What is diabetes?
The process of digestion turns many of the foods we eat into glucose (sugar). Glucose is the fuel the body needs for energy and normal functions. Insufficient or lack of insulin leads to accumulation of glucose in the body leading to diabetes and the associated complications.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas and its main function is to make glucose in the blood available for all the body cells' utilization.
There is no shame in having diabetes. You can live a long and healthy life by working with your doctor, eating proper foods, exercise, and insulin therapy or pills.
Type 1 diabetes
This disease occurs at every age and size. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. Sugar from foods can not gain access into the body cells to be used for energy causing a high level in the blood.
People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day of their life.
You are not alone. Let's introduce you to the others.
Type 2 diabetes
This is the most common form of diabetes. The body does not make enough insulin or can not use it properly. It usually appears after the age of 40, although it can also be seen in children.
Symptoms of this disease can be easy to overlook and may present themselves over a long period of time.
Factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes
Over 40 years of age
Family history of diabetes
Past diabetes during pregnancy
Women over 30 years of age with a family history of diabetes have the greatest risk of developing diabetes in pregnancy.
Also known as diabetes in pregnancy. Occurs in some women during pregnancy, usually between 6th to 7th month of pregnancy. Most of these women may develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Blood sugar must be checked during pregnancy. If diabetes has occurred in one pregnancy, it is likely to occur again.
Please take your medications correctly and see your doctor from time to time. Speak to your doctor before taking any new medicine.
Symptoms of diabetes
The hemoglobin A1c is a blood test that indicates the average blood sugar over a three-month period. When the blood sugar level is high, an abnormally high number of sugar molecules attach to the red blood cells. This raises the HbA1c level.
If you are a diabetic, ask your doctor for your HbA1C level every 3 months. Your HbA1c goal is less than 7% (53 mmol/mol).
Normal blood sugar levels
Fasting (before breakfast) blood sugar less than 5.5 mml/L (100 mg/dl).
Random blood sugar less than 7.8 mml/L (140 mg/dl).
Fasting blood sugar between 5.5-6.9 mml/L (100-125 mg/dl).
Random blood sugar between 7.8-11 mml/L (140-199 mg/dl).
Fasting blood sugar of 7 mml/L (126 mg/dl) and more or,
Random blood sugar of 11.1 mml/L (200 mg/dl) and more.
Abnormal results must be repeated on a different day to make a diagnosis.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
This refers to low blood sugar levels. This may happen when you take too little food or skip a meal or use too much insulin or diabetes pills. It is usually sudden and can be fatal.
Some people may have low blood sugar without the symptoms listed here, so frequent blood sugar monitoring is important to cope with this problem.
If you experience any of these symptoms, quickly check your blood sugar. If you are not able to do this, eat or drink any sugar-containing food or drink.
Meet with your doctor to discuss the right treatment plan for you.
Diabetes is treated with insulin injections or pills, or both.
Exercise regularly and avoid weight gain.
Avoid excess alcohol.
Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Examples of local foods for diabetics.
Soups: Vegetable soup, okro soup, edikan ikong, waterleaf soup, ogbono soup, egusi soup, afang soup, bitter leaf soup, kuka soup, moringa soup.
Swallow Foods: Wheatmeal fufu, guinea corn fufu (tuwon dawa), unripe plantain fufu.
Non-bolus meals: Unripe plantain porridge, moi-moi, akara (kosei), beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread, boiled or roasted plantains, eggs.
Snacks: Garden eggs, coconuts, groundnuts, pear, and other nuts.
Drinks: Zobo without sugar, millet (gero) kunu, guinea corn (dawa) kunu, yogurt without sugar, milk (nono) without sugar.
*Eat fresh fruits in moderation. They may raise your blood sugar. Avoid fruit juices.
You can avoid all the complications of diabetes and live a normal life by paying attention to your disease and working closely with your doctor. We are here to help and you are not alone.