Tuesday, 4 October 2011


According to the World Health Organization, a few decades back diabetes was
an uncommon disease, in both developed and developing countries. Today, the
story is different. It is currently estimated that over 143million people
worldwide are affected by the disease. This figure is ever increasing, by
2020 over 220million people are expected to be living with diabetes, if the
current trend continues.
In the United States alone, there are 18.2 million people (6.3% of the
population) living with diabetes. While another 13million people have been
diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately, 5.2milion (or nearly one third) are
unaware that they have the disease.

The figure for Nigeria is not readily available, but it is estimated that
over 1.5million people have diabetes in Nigeria.

In developed countries, most patients of diabetes are over sixty, but in
developing countries, diabetes is found to affect people in their prime.

Diabetes Mellitus (or simply diabetes) is derived from the Greek word
'Diabeinein', meaning 'To pass through' describing copious urination, and
Mellitus from the Latin word meaning 'Sweetened with honey'. These two words
signify sweetened urine or sugar in urine.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use
Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed, in the body, to control the
rate at which sugar, starch and other food are converted into glucose
required as energy for daily life. The hormone is produced and released
into the blood by an organ called 'Pancreas'. This insulin help to maintain
the blood glucose level within a normal range. The World Health Organization
(WHO) puts this normal range between
60 - 100mg/dl (Before taking any food for the day, hence this value is
called Fasting Blood Glucose). In health, despite several demands for
glucose in different situations, the blood glucose rarely exceeds this

After a meal the liver stores the glucose from the meal as glycogen and
releases it into the blood in between meals. The role of insulin is the
control of this storage and release of glucose. It ensures that the amount
of glucose in the blood at every particular time does not go beyond or below
the normal range.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), five classes of diabetes
are recognized, these are; Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or
Type I Diabetes, Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Type II
Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Diabetes Insipidus and Bronze Diabetes.

*INSULIN DEPENDENT/TYPE I DIABETES: *This type of diabetes was initially
called Juvenile onset diabetes because it affects adolescents and young
adults. It is caused by a sudden failure of the pancreas to produce Insulin.
It is, therefore, an acute disease, presenting with thirst, polyuria
(passing large amount of urine), diuresis and weight loss. Type I diabetes
is not common, it accounts for less than 10% of all diabetes cases.
NON-INSULIN DEPENDENT/ TYPE II DIABETES: *This is the most prevalent type of
diabetes, accounting for more than 80% of all diabetic cases. It is found in
adults and the elderly. This type of diabetes develops gradually over a long
period of time (unnoticed) and is characterized by insufficient insulin,
deficient insulin in the blood or the inability of the body to utilize the
insulin resent (Insulin resistance). Because of its slow and gradual
occurrence, it is mostly undetected until one or more of its long-term
complications appear.

Unlike in Type I Diabetes, the Insulin in the blood of a Type II diabetic
may be normal or even high, but lacks the desired effect, due to insulin
resistance, and this is prevalent among obese people.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES:* This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and
disappears after delivery, within 3weeks. An estimated 3% of all pregnancies
are accompanied by gestational diabetes and almost half of these patients
are prone to developing permanent diabetes later in life.

As with hypertension and other non communicable diseases, no clear cut
cause(s) can be attributed to the most prevalent type of diabetes (Type II
Diabetes, Type I diabetes being secondary to failure of the pancreas).
However, some factors are known to increase one's chances of becoming
diabetic and these are called risk factors. For example, indolent and
well-fed populations are 2 - 20times more likely to develop type II diabetes
than active and lean population of the same race. Some other factors known
to increase one chances of getting diabetes include:

*OBESITY: *It is estimated that three quarter (¾) of all Type II diabetes
patient are obese. Indolent and affluent lifestyles tend to contribute to
this. It is believed that a 10kg loss of weight can reduce fasting blood
sugar level by almost 50md/dl. An active lifestyle with frequent exercise is
also known to increase Insulin sensitivity.

The International standard for measuring overweight and obesity is based on
a value called BODY MASS INDEX (BMI). This value is derived by dividing the
body weight (in Kilograms) by the square of height (in metres).

i.e. BMI = Body weight (Kg) / Height2 (Metres).

Note: 1ft = 0.305metres.

For adults, a BMI less than 25kg/m2 is preferred.

25 - 29kg/m2 is considered overweight and above 30kg/m2 is Obesity.

*FAMILY HISTORY: *A family history of diabetes increases one's chances of
getting the disease. In such a situation, leading a healthy lifestyle and
constant monitoring of one's blood sugar level becomes very important.

*AGE AND RACE: *Most Type II diabetes patient are over 40yrs at presentation
of the disease. However, the proportion of increase in the incidence of this
disease with age is higher for those with a family history of diabetes,
obese and probably those leading sedentary lifestyles. Moreover, diabetes
tends to be more prevalent among Africans, African Americans, Latinos,
Native Americans and Asian Americans. Belonging to any of the races is a
risk factor in itself.

