Over 50 & Thriving Series Over 50s Lifestyle

Thriving by avoiding or reversing Type 2 diabetes

November 7, 2018
Diabetes 2

Do you have Type 2 diabetes?  It becomes quite common as we age and sometimes we aren’t even aware that we have it.  However my next guest in the Over 5o &  Thriving series, discusses ways we can avoid or reverse Type 2 diabetes.  November 14 is World Diabetes Day so Sally’s information is timely for us all. I met Sally Jackson through my monthly contribution to the Millers Seeing Me Project.  Sally reached out to me and as she is also passionate about health we connected immediately, (although we live on the otherside of the world from each other).  Like many midlife women Sally took a leap of faith and started her own business as well as being a lecturer in the School of Medicine in Cambridge. 

She now lives in in Exeter, Devon near her Mum, working part-time and having time to volunteer as a trustee of a local charity as well as building her  diabetes coaching business and Arbonne business. 

After meeting Sally  I knew that her philosophy of ‘promoting health from the inside out’ was something I was keen to promote.  I’m honoured to have Sally as a guest writer  for my Over 50 & Thriving series, and you can connect with Sally through her website and social media links at the end of this post.

Thriving by avoiding or reversing Type 2 diabetes

Firstly, thank you Susan for inviting me to guest blog on world diabetes day; I feel very honoured. Type 2 Diabetes is a huge global problem that is now described as a global pandemic, spreading rapidly from affluent industrialised nations to the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Unchecked this disease risks crippling not just our health, but our healthcare systems and perhaps even our economies. In the UK alone it’s predicted that by 2035 diabetes will account for 17% of the total NHS budget. Something that is surely unsustainable.

This pandemic seems mainly focused around massively increased rates of obesity which, if left unchallenged, invariably leads to prediabetes and diabetes. Whilst the cause of obesity is definitely multifactorial there are a few key culprits. Number one being sugar which is added to so many foods, not just your sweets, biscuits and cakes, but also foods like pasta sauces, ketchup, long life milk, baked beans and one of the worst culprits breakfast cereals. The suggestion is we consume 90 grams or 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day!!  One third of that sugar is in the form of drinks. Add to that our tendency to eat large portions of calorie dense sugar, trans-fats and starch laden food with fewer vegetables and fibre and it’s easy to see why we are becoming obese.

If you are one of the 63% of Australian & UK adults who are obese chances are you are developing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes and is when your cells are no longer able to easily absorb the glucose from your blood. Insulin levels rise as the body pumps out even more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar.

Insulin is our fat storage hormone and is a major player when it comes to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Insulin makes us hungry; it stores the excess sugar we eat as fat in all our major organs but especially in our liver. When it finally can’t keep up with our blood sugar levels we develop type 2 diabetes.

The current estimate is that, in addition to the 3.5 million known diabetics, there are 1.1 million undiagnosed diabetics in the UK. One of the reasons for the high levels of people remaining undiagnosed is that we often mistake the symptoms of type 2 diabetes for ageing.

Just Ageing or Diabetes in Disguise?

Listen to a few clients’ descriptions – might this be you?

Peeing all the time

Sue & Christina (68 & 62) remember peeing all the time. Sue said “I knew something was wrong because I was peeing like crazy, like every hour and what seemed like a gallon at a time. It was crazy, but I just thought I should expect it at my age”.

Food made me feel unwell

Geoff, 45, remembers food being a major trigger. “Sweating, feeling light-headed, faint and sleepy every time I ate a cheeseburger or a large amount of food. Just thought my gut was slowing down a bit now I’d hit 40”.

Extreme fatigue

Harriet (50) suffered with fatigue, a very common symptom, and she also remembers “I had a dry mouth, I was peeing all the time, but the worst was the fatigue. I couldn’t stay awake more than an hour without being extremely exhausted. I would be in the car for 5 minutes and start falling asleep. Some of my friends said they needed a cat nap too so I just put it down to the menopause.”

Blurry eyes

For Seyi (54) & Robin (70)it is was their eyes. Seyi recalled “They would become blurry for half an hour if I ate sweets or pastries. Not every time but sometimes. I just thought oh oh I’m starting to wear out!”

