Today marks World Diabetes Day, and the Endocrine, Diabetes and Metabolic (EDM) Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), decided to mark it by not only creating awareness on Diabetes but also by screening members of the community.
The Theme of the Day is : Go Blue for Breakfast.
According to WHO, the aim is to highlight the importance of eating healthy to help prevent type 2 diabetes and avoid the serious complications of diabetes. It is advised that people start the day with a healthy breakfast, which can help them manage their weight and, for those living with diabetes, keep blood glucose levels stable.
One of the consultants of the EDM Unit, Dr Sandra Iwuala stressed the need for Nigerians to watch their weight to avoid obesity (which is a major risk factor for Diabetes) and have regular Diabetes screen, at least once a year, if not at risk.
It is a known fact that 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, and about more than 80% deaths occur as a direct cause from Diabetes, especially in low and middle income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.
Diabetes has been directly linked to the following complications:
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet which, increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.
- Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of blindness.
- Kidney failure.
Can Diabetes be prevented? Yes, it sure can by doing the following:
- Achieve and maintain healthy body weight;
- Be physically active – at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity is required for weight control;
- Eat a healthy diet of between 3 and 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and reduce sugar and saturated fats intake;
- Avoid tobacco use – smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Regular blood glucose screen.