*HISTORY OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES:* in a woman also increases her
chances/possibility of developing permanent diabetes later in life.

Diabetes have no permanent cure once it develops, it is managed al through
life. But you can prevent ever falling into this life long pain. Before
diabetes present in people, it is almost always preceded by a situation
called PRE DIABETES. A situation where the blood glucose is higher than normal, but not yet enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Saddening, however,
you cannot know when you fall into this category, if you have not being
monitoring your blood glucose regularly.

Pre Diabetes is itself a serious medical situation, though can still be
reversed by making changes in diet pattern and increasing physical activity.
To determine one's blood sugar a test called Fasting Blood Glucose has to be
conducted. This test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in one's blood
before taking any meal for the day. It is measured in milligrams per
deciliter (mg/dl).

A value below 100mg/dl is generally accepted to be normal, while a value
greater than 100mg/dl but less than 120mg/dl is not full diabetes yet, so it
is regarded as Pre diabetes. An individual with a pre diabetes blood glucose
level need to take urgent steps to reduce his blood glucose or risk life
long diabetes.

It should be emphasized, however, that the racial and genetic factors
predisposing to diabetes are still beyond human comprehension and control.
It makes common sense, therefore, to reduce all human controllable factors
to the barest minimum. Most of these factors have to do with social
occupational and diet habits.

The following tips can help reduce your diabetes risk:

* Reduce weight. Obesity seems to be the single most significant factor in
diabetes. Reducing body weight and fat and maintaining an average body
weight is very essential. To this end a body mass index (BMI) less than
25kg/m2 for males and less than 24kg/m2 for females is recommended.

* Increase Physical Activity. It is an established fact that diabetes is
more common among people that lead a sedentary affluent lifestyle. Simple
dynamic exercises like brisk walking for 30-50mins daily or 3-5times weekly
has been shown to be very helpful. Exercise reduces body weight and fat,
increases functionality of the heart, reduces the chances of diabetes and
also boosts emotions and healthy living.

* Cut down or cut out alcohol. Alcoholic intake of more than 2units per day
has been shown to adversely affect the body. Alcohol being an addictive drug
makes it very difficult to maintain a definite amount of intake for a long
time. It is better therefore to strive to cut out alcohol completely.

* Avoid Smoking. Cigarette smoke has been shown to contain several poisonous
substances. Cigarette smoking and alcohol have been related to several
disease. Stopping smoking will definitely reduce the chances of several
other ailments apart from diabetes.

* Lean good eating habits, such as;

* Cut down on fatty food and junks

* Eat more of fish and poultry (without the skin is better).

* Garlic reduces blood pressure cholesterol; add it to your meal plan once
in a while.

* Cut the number of eggs you take to 3- 4 weekly (better boiled than fried).

* Reduce salt intake to less than 5.8grams daily.

* Eat more of vegetables and fiber rich food, especially fruits.

* Finally, constantly monitor your fasting blood glucose, as this is the
only way to know when you are getting into trouble.


Diabetes and Hypertension being so interlinked requires a comprehensive plan
of care, and this revolves round one's dietary habits, social and
environmental factors. Several lifestyle changes like regular exercise,
maintaining a moderate body weight, reduction of fat intake and high fiber
diet all help to live a normal healthy life. These measures are known to
increase insulin sensitivity and also reduce blood pressure.

Conclusively, it is very important to create a more health conscious
individuals in the populace. A people who practically believe that it is
better and cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat it, when it has
become stronger. Moreover, preventive health cannot be divorced from regular
medical checks, as this two go hand in hand. There is no way to detect
several non-communicable diseases without undergoing regular medical checks.
Theimportance of these checks cannot be over emphasized.
Be alive to your health. Know your Blood glucose values and live a healthier
life free from the pains of diabetes.

This is the reason why we at MediaWorx Inc. have decided to let the public
and affected people in the society know that the celebrities and corporate
bodies care about them. its our way of giving back to the society. CELEBRITY
STEP OUT: WALK TO STOP DIABETES is the movement to end the devastating toll
that diabetes takes on millions of individuals and families across our
nation. It inspires and mobilizes the general public, volunteers, donors,
corporations and the scientific and medical communities to rally round our
cause and our call to "share, act, learn and give." Through these actions,
millions will have the chance to get involved and help raise awareness,
promote healthy living, and raise money to fund educational outreach,
advocacy efforts, and critical research that will ultimately stop diabetes
once and for all. This event is scheduled for November 14, so we can join
the rest of the world in the fight against diabetes. CELEBRITY STEP OUT:
WALK TO STOP DIABETES would be a yearly event and come November 14, 2011 we
would be holding the maiden edition of this great cause.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

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