Diabetes and Healthy Living: The 21st Century battle

9:15 am

Today is World Diabetes Day. Thats the reason for this post written by a dear friend who is not just concerned about our health but is also active in the fight against the deadly disease. His contacts are below incase of questions and inquires. Enjoy.

    The 21st century lifestyle met active challenge with people living longer and the need to make these additional years exciting; following these developments are emerging diseases and conditions such as diabetes, which threatens the health of persons as we grow older. Amazingly, our ability to combat these emerging disease conditions depends on our understanding of the dynamics of health and how it interacts with lifestyle, as new insights into our daily life offers the privilege to enjoying robust health.

Diabetes Miletus, abbreviated as DM is a hormone (i.e. insulin) related disorder, classified into type I and II and commonly called Sugar Disease in Nigeria. Under normal condition, the pancreas releases insulin to help the body metabolise ingested sugar. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little/no insulin or the body no longer responds appropriately to insulin (i.e. insulin resistance) known as type I and type II respectively. Its presence in young children is called juvenile diabetes; a reversible case occurs in pregnant women called gestational diabetes which however goes after the pregnancy period, both are all forms of type I diabetes. Developing basic forms of either type I or II diabetes presents a lifelong disease condition that currently can only be managed.
Shockingly, a common misconception among many Nigerians is the affiliation of Diabetes Miletus with the consumption of table sugar (Sucrose) in food; though some have come to recognize carbohydrate to be high sugars containing class of food. Certain group also believe in alternative medicine and are therefore not concerned about prevention, while others keep away from table sugar despite the fact that their lifestyles are unhealthy.

The journey into the 21st century has further introduced a collective understanding to the underlying causative factors of diabetes. Some of these factors include genetics, overweight, unhealthy diet, stress, urbanization and lack of exercise, which are further facilitated by the current drive for leisure and freedom. It can therefore be deduced that most underlying factors can be efficiently curbed by ensuing properly defined lifestyle.

Initially, there may be no symptoms in diabetes, although children, men and women mostly present symptoms that are non-generic. Basic generic symptoms of diabetes include but are not limited to frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, tiredness, lack of interest, blurred vision and concentration a tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet. In addition to the above, women, presents frequent vaginal infections and changes to (or loss of) menstruation while children presents rapid heart rate and bad breadth.

Having established diabetes as a lifestyle related disease; its prevalence in the 21st century makes it an issue of concern. Amazingly, todays thinking are reshaping health systems from curative to preventive; identifying lifestyle choices as imperative. Suffice to say there is no shortage of technology or solutions, but a real challenge has been our methodology. Therefore, collective appeals for healthy lifestyle of not smoking, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, adequate exercise and stress management will lower the tendency to develop diabetes while improving our health and daily quality of life. Hence, a demand for an energized alliance of public, private and community based stakeholders.

Conclusively, diabetes presents a social call for everyone to live a healthy lifestyle with a vested interest in getting it right while placing our individuality at the centre. Though people lead increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, they aspire to live a healthy life; which is fundamental for a more creative and productive life. This entails taking responsibility as it applies to home and workplace. The battle is a sure win, until we arrive as proud catalyst for healthy living towards a healthy society and undeniably bridge the present gap in favour of healthy living.
Name: Olemgbe God’swill Contact: +2348055954094/7046434679 Email: gcolemgbe@gmail.com

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