No symptoms at all

But many, like Pam (61) ,had “absolutely no symptoms” until they had a blood test!

‘No symptoms’ except for the one they didn’t realise was staring at them every time they looked in the mirror.

Waist getting bigger

Are your buttons pulling? Do your tops feel tight? Do you need to loosen your belt?  Is your belt disappearing underneath your tummy?

The one sign that all of these clients shared was that their waist was getting bigger.

What’s happening with your waist? Is it getting bigger?  Whether it’s your belt getting tighter, your trousers digging in, or just choosing to wear looser clothes: there is clear evidence that an increasing waist and development of central abdominal fat dramatically increases your risk of type 2 Diabetes. 

Abdominal obesity is caused by visceral fat accumulating inside and around the key abdominal organs such as the liver, kidneys and intestines. The first sign is an increasing waist circumference. 

So do yourself a favour and measure your waist. Work out your waist to height ratio. Ideally, you want your waist measurement to be less than half your height. For example, a woman who is 5 foot 9 inches tall (69 inches) should have a waist of 34.5 inches or less.

Let food be your medicine

If you think you might have diabetes talk to your doctor and he will arrange a simple blood test.

Whether you want to avoid developing type 2 diabetes or to reverse it, the good news is you have control and can thrive.  Just let food be your medicine.

The food choices you make today will play a direct role in the quality of your skin, your ability to lose/gain weight, your mood, your ability to absorb nutrients, and so much more. So teach your children and grandchildren that if a food has 25 plus ingredients with unpronounceable words it probably isn’t food. If it has a shelf life that lasts more than a year it’s likely to be stuffed with heavily processed fats and trans-fats and packed with sugar. Show them how to avoid processed foods, eating real whole foods is one of the best (and most immediate) things we can do to improve our health right now.

Whilst food is important it’s not the whole story. Please be conscious of the fact that everything you put in and on your body is absorbed and your toxic load, alongside stress and sleep can have an impact on your ability to regulate your blood sugar. If you are worried that you are pre-diabetic or diabetic find someone to help you who  integrates physical, mental and emotional health and focuses on finding the root cause of the illness rather than only treating symptoms. A practitioner  who looks at you holistically and aims to bring the body systems back into balance to optimise your health. Good luck with your journey and thrive in the knowledge that it is absolutely possible to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally.

Meet Sally

sally jacksonSally Jackson is a Mum, Senior Nurse, Type 2 Diabetes Coach and professional network marketer. In 2018, having spent the last 10 years of her nursing career working as a Lecturer in Clinical Communication at the School of Medicine in Cambridge, she set up her diabetes coaching business. Her mission is to help 1000 people around the world reverse their type 2 diabetes naturally. She coaches 3 groups of clients via Skype those who want to avoid diabetes, who are prediabetic and those who have type 2 diabetes. 


Connect with Sally






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If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@womenlivingwellafter50.com.au and I can provide more details. Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series Or you can subscribe here so you never miss a post and receive a FREE Copy of my latest e-book ’10 ways to start Thriving today’! Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.

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  • Reply Debbie November 7, 2018 at 19:43

    This is a great article full of information we all need to know. Thanks Sally and Sue for sharing this. It is a real issue for many Australians and our food choices need to be looked at. I’m currently working towards reducing my blood sugar levels and am making good progress in cutting down my hidden sugar intake. Blood tests later in the month will hopefully show an improvement.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 8, 2018 at 07:39

      Good for you, Deb and I’m sure the steps you are taking will certainly show in your blood tests. It is so easy to slide out of healthy eating especially when we are busy or travelling. My husband has Type 2 Diabetes but has lost 6kgs which has been a great help. x

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:07

      Hi Debbie, I’m so glad you found it useful. I’m afraid the UK is no better than Australia for too long we were told to follow the food pyramid, then adopt low fat which the food industry all jumped on and filled with added sugar, and the confusion that remains is taking a big toll. Fantastic to hear you are making headway do let me know if I can help.

