Raising awareness about Diabetes

2018-11-15 06:02

KNOWN as the “sneaky killer” and the “silent killer”, diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body is unable to produce glucose correctly.

There are three types of diabetes, type one, type two, and gestational diabetes. Type one diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, and usually occurs in people under the age of 30. According to Diabetes South Africa, the onset of type one diabetes is sudden and persons with the condition are required to inject insulin in order to survive.

Type two diabetes occurs when the pancreas either does not work properly or produces insufficient insulin. This type of diabetes mostly occurs in people over the age of 40, and according to Diabetes SA, approximately 85% to 90% of people with this condition go undiagnosed.

People with type two diabetes are usually overweight and do not exercise. Type two can be treated successfully without medication; however medication can be prescribed to improve control.

According to the organisation, many people with type two diabetes will eventually use insulin.

Despite being non-threatening, type two diabetes can be more dangerous than type one, as the onset of the condition is gradual and difficult to detect, and over a long period of time, the high glucose levels can cause serious damage to the body.

Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and is temporary, despite this; both mother and child have an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.

According to Diabetes South Africa, all types of the condition are serious, and if left untreated can damage both the fine nerves as well as the small and large blood vessels in the body, which will result in various conditions.

Having been diagnosed with diabetes, and living with it for several years, local resident Monica Pillay said: “Being diagnosed is scary, even with family history of the disease.

The ever-dry mouth, frequent thirst and tiredness were major symptoms I faced.

Hearing that the disease has struck, and all the complications that come with, is an eye opener. Lifestyle changes are a must. Good eating habits mean a total change in diet. Plus exercise and stress management certainly helps. Until you have been assessed and assured by a medical practitioner that your diabetes is under control, do not give up your medication.”

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF

•Unusual thirst.

•Frequent urination.

•Unusual weight loss.

•Extreme fatigue or lack of energy.

•Blurred vision.

•Frequent or recurring infections.

•Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, boils and itching skin.

•Tingling and numbness in the hands or feet.

However, many people who have type two diabetes may show no symptoms. - Weekly Reporter

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