By Ibeabuchi Jewel
Nigerians Living With Diabetes Urged To Watch Their Diet
The World Diabetes Day is celebrated globally on November 14, 2019. The theme for this year’s celebration is “The family and diabetes”.
This year’s theme like many other years in the past was put in place by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) with the aim of raising awareness of the impart that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected, while at the same time promoting the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar and if not treated can cause high blood pressure, damage nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs.
Over 425million people are currently living with diabetes worldwide and. It could be type 1or 2, prediabetes, gestational diabetes but most cases are of type 2 diabetes which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet and the promotion of healthy living environments.
Mr. Emmanuel Onuoha, a retiree from Imo state has been living with type 2 diabetes for the past 7-8 years.
According to him, “It all started when I began to urinate frequently and after test, I learnt my blood level had increased above the normal which is 100 to 150.”
He was ignorant of the effect of diabetes and could not detect it on time till it got to type 2.
Family support in diabetes care has been shown to have a substantial effect in improving health outcomes for people with diabetes.
Mr. Onuoha corroborated with this assertion. He added “It is important that ongoing diabetes self-management education and support be accessible to all people with diabetes and their families to reduce the emotional impact of disease that can result in a negative quality of life.”
He however lamented that “the disease is a painful one that makes your life boring”.
“It stops you from eating what you desire to eat, like yam, fufu which used to be my best same as garri, rice, even fruits that contains sugar.
“It gets to a point where it causes stroke and prostrate that hinders you from moving round and doing things.”
He added that “it is something you should never think of having because it is incurable and can only be managed by the use of variety of expensive medications to be taken regularly and use of expensive instruments to check your blood and sugar level daily.”
He advised Nigerians to mind what they take into their systems in order to avoid being a diabetic patient. “It is something you live with till you die,” he said.
He urged the government and health officials to educate the masses especially those in remote areas on diabetes and also improve the access to affordable diabetes medicines and care in order to avoid the increased cost for individuals and families.