcare affected by Type 2 are straining at the seams, trying to manage this increasing number of patients.

“We are putting out the fires and while that is my job I wish these fires didn’t exist in the first place.”

BBC Panorama’s Diabetes: The Hidden Killer will tonight expose how four million Britons are living with the condition while a million more have it but do not realise.

There are now three times the number of diabetes cases as all cancers combined. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease your born with but in Type 2 the body’s natural insulin production stops working with resulting high blood sugar clogging up arteries and veins which can lead to deadly complications.

It leads to the furring up of small blood vessels which can rapidly escalate to cause gangrene, meaning limbs have to be amputated.

A decade ago no child in Britain had Type 2 but there are now more than 500 with an aggressive variant.

One consultant saw a child last week developing cirrhosis of the liver. Nine in 10 sufferers are overweight. Those with the condition are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack and more than three times as likely to have kidney disease.

Birmingham is Britain’s diabetes capital, where one in 10 have it. Dr Jyoti Baharani, a nephrologist at the Heartlands Hospital, said: “Diabetes ravages the system. It effects the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and is unremitting, unrelenting, it just carries on. You always think they have a limited life because there’s only so much you’ll be able to do for them.”

Obesity is an aggravating factor for Type 2 and drugs to combat the epidemic now cost the NHS £1billion - a decade ago the figure was £513.9million.

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum said: “For the last decade governments have been warned disease triggered by obesity could bring down the NHS. For the last 20 years no serious strategy has been produced to tackle it. This documentary spells out how this political negligence has ruined lives and will continue to do so in spiralling numbers and cost.

“It is hard to see how Theresa May’s current action on childhood obesity will succeed before the NHS as we now know it ceases to exist.”

Professor Alan Sinclair of Aston University said: “Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are threatening to plunge the NHS into a danger zone and, unless action is taken soon, we may well be facing a national emergency.

Diabetes: The Hidden Killer, 8.30pm,  Monday BBC One.



Passthecream said...

I suspect you will just have to end up fortifying the flour and sugar with insulin, oh and statins too of course, just as is already done with vitamins. Can't see them ever getting to grips with the root cause.

Conniecrafter said...

Wow that is so scary that we are eating our way to bankrupting our insurance and they will have to pick who to treat, there needs to be more commercials or way to let people know all of this, but I do know that food and sugary ones like that are a type of drug to people and it is hard to pull away, especially because it is food and not a "drug".