November – Diabetes Month

November is Diabetes Awareness month

Lets chat a bit more about Diabetes.

Shocking numbers: It is estimated that about 366 million people around the world have diabetes and according to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation) it is predicted that about 552 million people will suffer from diabetes by 2030. Approximately 3.85million people between the ages of 21-79 in South Africa (SA) had been diagnosed with diabetes which is 7% of the population. To fully appreciate the statistics on the prevalence of Diabetes lets look back in time. In 2010 the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in South Africa was estimated at 4.5%. Thus a 155% increase in 6 years!!!! What will the prevalence be in the next 6 years?
What about the people that are not diagnosed. The limited data suggest that there are 0.630 to 2.394 million people with undiagnosed diabetes.

Different types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes
Impaired Glucose Tolerance

Diabetes is a condition that affects your body’s ability to use the energy found in food. Normally your body breaks down carbohydrates you eat into glucose (fancy word for sugar). Glucose fuels the cells in your body but the cells needs insulin, a hormone in your bloodstream in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy. With Diabetes, either your body is not producing enough insulin; it can’t use the insulin it produces or a combination of the two.

Symptoms of diabetes:

Warning signs of diabetes can be so mild that you sometimes don’t notice them. That is especially true for T2DM. With T1DM symptoms usually happen quickly.
Risk factors for Diabetes: Researchers do not fully understand why some people develop Pre diabetes and T2DM and others don’t. Causes of T1DM is unknown.


Some Risk factors for T2DM:

  • Weight: The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

  • Inactivity: Physical activity helps control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

  • Family history

  • Age

  • Gestational Diabetes (GD): If you have developed GD when you were pregnant, your risk of developing pre diabetes and T2DM later increases.

Golden rules for controlling your diabetes:

  • Understand what diabetes is and what treatment entails.

  • Use your medication as prescribed and talk to your members of your diabetic care team if you feel unsure.

  • Know and understand the principles of good Nutrition and apply them every day. A registered Dietician will be able to help you with a nutrition plan.

  • Keep your blood glucose under control by:

    o Following a balanced nutritional plan according to your needs

    o Following a balanced nutritional plan and using your medication as prescribed

    o Doing regular exercise as part of your plan

  • Keep an accurate record of your blood glucose readings, especially if it fluctuates a lot.

  • Care for your feet regularly. Tell your caregivers at once if sores or grazes do not heal and only allow a responsible person to cut your toenails.

  • Be as active as possible

  • Pay regular visits to your care team: Medical doctor, Dietician, Optometrist and podiatrist, among others.

Healthy Eating Habits.

Food forms a very important part of everyone’s life, including those with diabetes and it should always be pleasurable. Contrary to popular perception, there is no specific diabetic diet. The food we eat should always have a high nutritional value. Yet understanding what and how much to eat can be a challenge. A registered dietician can help you create a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle.

Physical activity.

Everyone needs regular exercise and people with diabetes are no exception. Exercise lowers your blood sugar levels by moving glucose into your cells, where it is used for energy. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin, which means your body needs less insulin to transport glucose into your cells. Important to make physical activity part of your daily routine and to do something that you enjoy. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic a week with at least 2 days or more of strength training. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up slow. It is also important to get the OK from your doctor to exercise.


2018-11-19T17:42:46+00:00 Health|0 Comments