By: Chioma Umeha
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because there is not enough of the hormone insulin. Lifestyle disease, as diabetes is called, refers to disorders resulting from the way people live, eat and interact with their environment. Diabetes is one of the various lifestyle disorders which have gripped many today.
Although Nigeria lacks an aggregate data; physicians state that no fewer than six million Nigerians are living with diabetes mellitus. In India alone there are around 77 million people with pre-diabetes and 64 million people with diabetes which makes India the diabetes capital of the world next to China. This is expected to go up to a whopping 87 million – 8.4 per cent of the country’s adult population – by 2030. Yet, the common beliefs on this exude a sense of unfamiliarity with the disease that is killer in nature.
Discard diabetes from your home, kitchen
Not easily detectable, most lifestyle diseases like diabetes are insidious in nature. They gradually develop over years and can cause serious complications even when in the pre- diabetic/borderline stage. The good news is that just a lifestyle change can go a long way in reversing pre-diabetes and controlling diabetes. The most prominent symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, hunger, frequent urination and blurred vision; but the fact remains that the most common symptom of diabetes is that there is no symptom and it is often detected when people go for their annual medical checkups, pre-surgery fitness test or when taking an insurance policy. Type 2 diabetes was hitherto common after the age of 40 years.
However, in recent times, individuals aged 25 to 40 years have been presenting clinical features of Type 2 diabetes. The main causes of Type-2 diabetes are sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating practices, stress, alcohol, smoking, anxieties and genetics. Irregular visits to the doctor lead to further complications; hence it is extremely important to get an annual medical check-up done by your family physician. Due to fear of hospitals/ doctors/medicines and the high cost factor involved, people visit their doctors only once in a while. In most cases this is done when the condition of the patient has already worsened and little can be done to reverse it.
The following are a few guidelines that can change your life for the better and help you live a normal life, with or without diabetes. It is important that blood sugars are monitored on a regular basis and medication and diet is altered accordingly. It is extremely important to maintain the level of blood sugars in the diabetes safe zone (80-120mg/dl) consistently if diabetes needs to be controlled. Also, get your diabetes ABCs checked regularly: A1C* (blood glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on February 28, 2015.