#WorldHealthDay2016 - Beat Diabetes

Diabetes, a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because of the inability of
the body to use it properly, is on the rise globally. This is as a result of the body’s inability to either produce insulin or utilize insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, a gland located below the stomach. Insulin helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells (where they are converted to the body’s currency for energy) - this lowers the level of glucose in the bloodstream. Three basic forms of diabetes exist, they are:
·         Type 1 Diabetes: Also known as juvenile diabetes because it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults before the age of 40. It is a condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Risk factors include exposure to certain viruses and genetic predisposition. Type 1 diabetes has no cure but may be well managed.
·         Type 2 Diabetes: This is known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes. It is a condition in which the body either resists the effect of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to balance the blood glucose. It is best managed by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and eating balanced meals. Medications as well as insulin therapy are available for the management of this form of diabetes.
·         Gestational Diabetes: This develops during pregnancy and could affect the baby’s health. It is not known why this develops in some pregnant women. Risk factors include excess weight, pregnancy at an old age and family history. The mother and child needs to be closely monitored to avoid complications. Gestational Diabetes is a risk factor to developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
The World Health Organization says that 90% of the people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide have type 2 diabetes. This is also as it acknowledges that the number of people living with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults with most living in developing countries.
Symptoms include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), constant thirst, constant hunger (polyphagia), weight loss, vision changes and fatigue. Symptoms are less intense in the case of type 2 diabetes
Though a major cause of a major cause of blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure, heart attacks and stroke, diabetes can be well delayed and/or managed if
  • ·         A healthy diet,
  • ·         Regular physical activity,
  • ·         The right medication and treatment, and
  • ·         Regular screening of other body organs and blood sugar levels are strictly followed.
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains have high-fiber and low-fat contents. Low glycemic index foods also may be helpful; Foods with a low glycemic index typically are foods that are higher in fiber. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food causes a rise in your blood sugar. A dietitian may help create a meal plan that will supply the body with nutrients yet not increase the blood sugar level. It is high time we arose to BEAT DIABETES lest it rises to beat us all.

Written by Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi


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