Today is World Diabetes Day, and Geeky Nigeria wants to raise awareness about the chronic health condition that has affected the lives of over 11m Nigerians.
Literally, Diabetes is not a sickness to be taken lightly. I have seen first-hand what it has done to a handful of people I know. Here are two that are still vivid:
A certain man in our community (of blessed memory) was said to have usual cravings for sugar. So much that for a small cup of tea. He would add 5 – 6 cubes of sugar.
This continued for a while, until his concerned children sought help from my family (we have a doctor). One of the symptoms his children reported was frequent urination (especially at night), and general body weakness (fatigue). Before he passed away, it was reported that after urinating in the toilet, ants would gather around his urine, which was a sign of too much sugar in Urine.
If anyone had positively influence Miss Jane to abstain from Soft drinks during her youthful age, she would probably have blessed them. She started developing an inkling for sweet things right from adolescent, which followed her and developed to an extreme fondness for anything sweet.
Jane would drink all manner of soft drinks, eat biscuits, sweets, ice-cream, chocolate, etc. As long as they very sweet, it was fine. This lifestyle continued until one day, she started noticing a burning sensation in her right foot. The pain was so much that pain-killers (Paracetamol) only worked for a while.
Jane managed to live with the foot until it became swollen. Upon waking up one night, she began to scream, staring at her bloated feet. Immediately, her family rushed her to the hospital where the doctor confirmed Diabetic Neuropathy (a type of nerve damage found in diabetic patients).
Eventually, Jane’s foot had to be amputated (cut-off) to prevent infection from spreading to other body parts.
What You Should Know About The Silent Killer
Diabetes is a health condition that arise from the inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient amount of insulin (Type 1) or the body’s inability to use insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar (Type 2).
Insulin secreted by the pancreas helps to breakdown sugar to glucose. The body can not use sugar in it’s raw state, unless converted to glucose. Every cell in the body requires glucose to function properly. When the body is finding it difficult to supply the cells with this glucose it poses a threat to overall wellbeing.
Diabetes are of two types:
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes arises as a result of a defect in insulin production. This type is majorly seen in children. It manifests early during childhood and the patient is given a daily administration of insulin. This synthesized insulin makes up for the loss and the body is able to function properly.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes arises when the body can not use effectively, the insulin available. This type is predominant among adult folks. This is because this anomaly is not usually detected until later in life, when it starts to wreck havoc in the body. Recently, this type of diabetes have began to appear in children.
Adults with diabetes have a high risk of heart attacks and strokes. The reduced blood flow that comes with being diabetic, together with nerve damage in the feet, leads to foot ulcers, foot infection and eventually amputation.
You may be endangering your retina! Diabetes retinopathy leads to blindness. According to World Health Organization (WHO), close to 1 million people are blind due to diabetes.
If you’re already on your way to obesity as a result of your lifestyle, you can start by exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Be consciously active everyday. Engage in physical activities at least 30 minutes everyday.
Eat healthy! It’s all about what we eat! Eat foods rich in fiber, vegetables, fruits etc. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks and sweets. Avoid foods that contain saturated fats!
Always remember to have your blood sugar level checked. It’s free in most hospitals.
Stay safe and be healthy.