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WORLD HEALTH DAY: How to Beat Diabetes Before it Occurs

07-Apr-2016.By: By: Machi Solomon


With rising income level, urbanization and living standard in Nigeria, gone seem to be the days when people eat fresh and healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber like whole grains. Today, people eat more processed foods high in fats, sugar and salt/sodium, giving reasons like little or no time to settle for a healthy meal. Some would blame the increased production of more processed food and drinks than fresh organic options in the country.

The rate at which Nigerians are consuming more processed food than healthily balanced meals is becoming overwhelming as more and more people stand a higher risk of some non-communicable diseases like diabetes. More worrisome is the corresponding decline in the healthy lifestyle characterized by stress and anxiety level, excessive consumption of alcohol and high calorie-rich foods, inadequate nourishment and little or no exercise or physical activities.

The rate at which diabetes is increasing across countries is becoming very alarming. The World Health Organisation reports that the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, with about 3.4 million death occurring every day. In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of about 1.5 million death, with more than 80% of those occurring in low and middle-income countries including Nigeria which has 27,830 Diabetes-related death.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes can be Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It is mostly found in children.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes which is usually found in adults. It occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. It comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world and is largely the result of excess body weight, poor diet, advancing age, family history of diabetes, and physical inactivity.

Women who develop a resistance to insulin and subsequent high blood glucose during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes tends to occur around the 24th week of pregnancy.

World Health Organization also predicted diabetes to become the 7th leading cause of death in the world by 2030. It is, therefore, necessary that we take our health more important and keep our diabetes and blood pressure under control to lower the chances of life-threatening health complications such as heart attack, eye problem, kidney failure, premature death, disability and nerves- causing chronic problems.

These simple lifestyle measures have been proven to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Physical Activities: Regular physical activity will help improve your overall health and fitness, and reduce your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes. You can start with a short walk around your environment, use the staircase or simply stand to stretch for about 10-20 minutes.

Develop a Healthy Diet: Developing a healthy diet starts with choosing the right delicious foods. Ensure your meals contain fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. At least five portions of fruits and vegetable a day. Try as much as possible to limit your intake of processed foods containing sugar and saturated fats like; cheese, ice-cream, fatty meat, etc.

Avoid Tobacco Intake: Smoking can increase blood sugar level and lead to insulin resistance. The more you smoke, the greater your risk of diabetes.

Diabetes is treatable. It can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.

In the case where individuals are ill with diabetes, patients must take daily insulin injection to keep the blood glucose in a normal range. Science has provided us with an artificial insulin, called Biosulin injection. This human insulin, is injected in patients to bring down their sugar level.

We all have a role to play in building a healthy society and nation...let us join hands to BEAT DIABETES!

Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM





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