MYTH 2: DIABETES IS A DEATH SENTENCE by Opawale Damilola

We recently started the discussion about Myths and Facts on Diabetes. If you missed the last post, kindly click here.

Today, we will continue on the discussion

MYTH 2: DIABETES IS A DEATH SENTENCE

FACT

Diabetes is not a death sentence. We established the last time that diabetes is a serious condition and is presently not curable. However, a diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you have been given an “expiry date”. It simply means you have to pay more attention to your health than before. 

There are several people who have lived with the disease for many years, some several decades and still living normal healthy lives without complications. 

We have a few testimonials from some of them:

Miss O.O, 17 years old – “I have been diabetic for 5 years. My living has been managed through regular use of Insulin, daily exercise, controlled diet, regular blood sugar checks and regular clinic visits. I am living well and happy”

Mrs. A.C. 52 year old diabetic diagnosed 9 years ago – “Basically what keeps me going is that I take my medications regularly, I choose my food carefully and I attend clinic regularly”

Mr. J.S – “When I was first diagnosed with the disease, I went online and read articles to educate myself. Diabetes education was a life saver for me. I have relationship with my doctors and that has been of great help”

 I will make attempts to outline a few things people living with diabetes must do to ensure that they live healthy and without complications

1. Have a positive attitude: Many people die not because the disease killed them but because they allowed the diagnosis to overwhelm them. Make up your mind to be happy, positive and active regardless of the fact that you have the disease

2. Get informed – Get information from authentic sources (Your doctors, support groups, books). This will help you understand better about the disease and how it should be managed. 

3. Drug Compliance: Take your medications religiously. Let your doctors prescribe drugs for you.

4. Know yourself – You need to know yourself to be able to recognize signs of when your sugar is going too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia) and you need to know what to do at those times.

5. Diet Control: Contrary to the old teaching that diabetics have to eat only unripe fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that diabetics can actually eat most of the food every other person eats, only that they need to eat them in right proportions. It is advisable to eat more of food that are high in fibre and low in calorie. Your doctor should educate you more about this.

6. Regular exercise: This also helps to control your blood sugar better, reduce weight, slows down ageing and improves heart function. However, rigorous exercise is not advised. Exercises recommended include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, Dancing, Playing court games, etc. 

7. Regular Clinic visit

8. Regular blood sugar checks

9. Avoid cigarette and alcohol consumption. These can worsen the disease.

10. Weight loss

11. Participate in support groups. 

People living with diabetes will benefit a lot from family support. 

In conclusion, Diabetes is a serious health condition which may have devastating consequences if not properly managed. 

People living with the disease must be ready to take responsibility for their health and they can live normal healthy lives. 

Please feel free to drop your questions and comments.

Feel free to send your diabetes related articles to thengdoc@gmail.com

Dr Oluwadamilola Opawale is a medical practitioner with interest in Public health and preventive medicine. She has had a stint of experience from the famous St. Nicholas hospital as a clinician.

She is also the President of IBuildAfrica Foundation, an NGO that reaches out to female adolescents, helping them maximize their potentials environment and background notwithstanding.

She has a passion to teach people how to stay healthy by imbibing healthy lifestyle and choices. 

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