Tuesday, 11 September 2012


This is a big topic and a friend wanted me to help by looking into the issue. In recent years diabetes in Africa was being confused with HIV/AIDS and because of the stigma, less attention was given to diabetic sufferers with greater consequences. Some people because of the changes involved (diet, lifestyle) they decide not to seek medication but of course, this only results in other medical problems.
The percentage of the population with diabetes is highly variable among geographical regions and populations, so estimates are often inaccurate.
A recent figure is 180 million people around the world with diabetes, but most of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes probably comprises between 10 and 15% of all cases of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Most often it begins before the age of 40, with the peak incidence being around 14 years old.
A strong family history is a definite risk factor for type 1 diabetes, although the way in which the disease is inherited is not clear. There is a strong association between type 1 diabetes and the HLA-D complex on the sixth chromosome.

 Diabetes and normal blood sugar levels

At present, the diagnosis of diabetes is based on the following blood glucose levels: a non-fasting blood sugar reading of 11.1 mmol /l or more, or a fasting blood glucose level of 7.0 mmol /l or more.

During the day, blood glucose levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 3.9 mmol/l to 4.4 mmo l/l. In some, 3 is normal; in others, 5. 
Anything less than 5.5 mmol/I while fasting is considered normal by today's standards.
What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's sugar levels won't ever fall below 3 mmol/l even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps sugar levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar.
 A few people's sugar levels may fall somewhat lower. Without taking diabetes medicine, though, or having uncommon medical problems, it's difficult to drop sugar levels to an unsafe point.
The main symptoms across the two main types of diabetes are increased urination (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia) and tiredness.
Common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

·                                 Excessive thirst

·                                 Increased urination (sometimes as often as every hour)

·                                 Unusual weight loss

·                                 Fatigue or tiredness

·                                 Nausea, perhaps vomiting

·                                 Blurred vision

·                                 In women, frequent vaginal infections

·                                 In men and women, yeast infections ( thrush)

·                                 Dry mouth

·                                 Slow-healing sores or cuts

·                                 Itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can develop quickly, over weeks or sometimes days.

Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes - also known as type 2 diabetes mellitus - often doesn’t cause symptoms and is identified on routine screening. When type 2 diabetes does cause symptoms these can include:

·                                 Excessive thirst

·                                 Increased urination (sometimes as often as every hour), especially at night

·                                 Unusual weight loss or gain

·                                 Fatigue or extreme tiredness

Other symptoms, not experienced by everyone, include:

·                                 Blurred vision

·                                 In women, frequent vaginal infections

·                                 In men and women, yeast infections (thrush)

·                                 Dry mouth

·                                 Slow-healing sores or cuts

·                                 Itching skin, especially in the groin or vaginal area.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterised by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that is first recognised during pregnancy. The condition occurs in approximately 14% of all pregnant women.
It is usually diagnosed during routine screening before it causes any symptoms.

Seek medical advice about diabetes if:

You feel nauseated, weak and excessively thirsty; are urinating very frequently; have abdominal pain; or are breathing more deeply and rapidly than normal - perhaps with sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover. You may need immediate medical attention for ketoacidosis, a potentially deadly complication of type 1 diabetes.
You are having weakness or fainting spells; are experiencing a rapid heartbeat, trembling and excessive sweating; and feel irritable, hungry or suddenly drowsy. You could be developing hypoglycaemia - low blood sugar that can occur with diabetes treatment. You may need to have a carbohydrate snack or sugary drink quickly to avoid more serious complications.

Lifestyle Changes

It is difficult dealing with the diagnosis of any condition that requires a lifestyle change. This is presumably also the reason why many people who suspect they might be diabetic avoid a final diagnosis.
Diabetes is also a complicated disease, which takes a long time getting used to. Changing one’s lifestyle is also not something that can be easily achieved overnight. Changes in diet and lifestyle patterns, which could include quitting smoking and drinking, can require dramatic intervention on the part of the diabetic.
Drinking, smoking and overeating are also often symptomatic of stress and an underlying depression. If these are used as comforts, it could require therapeutic intervention to sort out the underlying problems driving the lifestyle.
When someone is first diagnosed, denial, anger and guilt are frequent emotions that come to the fore. Many people use denial to avoid the changes they would have to make if they faced the realities of their diabetic condition. Others feel guilty about having developed the condition and subconsciously set out to punish themselves for it.
See your doctor for help if you suspect you might be diabetic.



  1. Diabetes and Diet
    I have read many article regarding to this topic and done lots of research for the same. but here i get something new.thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your comments on living healthy with diabetes. Knowing facts can make a difference between life and death.