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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Asad's story: taking steps to reduce his risk of developing type 2 diabetes

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Asad Rahim

Asad's family history put him at a higher risk of developing condition.

Before I lost the weight I didn't feel comfortable talking to people about their weight and how it was linked to Type 2 diabetes.

Asad knew his risk of developing type 2 diabetes was very high as he had a family history of the condition. But it was still a shock when our Know Your Risk tool confirmed his fears, and it made him take action to reduce his risk.

Journey with diabetes

Asad's experience with diabetes

  • Used Diabetes UK's Know Your Risk tool and results show he was high risk.
  • Changed his eating habits and began exercising immediately.
  • Being scared of the complications of diabetes fuelled his motivation to get healthy. 
  • He has lost 13kg, now has more energy and feels great day-to-day.
     

Family history of diabetes 

My mum, grandma, grandfather, aunties and uncles all have type 2 diabetes. I was always aware that I was high risk because of that, so I decided to take the Know Your Risk test and my results came out as high risk.  

Food and healthy eating

Embracing a healthy diet and nutrition

I was eating lots of carbs, like chips, white bread and pasta, way too much sugar, and living off takeaways. I was probably consuming somewhere in the region of 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day which was way too much for me. 

I dramatically reduced my calorie intake and started following a more protein-based diet. I started to cook my own meals at home, things like chicken and vegetables with a smaller portion of healthier carbs like brown bread or rice. I make sure I eat veg with every meal, even breakfast.

Activity

Embracing exercise

As soon as I found out my risk I joined a HIIT (high intensity interval training) programme at my local gym. I knew I had lots of excess weight to lose, especially around my tummy.

Within 8 weeks of eating healthier and exercising I went from 92kg to 79kg. I have seen a dramatic improvement in myself. I have so much more energy than I used to have, and I feel great every day.

Diabetes UK and me

Asad's key takeaways

Before I lost the weight I didn't feel comfortable talking to people about their weight and how it was linked to their risk of diabetes. I thought they would look and me and say, “have you seen yourself?” 

I am very interested in diabetes but also really scared of the complications, which is what has kept me motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle.

It’s really important for people from the South Asian community to understand that they are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes from a much younger age.

The first step is using the Know Your Risk tool on the website and it just takes a few minutes out of your day.

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