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle November 8, 2018 at 09:24

    Fantastic post – thank you Sally and Sue! Type 2 Diabetes is a scary thing. I know I don’t have it but many of the perimenopausal symptoms I have match the symptoms listed here, so I can see how easily it could be missed. Thank you for bring the symptoms to our attention and also letting us know that there’s hope to reversing the symptoms! #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:23

      I’m fortunate I don’t have it Min and as you say there are symptoms that match perimenopausal symptoms. I make a habit of having a blood test and check up every six months to keep on top of my health. x

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:13

      Hi Min, Thanks for your kind comments. It is scary but the good news is it is reversible without medication. Regarding your symptoms I also help people with other endocrine dysfunction so give me a shout if I can help.

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl November 8, 2018 at 10:38

    Sally, thank you for your informative words. It’s a timely wake-up call for me to be proactive about my risk as I get older. I’ve heard some sobering stories about people my age (early forties) suddenly being diagnosed with conditions I normally associate with people decades older. I do believe that how we eat is a major risk factor that we can control. It’s relatively cheap to make changes and there’s no risk of the side effects you get with drugs.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:21

      Hi SSG, we are never too young to understand about the effect of diet and exercise in our life. Type 2 diabetes can be avoided or reversed but we first need to know that we have it. Once we understand we can take steps to avoid it naturally. x

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:16

      Yes sadly there are now adolescents being diagnosed with type 2 – so the days of calling it mature onset diabetes are long gone. Eat 8-10 portions of vegetables a day, locally grown and seasonal and you’ll make a great start. For convenience I have a vegan protein smoothie in the morning and 5 go in that along with a good spoonful of healthy fat!!

  • Reply Joanne Tracey November 8, 2018 at 13:02

    As a long-term PCOS sufferer I switched to low GI foods a number of years ago and have managed to stabilise my BSL – although as I’m getting older I suspect I’ll need to be doing a lot more than that. My hubby was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years ago but we managed to get his BSL down through switching to the same diet. It’s something he/we need to keep an eye on, but he really hasn’t felt as though he’s missed out & we’ve managed to avoid medication.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:18

      Hi Jo! Diet can have a major effect on handling Diabetes 2. My husband has it and is on medication although he has just lost 6kgs so hopefully he is on track to be able to control it naturally.

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:19

      Hi Jo, Are you still suffering with PCOS symptoms if so I may be able to help and also help your BSL. WEll done on you both for avoiding meds.

  • Reply Kathy Marris November 8, 2018 at 18:01

    This is very good information about a disease that is on the increase. If only people could be made more aware of the amount of sugar in processed foods. I feel that food manufacturers should shoulder the blame for this. I rarely buy processed foods these days as I don’t trust the ingredients. Although I’m not exactly slim, I do watch what I eat and exercise regularly. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:20

      Hi Kathy, we don’t have to be stick thin do we? It is all about making healthier food choices and exercising regularly. You have both of these well covered! x

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:23

      Hi Kathy, I couldn’t agree more we should all be so wary of processed foods quite honestly almost all are filled with toxins that play havoc with our hormones. If you’re finding weight starting to go on around your middle avoid the simple carbs: white rice, pasta, bread and also be a bit careful with fruit it has a lot more sugar than we realise. Sounds like you’re doing a great job.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan November 8, 2018 at 18:56

    A very good reminder to everyone about the serious nature of diabetes, particularly with the preventable one. I was at my heaviest back in 2012-13 and at over 62, my BGL rose slightly above the normal where they had always been. In a ‘bet’ with my then GP, I said if I do something small, like exercise more (walking) and be more mindful of my eating, will you still insist on a GTT. She agreed, and even though in around 6 months I had “only” lost about 3kg, the small changes I made helped and my BGL was back in normal range.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:19

      Any change is good Denyse and great to hear that even though you felt you had small changes it did make a difference. x

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:25

      Love hearing stories like yours – great job.

  • Reply Donna November 9, 2018 at 00:32

    Hi, Sue and Sally – Thank you for this valuable information. I especially like your reminder for us to teach our children and grandchildren the importance of good food and nutrition. Good health is a life long journey and shouldn’t simply become our focus once we start to age.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:16

      We are role models in so many ways aren’t we Donna? Teaching our children and grandchildren to live a healthy lifestyle is one of the best gifts we can give them. xx

      • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:31

        Hi Donna & Sue, Only today I was reading a cardiologists’s definition of what is needed for great health, Love, compassion and gratitude and to know how to create a healthy environment, It’s so important we teach ourchildren and grandchildren these things whatever their age. Everything we put in and on our bodies is absorbed but so is what we put in our minds. I think if we can teach young people these principles the world would be a happier and much healtheir place.

