Di­a­betes Day: A woman’s jour­ney to re­cov­ery and dras­tic life­style changes


When she mis­car­ried, Win­nie Nginyo went through the bat­tery of tests as pre­scribed by her doc­tors, un­aware of what had caused the trau­matic event.

Af­ter analysing the re­sults, doc­tors at MP Shah sub­se­quently told her she had Type 1 di­a­betes.

“I was shocked and dis­ap­pointed by the di­ag­no­sis at first since I could not imag­ine hav­ing the con­di­tion,” says Ms Nginyo, who runs the What­tle Blos­som Lodge, a tourist ho­tel.

The bub­bly mother of one did not grieve over her con­di­tion for long, as a few coun­selling ses­sions with her doc­tor and nu­tri­tion­ist gave her the courage to bravely forge ahead and over­come the chal­lenge.

“Af­ter con­sult­ing my doc­tor and nu­tri­tion­ist who told me the dis­ease was man­age­able, I re­alised that I had no choice but to ac­cept that I was un­well,” said Ms Nginyo.

The road to re­cov­ery was ini­tially a rocky one. Doc­tors had ad­vised her to lose weight, which had shot to a mas­sive 110 kilo­grammes for her 165 cen­time­tre height. This meant hours of ex­er­cise for Win­nie who had got­ten used to a busy but seden­tary life­style.

“My sweet tooth be­came one of my im­me­di­ate ob­sta­cles to re­cov­ery. I had to cut down on sug­ary drinks, cakes, juices and ex­er­cise ev­ery day in ad­di­tion to drink­ing a lot of wa­ter and re­li­giously tak­ing my med­i­ca­tion, which thank­fully turned out to be one pill a day,” she told the Daily Na­tion.

A mere 18 months later, she has cut down her weight to 89 ki­los and is on the road to full re­cov­ery, with the prospect of be­ing dis­charged from med­i­ca­tion should a test she is sched­uled to at­tend next week show she is cured.

“I am only left with one test next week and should it show that the dis­ease is no longer in me, doc­tors will dis­charge me from med­i­ca­tion,” she says.

She says the dis­ease forced her to also rad­i­cally al­ter the fam­ily’s diet and ex­er­cise regime.

“I make sure my hus­band and 11-year old son take lots of wa­ter, fruits and veg­eta­bles and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly,” she said.

Nginyo cred­its her hus­band, Mr Ru­dolph Swan­napole for be­ing her rock.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Saira­bannu Sok­walla, MP Shah Hos­pi­tal’s di­a­betes care head of de­part­ment, seden­tary life­styles are a lead­ing cause of di­a­betes coun­try­wide.

Lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity cou­pled with ex­ces­sive weight gain can eas­ily pre­dis­pose one to de­velop di­a­betes, Dr Sok­walla said dur­ing a World Di­a­betes Aware­ness Day event held at the fa­cil­ity.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mates that global di­a­betes preva­lence among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4 per cent in 1980 to 8.5 per cent in 2014.

14 Day in Novem­ber ev­ery year when the world marks Di­a­betes Day


Chair­man of Kenya De­feat Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion Reuben Magoko (left) helps Nom­i­nated sen­a­tor Mil­li­cent Omanga check her blood pres­sure at Moi Av­enue Pri­mary School to mark this year’s World Di­a­betes Day. With her is Lotto Foun­da­tion Chair­man Brian Walu­chio (cen­tre) and Starehe MP Charles Jaguar.

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