123 About Diabetes

A projected 300 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. Moreover, the number is set to rise dramatically. Prevention, therefore, stopping people from getting diabetes in the first place remains the best form of treatment. November being a diabetes awareness month it is advantageous to have your blood glucose reading checked. This is a simple test, which can be easily done at your closest healthcare provider, pharmacy, laboratory or clinic. Checking the readings regularly for diabetic patients can make a big difference on how they manage the condition.

Diabetes is a long-term disorder characterized by a raised level of glucose {or sugar} in the blood. Permanently elevated blood sugar levels are the key indicator of this metabolic disorder. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus: diabetes mellitus type 1, which mostly affects younger adults, it is when the body cannot make insulin as most insulin-producing cells have been destroyed. The other type is type 2, which is often brought on by a poor diet and lack of exercise. For this case, the body cannot make enough insulin or the insulin produced cannot be used properly, usually occurs later in life but is becoming common in the younger population.

Diabetes is a disease with severe complications; this can limit how people function physically. Elevated glucose levels cause long-term damage to kidneys, blood vessels, heart, and nerves. Serious complications of diabetes mellitus include renal damage, heart attack, loss of sight, diabetic foot syndrome and even organ failure. In a worst-case-scenario, diabetic foot leads to amputation.

I am glad a glad a good number of diabetes patients in Kenya are not ignorant about their condition, most of them are compliant with medication and are cautious about their diet. Mostly diet is crucial in controlling blood glucose levels in combination with medication prescribed by a physician. On the other hand, it is alarming to hear about a group of people that are living in denial. It is always hard for them to understand that diabetes is a long-term condition and most of the time treatment is usually long-term. These patients do not take their medications regularly leading to complications and uncontrolled blood glucose.

Just to note Kenyans do not have specific treatment guidelines for diabetes mellitus. This means most of the prescriptions prescribed are typically customized according to the patient’s response to treatment. The prescriber adopts what works well for the patient; the prescription thereafter is tailored from time to time.
Happy diabetes month!

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