  • Reply Deborah November 9, 2018 at 17:45

    Thanks for sharing Sue and Sally… I would certainly be a candidate – though after my weight loss surgery I’m less likely I hope! My father had Type 2 diabetes because of many of his other ailments and I remember having to give him his insulin injections before bed. He monitored his levels very closely though which I think is good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 10, 2018 at 05:15

      Hi Deb, my husband has Type 2 Diabetes and has it under control with medication at the moment. However, he has lost 6kgs so hopefully he can start reducing the meds. It is something we all need to be aware of and monitor. Have a great weekend xx

    • Reply Sally Jackson November 10, 2018 at 06:34

      Hi Deborah, Good luck with your journey if you’d like any help I’m here. You are right in thinking your risk is higher because of your Dad but we know so much more now and with the right support there is no reason for you to become a diabetic.

  • Reply Christie Hawkes November 10, 2018 at 10:16

    Thank you Sue and Sally. Both of my parents developed Type 2 diabetes related to diet and lack of physical activity. My father was having dialysis at the end of his life and had sores on his legs that would not heal. My 80-year-old mother controls her with medicine, but refuses to change her diet at this point in her life. As a result of witnessing this in my parents, I am ultra aware. I eat mostly healthy and stay active, but I do love sweets. I recently had my biometric screening. So far everything looks good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 11, 2018 at 07:09

      Hi Christie, you certainly have had two examples in your parents of what not to do. It is a shame that they couldn’t make the changes but at least you have learned from them and now live a healthier lifestyle. Having screening also helps to keep things in check. My husband has Diabetes Type 2 and is managing it with medication, however, he has lost 6kgs so hopefully he can soon say goodbye to meds. x

  • Reply Jean | Delightful Repast November 11, 2018 at 05:09

    Sally and Sue, thank you for this outstanding post! This is a huge problem in the US as well. Now that we know T2D can be reversed/cured with lifestyle changes rather than just controlled with medications, I hope everyone will get on board. Several years ago I set a 6 teaspoons per day limit on sugar consumption and recommend that plan to anyone who has a problem with sugar cravings; it eliminates sugar cravings in a matter of days. Most days I have none at all because I can truly take it or leave it. (BTW, not having any sugar one day does not mean you can have double the next day!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 11, 2018 at 07:11

      Hi Jean, lovely of you to visit and I here in Australia we also have a big problem with people eating too much sugar. Sometimes they don’t even realise that they are eating it and think they are eating healthy produces because they say they are ‘low fat’. I like your idea of setting a limit on sugar consumption it certainly makes one more mindful doesn’t it? Thank you for stopping by and have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit November 12, 2018 at 05:12

    Every single one of these symptoms applies to me. So I get tested annually. But nothing, Weird!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 12, 2018 at 06:01

      The human body can be a wonderful yet strange thing can’t it Leanne? At least you are getting your tests and the good news is they are good! Have a great week. x

  • Reply Tammy Makhabu January 30, 2019 at 01:09

    Twelve months ago I constantly had to go to the bathroom. I thought it was because I gave up soft drinks and was only drinking water. One day I had a stomachache. I was in bed for 4 days. The doctor’s appointment was for a Wednesday. I got sick and went to emergency room on a Monday. I was told my blood sugar level was 810 and I have diabetes. I was taking taking metformin 1000 mg twice daily. It Wasn’t really helping Last year, a family friend told me about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful Diabetes TREATMENT, I visited their website ww w . organicherbalclinic. co m and ordered their Diabetes Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed my Diabetes, most of the symptoms stopped, I’m able to eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., I’m pretty active now and my attitude is extremely positive.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 5, 2019 at 16:43

      That is great news Tammy that you have discovered the problem and was able to find an effective treatment. Thank you for sharing your story with me and best wishes for keeping fit and active for a long time to come. A positive attitude makes all the difference x

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