What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when an individual’s blood sugar is consistently high because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced. The three (3) main types of diabetes include: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
Risk factors for developing Type 1 Diabetes include family history and diseases to the pancreas. The major risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, family history and age. The likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes rises steeply with increasing obesity.
It is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation.
Can you spot the warning signs in the image below?
If you selected all of them, you are correct.
Excessive thirst, frequent urination, lack of energy, blurred vision, slow healing wounds and numbness in feet and hands are all symptoms of Diabetes.
Can you prevent Diabetes in your family?
Some of the ways the prevent Type 2 diabetes are to:
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
Again, the major risk factors for developing diabetes include being overweight/obese, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, family history and having high blood pressure, most of which are preventable.
Would you know how to look after a family member with diabetes?
How can you help? – with daily treatment, regular monitoring of glucose levels, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and diet, financial and emotional support and ongoing education of family members on diabetes.
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