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Billie Jean King health: ‘I’m worried’ – tennis legend explains symptoms of her condition

Billie Jean King, 76, is best known as the 12-time singles Grand Slam winner, between the years 1966 and 1975. The former world No 1 was diagnosed with diabetes in 2014, and has revealed her concerns about the condition.

King is one of the most successful tennis players of all time.

She won six Wimbledon singles titles, leaving her joint-fifth on the all-time table.

The US athlete also won four US Open titles, a French Open, and an Australian Open title.

But, the tennis legend was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes six years ago, despite her superb athleticism.

King admitted that she was binge eating for around a decade, leading up to her diagnosis.

She also has a family history of diabetes, which led to her diagnosis in 2014.

King has had to change her lifestyle to cater for her diabetes, and is making sure to exercise frequently, while cutting back on the amount of carbohydrates in her diet.

But, she’s still concerned about the complications of diabetes, and is subsequently making sure she keeps her blood sugar levels in check.

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“I’ve been really trying to cut down on [carbohydrates],” King told Health.com in 2016. “I’m trying to pay attention to my intake. Because I love to eat. I just have to deal.

“I have an eating disorder; I was a binge eater. I don’t binge eat anymore, but for about 10 years, I was being very cruel to my poor little pancreas. Then I also had diabetes in my family.

“My blood sugar is pretty good most of the time – if I’m eating right, exercising, and taking my medication.

“I’m worried about what it can do if I don’t take care of myself. I know it’s the leading cause of blindness and I know there are other complications.”


  • Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Experts reveals warning sign in your breath

Diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK, and 90 percent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes.

It could be caused by the body not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.

Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into usable energy.

It’s crucial that if you think you have diabetes, you speak to a doctor as soon as possible.


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Diabetes increases the risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.

Many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because the signs and symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.

Common diabetes symptoms include having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal, having an unquenchable thirst, and passing more urine than normal.

Blurred vision, extreme tiredness, and having unexplained itchy skin could also be caused by the condition.

Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon will be broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday July 4 at 3.15pm.

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  • Posted on July 4, 2020