health

Strictly star praised for 'normalising' health condition leaving fans 'in tears'


After a solid 10 weeks, Tilly, 20, daughter of professional chef Gordon Ramsey left the popular BBC dancing competition. After being bottom of the leaderboard, the pair came up against Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, having to perform their Samba once again. During the dance-off performance, Nikita took the bold decision to remove his already-open shirt, proceeding to dance topless. Disastrously, the shirt got stuck on his mic pack and was left being dragged round the dance floor. Another thing that was unusual within the routine was a small patch on Nikita’s arm that left viewers questioning whether the dancer was diabetic.

The small round patch seen on Nikita’s arm is known as a Libre sensor and is used by Type 1 diabetic’s to monitor their glucose levels at all times throughout the day.

After watching the dance routine, fans rushed to social media to praise 23-year-old Nikita for showing off his censor.

One fan tweeted: “Thank you, Nikita, for displaying your Libre sensor! As a fellow T1 diabetic, these devices are game changers and to see a celeb wearing one is normalising their use.”

Whilst another added: “I’m catching up on tonight’s #strictly and I’m almost in tears seeing one of the pro dancers visibly wearing a Libre monitor such a small thing but it’s so amazing to see.”

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It was clear to see that the young Ukrainian dancer made quite an impression on the show, in more ways than one, including on Tilly who thanked him for being a part of the “extraordinary” time she has had on the show.

Tilly said: “I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has made this an amazing, positive journey for me.

“From everyone here to backstage, wardrobe, makeup and camera crew. It’s just been the most extraordinary time. I found out something about myself that I didn’t know I could do, I didn’t know I could dance and have fun like this.”

Her father Gordon was also spotted in the audience shedding tears as he applauded his daughter and all she has achieved on the show.

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The NHS explains that type 1 diabetes causes individuals blood sugar levels to rise too high. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin – a hormone that controls blood glucose.

Factors like genetics and some viruses contribute to type 1 diabetes, and although symptoms usually develop in childhood, the condition can develop suddenly in adults.

Symptoms that may appear suddenly include the following:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Bed-wetting in children who previously didn’t wet the bed during the night
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision.

The main role of glucose within the body is providing energy. Glucose comes from both food and your liver and is absorbed into the bloodstream where it enters cells with the help of insulin.

For those who do not have type 1 diabetes, when glucose levels within the bloodstream are low, the liver breaks down the stored glycogen into glucose and keeps your levels within a good range.

Diabetics do not produce enough insulin, so this glucose cannot enter cells, and is left in the bloodstream where it rises to dangerous levels and can lead to life-threatening complications.

Technology like Libre sensors aims to stop this from happening as individuals can not only see when their sugar levels are going up or down, but they can see how this level changes over time and what happens when they are sleeping.

This type of technology is also known as flash monitoring and helps the approximately 400,000 in the UK who currently live with type 1 diabetes.

The sensor lasts for up to 14 days, and has optional alarms for hypo or hyper warning – where glucose in the blood drops too low.

The sensors work by measuring the amount of sugar in the fluid under your skin, not by measuring your actual blood sugar levels. This fluid is known as interstitial fluid and readings are often a few minutes behind an individual’s actual blood sugar levels.

This means that diabetics will still have to do occasional finger-prick tests to gain a more accurate reading of their blood sugar, particularly before driving or after having a hypo.

Libre sensors are available to get on the NHS, but individuals have to meet certain criteria to get them on prescription. These criteria include the following:

  1. Having to test your blood glucose more than eight times a day
  2. Having disabling hypos
  3. Being pregnant and having type 1 diabetes.

Purchasing Libre sensors can range anywhere from £48.29 to £133.29, depending on whether individuals have used a sensor before or not.





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