- In Kenya, the prevalence of diabetes is at 3.3 per cent and with projected to increase to 4.5 per cent by 2025 as per WHO statistics.
- Diabetes Mellitus is classified into three major categories- Diabetes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
National Diabetes Month is celebrated annually on November 14 to create awareness in communities about diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus is a lifelong condition where the body is unable to control the blood glucose level.
Globally, 8.5 million people (23.0 per cent) remain undiagnosed with diabetes.
In Kenya, the prevalence of diabetes is at 3.3 per cent and with projected to increase to 4.5 per cent by 2025 as per WHO statistics.
Diabetes Mellitus is classified into three major categories- Diabetes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Diabetes type 1 also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, autoimmune diabetes or juvenile diabetes usually starts at an early age when the pancreas fails to produce insulin.
Gestational diabetes usually affects women during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. The body is unable to use all the insulin needed for pregnancy.
This phenomenon contributes to the presence of unutilised glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose can only be utilised in the presence of insulin.
Diabetes type 2 also known as maturity-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes is usually detected later in life and characterised by insulin resistance or inadequate insulin secretion.
Typical signs and symptoms of diabetes include excessive urination, excessive thirst and excessive hunger.
During the screening stage, the healthcare provider will distinguish the type of diabetes the client may be suffering from.
Diagnosis of diabetes is simply from the testing of the amount of blood glucose level.
The healthcare provider will do the blood sugar testing by finger pricking at the point of contact and get the glucose level with the help of the glucometer.
A sharp rise in blood glucose at first instance is not enough to conclude that a client has diabetes. The client will be requested to monitor blood glucose closely for at least three days.
The consistent rise in blood glucose levels above the normal of 3.5mmol/l to 5.5mmol/l will be enough evidence to conclude the client has diabetes.
Diabetes has been mainly managed through drugs. We are moving away from treatment to prevention of diabetes.
Prevention is better than cure is attributed to Dutch philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus.
This phrase forms the foundation of the strategies put in place to reduce the cases of diabetes in our community.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following risk factors are associated with the development of diabetes mellitus type 2; overweight, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestation diabetes and prediabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is highly associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
This kind of sedentary lifestyle involves the consumption of junk foods, uncontrolled weight gain and physical inactivity.
Junk foods contribute large quantities of blood glucose in the body. The body uses insulin secreted from the pancreas to convert the excess glucose to glycogen and some are utilised in the muscles.
In cases where the insulin is inadequate due to a medical condition affecting the pancreas, the blood glucose remains unregulated in the body.
On measuring the blood glucose consecutively and it remains high above 5.5mmols per litre, the individual is deemed to have Diabetes Mellitus type 2.
CDC has suggested the cases of diabetes mellitus type 2 can be regulated by adhering to the following preventive strategies; random blood glucose screening at the nearest chemist or clinic, reduction of junk food consumption by 50 per cent and Control of weight gain by engaging in physical activities such as morning walk, weight lifting and jogging.
Random blood glucose screening is accessible at the nearest clinic in our locality.
The cost is also affordable. Individuals should check their blood glucose levels as often as possible.
Clients can also purchase a blood glucose meter (glucometer) from the nearby pharmacy store and test their blood glucose levels in the comfort of their homes.
Consumption of junk food or processed food cannot be stopped suddenly.
The clients should reduce consumption by at least 50 per cent and replace it with traditional foods such as vegetables. Small habits will yield great results in the end.
Physical activity is highly recommended to control the weight of the client. The client should at least exercise 15 to 30 minutes three times a week.
In conclusion, developing a healthy habit may not be easy. Write a healthy living plan in a notebook and stick it on the wall where you can see it daily.
Kick-start your health plan with a simple step such as jogging at your house daily for 10 to 15 minutes.
It is advisable to make the health coach your personal friend in the journey of healthy living, choose an accountability partner and record the progress made daily.
National Diabetes Statistics Report | Diabetes | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html
Lecturer and critical care nurse