On April 7, the world celebrates World Health Day, a day set aside to create awareness on various health issue. This year’s celebration is focus on the increasing rate of Diabetes and its effects in low and middle income countries like Ghana.
Available data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) indicate that 450,000 Ghanaians are living with diabetes. The 2015 report indicated that 75% of the cases, remained undiagnosed, posing an increased danger of complications for people living with diabetes unaware.
In Ghana, most people are of the view that many people who consume drinks with highly concentrated sugar are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes. Some also assert that people with obesity are at risk of these diseases. While this might not be entirely false, YEN .com.gh brings you some education on diabetes.
First of diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes someone’s blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. This condition is in many types and they are: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) and Impaired Fasting Glycaemia (IFG).
Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood.
When one is diagnosed of Type 1 diabetes, it means the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. In this instance, people with Type 1 diabetes need to have insulin every day. The cause of Type 1 diabetes is yet uncertain by scientists. Some point to the fact that Type 1 diabetes is hereditary.
Type 2 diabetes is where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. It is usually caused by excess body weight and physical inactivity, because the body isn’t using insulin effectively. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in Ghana and many African countries.
Gestational diabetes is a condition some pregnant women suffer. It’s where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to make them Type 2.It can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Women with it, and their children, also have more chance of developing Type 2.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) and Impaired Fasting Glycaemia (IFG) are intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and Type 2 diabetes.
As earlier stated the cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known, though it is widely said that Type 1 diabetes often runs in families, hence it being genetic.
With type 2 diabetes one is very much at risk if they are over 40 or over 25 and they are of south Asian descent or have close relatives with diabetes who are overweight or obese, or are of, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin.
Having known these facts about diabetes, which is also referred to as the sugar disease, learning these few signs would help you know if you have diabetes.
Diabetes has no symptoms but one is likely to experience these few symptoms: tiredness, weight loss and loss of muscle, Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush, Cuts or wounds that heal slowly, Blurred vision, feeling thirsty often and weeing more often than usual, particularly at night.
To avoid Type 2 diabetes one who is obese is advised to lose excess weight, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. One is advised to aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day and stick to a diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in sugar and saturated fats.