Diabetes Awareness Month 2019
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Frederick Unuigbokhai – Doctor, AIM GROUP Ltd
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated globally on November 14. The main essence of this day is to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. For this year’s day, the theme is "Diabetes: Protect your Family."
This theme is important because diabetes is a known leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death.
World Health Organization (WHO) says diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Research reveals that in the past three decades, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Notably, there is a globally agreed target to stop the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.
Furthermore, research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation claims that by end of 2013, there were 382 million people worldwide with diabetes of which 80% live in low-and-middle-income countries.
The number is estimated to reach 592 million in 2035. Currently, sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to have 20 million people with diabetes, about 62% are not diagnosed and the number is expected to reach 41.4 million by 2035 or an increase of 109.1%.
Frederick Unuigbokhai says diabetes has nothing to do with the beliefs that when you pee there’s foam or ants gathering on it. However, he says people regard it as ‘high blood sugar’ and that is reasonable.
“What it actually means is that it is a disease of the pancreas,” Frederick says. “The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin. This is responsible for controlling blood sugar. So, when the pancreas has a problem, and that affects the insulin, the blood level will not be regulated. Insulin helps the body to re-absorb the excess glucose into the body. With excess glucose, the body is in trouble and the person becomes weak because he or she can’t make use of glucose.”
On the causes of diabetes, he says that in the Type1 Diabetes, immune cells destroy the pancreas. Humans don’t know why the body attacks itself. In the Type 2, it is either the body doesn’t recognize the insulin, or the body is not producing enough insulin. This one is common in obese people.
What does it mean to be obese?
Frederick says no one can just call another person obese except they know the other person’s Body Mass Index (BMI). That according to him is “the weight all over the height. So, let say if your height is like 1.7 metres square, whatever the weight is will be divided in 1.7 square. That's how to calculate it and it has to fall into a range to make a person obese.”
About the gestational diabetes, Frederick says it is seen in pregnancy. The fetus produces excess glucose and the mother’s pancreas may not be able to handle it. In some cases, it stops after the pregnancy, in others, it doesn’t.
What can be done so that the situation may not be dire both for the mother and the baby?
Get the full scoop by playing the video below
DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH 2019
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry), alongside Rotimi Sankore (@RotimiSankore)