Di­a­betes: Are You At Risk?

Early di­ag­no­sis of di­a­betes is im­por­tant if com­pli­ca­tions are to be pre­vented or de­layed. If you are over 35 and have any of the risk fac­tors high­lighted in this ar­ti­cle, you should be tested ev­ery year.

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL -

Who is at risk?

Risk fac­tors for de­vel­op­ing Type 2 di­a­betes in­clude the fol­low­ing: • Be­ing aged 35 or over

• Be­ing over­weight (espe­cially if you carry most of your weight

around your mid­dle.

• Be­ing a mem­ber of a high-risk group (in South Africa if you are

of In­dian de­scent you are at par­tic­u­lar risk).

• Hav­ing a fam­ily his­tory of di­a­betes

• Hav­ing given birth to a baby that weighed over 4kg at birth, or

have had ges­ta­tional di­a­betes dur­ing preg­nancy

• Hav­ing high choles­terol or other fats in the blood

• Hav­ing high blood pres­sure or heart dis­ease.

A sim­ple fin­ger-prick test at your lo­cal phar­macy or clinic can di­ag­nose the like­li­hood that you may have di­a­betes within a minute.

How is di­a­betes treated?

Hav­ing di­a­betes need not mean the end of a nor­mal, healthy life. Peo­ple with di­a­betes need to first ac­cept the fact that they have the con­di­tion and then learn how to man­age it.

This takes com­mit­ment and per­se­ver­ance. The goal of di­a­betes man­age­ment is to bring blood glu­cose lev­els into the nor­mal range, that is, be­tween 4-6mmol/l.

How is di­a­betes man­aged?

There are var­i­ous as­pects of good di­a­betes man­age­ment.

Ed­u­ca­tion: Know­ing about di­a­betes is an es­sen­tial first step. All peo­ple with di­a­betes need to learn about their con­di­tion in or­der to make healthy lifestyle choices and man­age their di­a­betes well. Join your lo­cal branch of Di­a­betes SA and at­tend cour­ses in di­a­betes self-man­age­ment. Make an ap­point­ment to see a Nurse Ed­u­ca­tor who will set you on the path to good di­a­betes man­age­ment.

Healthy Eat­ing: There is no such thing as a ‘di­a­betic diet’, only a healthy way of eat­ing, which is rec­om­mended for ev­ery­one. How­ever, what, when and how much you eat play an im­por­tant role in reg­u­lat­ing how well your body man­ages blood glu­cose lev­els. It’s a good idea to visit a reg­is­tered di­eti­cian who will help you work out a meal plan, which is suit­able to your par­tic­u­lar lifestyle and needs. Ex­er­cise: Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise helps your body lower blood glu­cose, pro­motes weight loss, re­duces stress and en­hances over­all fit­ness and en­joy­ment of life.

Weight Man­age­ment: Main­tain­ing a healthy weight is espe­cially im­por­tant in the con­trol of type 2 di­a­betes. Make an ap­point­ment to see a reg­is­tered di­eti­cian who will work out a meal plan to help you lose weight.

Med­i­ca­tion: Peo­ple with type 1 di­a­betes re­quire daily in­jec­tions of in­sulin to sur­vive. There are var­i­ous types of in­sulin avail­able in South Africa. Type 2 di­a­betes is con­trolled through ex­er­cise and meal plan­ning and may re­quire di­a­betes tablets and\or in­sulin to as­sist the body in mak­ing or us­ing in­sulin more ef­fec­tively.

Lifestyle Man­age­ment: Learn­ing to re­duce stress lev­els in daily liv­ing can help peo­ple man­age their blood glu­cose lev­els. Smok­ing is par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous for peo­ple with di­a­betes.

About Di­a­betes South Africa

Di­a­betes SA (DSA) is a reg­is­tered NGO/ non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion and public ben­e­fit or­gan­i­sa­tion and has been in op­er­a­tion for over 47 years.

DSA has Sec­tion 18A(1) Ap­proval and is a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­betes Fed­er­a­tion, which rep­re­sents 147 di­a­betes or­gan­i­sa­tions in 121 coun­tries.

Ap­peal for Do­na­tions

DSA is a small or­gan­i­sa­tion when con­sid­er­ing the huge de­mand for ser­vices, a de­mand that is in­creas­ing as more and more peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes ev­ery day. DSA is run mainly by vol­un­teers with only a hand­ful of paid em­ploy­ees. To con­tinue ex­pand­ing the pro­grammes and ser­vices of­fered, DSA needs sup­port and fund­ing from in­di­vid­u­als, gov­ern­ment and pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions.

Do­na­tions will re­ceive a tax re­ceipt, which is tax de­ductible to the donor in ac­cor­dance with the In­come Tax Act. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also has BEE Level 4 Con­trib­u­tor sta­tus.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.di­a­betessa.org.za or call +27 (0)21 425 4440 or email: mar­got@di­a­betessa.org.za

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.