All posts by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community

The Nigeria Diabetes online Community (@thengdoc) is an online social media support system for People with Diabetes, Health Care Providers, Caregivers, Family and Friends. We are here to support and assist through education providing online platform for interactions.

Herbalist defrauds diabetes patient of 190 million for cure in Lagos



Diabetes is a condition that sadly has no cure but what is even more saddening is that there are people out there who are exploiting innocent people just in the bid to get them cure.

This was the case of Adeniyi Adewunmi, a self-acclaimed herbalist who allegedly swindled a businessman of 190 million claiming he’ll cure his diabetes.

The case was brought before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos where the accused, aged 43, is standing trial on a four count charge on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Friday Mameh said before court that the offences were commited between Feburary 2016 and January 2018.

“The accused and others still at large approached the complainant, one Mr Lawrence Akanbi, and told him that he is suffering from diabetes, asthma and spiritual attack”.

“The complainant believed because he was actually suffering from the ailments stated by the accused”.

“The accused used the opportunity to ask the complainant for money till the money amounted to N190m,” Mameh said.

The complainant, hoping for a cure, noticed his symptoms were rather getting worse and the accused arrested by the police.

The accused however denied the allegations.

The Magistrate, Mrs F.O. Botoku, granted him bail in the sum of N20m, with two sureties who must not be less than grade 16 in the civil service  in like sum.

The case was then adjourned the case until Feb. 12 for trial.




Source : The Punch Newspapers

Baby’s Coming; Coping With Diabetes in Pregnancy.

Before the discovery of insulin, the chances of having a baby with diabetes was really slim, but thanks to Banting and Best, the discovers of insulin, this century has seen better outcomes for mothers living with diabetes and their children. In Nigeria 1.7 percent of pregnant women have diabetes out of which 61 percent is gestational diabetes.

Pregnancy in itself is a diabetogenic state i.e pregnancy raises blood sugar levels in normal conditions . Diabetes may complicate pregnancy because a woman had diabetes before pregnancy  (pregestational diabetes which can be type 1 or type 2)or she developed diabetes during the course of her pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Gestational diabetes usually resolves few weeks after the baby is born. However, in about 60-70 percent of women, there is a recurrence in subsequent pregnancy.


The challenge

The body is more resistant to insulin during pregnancy to allow more glucose available to sustain the growth of the baby. This makes the body require more insulin production. In people with gestational diabetes, the pancreas can’t keep up with the production of insulin required and so the blood has excess glucose.

The main effects of diabetes in pregnancy is that it increases the risk of miscarriages in early pregnancy it increased risk of babies with congenital malformations e.g with cardiac problems . This is in people with poorly controlled diabetes. It is not uncommon to see people with diabetes developing hypertension and infections in pregnancy.

Too much glucose gets into the baby’s blood and causes accelerated growth of organs especially in the middle and late stages of pregnancy.  This results in big babies, too big to enter the birth canal and can cause the baby’s shoulder to be stuck (shoulder dystocia) making caesarean section necessary in some cases.

Shortly after birth, your baby may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) because his body will still be producing extra insulin in response to your excess glucose.

The baby is at risk of hypoglycemia immediately after birth because the baby was used to having excessive insulin action while in the womb. It is recommended that the mothers breast feed their babies shortly after birth to help reduce this.

There is also a a higher risk of having breathing problems because the lungs do not mature well enough and the baby might have neonatal jaundice.

Who should be more concerned?

Women above 35 years

People whose immediate relatives have diabetes

People who have had big babies (4.5kg and above) in the past.

People who weigh beyond 90kg or have a BMI above 30.

People who have had stillbirths without a known cause.

People who have had babies with birth defects

People with polycystic ovarian syndrome.


What to do?

Mums-to-be  need to check their sugar levels early in pregnancy during their first trimester.

A woman with diabetes or impaired blood sugar levels should consult with a doctor- both an obstetrician and a physician- even before the start of pregnancy. A dietician also plays a role of helping to maintain a healthy diet.

A diet of someone with gestational diabetes should be between 1500-2000 calories and there should be good combination of carbohydrates with protein and fats.  An HbA1c of between 4-6 is the usual target.

It is also important to take folic acid (5mg) before aiming at pregnancy for people at risk.

People living with diabetes before pregnancy would need to really monitor their sugar levels closely has pregnancy can alter their feeding patterns and they might require higher levels of insulin.

A woman who has had diabetes in previous pregnancy is advised to have yearly medical checks as she’s at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

The pre-pregnancy states are very important. A woman with good glycemic control before pregnancy is more likely to have a better outcome.


3 hours of Daily TV time May Increase A Child’s Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Previous research already showed that increased time spent watching TV or with the computer increases risk of obesity and insulin resistance in adults.

Children especially males have shown far more increased time watching television or playing video games, or with smart phones and electronic tablets in recent times, a study from by researchers from St. George’s, University of London says.

How the study was conducted

The recent study involved 4495 children aged between 9-10.

Their activity levels, body proportions and time spent watching TV was recorded daily.  Pubertal status was also taken note of in girls.


Findings from the study

It was reported that children who spent 3 hours or more had higher levels of leptin and insulin than those that had less than one hour screen time. This can cause insulin resistance causing a risk for diabetes. Impaired leptin levels noticed can also result in difficulty controlling appetite.

Of the children who took part in the study between 2004 and 2007 and for whom complete data were held, 18 per cent – around one in five – said they spent more than three hours on screens every day. It was reported that boys 22 percent of boys spent 3 or more hours watching TV or using electronic devices compared to 14 percent of girls.

Screen related activities are mostly sedentary in nature and pose a risk to metabolic health.


Study author Dr Claire Nightingale from St George’s, University of London, said:

“Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls, from an early age.”

He  also said:

“This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 diabetes, the early emergence of type 2 diabetes risk, and recent trends suggesting screen-related activities are increasing in childhood.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has previously suggested that children should limit daily screen time to less than 2 hours per day, more recent guidance fro, AAP did not propose a time limit but suggested that parents should place consistent limit on the hours per day of media use.

There is currently an alarming rate of type 2 diabetes starting earlier than would have been expected and if this trend continues, it might pattern screen related behaviour in later life.

The findings were published in the journal the  Archives of Disease in Childhood

BBC presenter apologises for ‘confused start’ due to hypoglycemia on air.

A BBC World service presenter, Alex Ritson was presenting at about 5 am in the Newsroom on Friday when his listeners heard him stumble on some of his words.

The presenter ,who has Type 1 diabetes has apologized for a “confused start”  saying he had a “low sugar attack” just as he went on air.

He was discussing about the Pope’s visit to Bangladesh when he suddenly was speaking slowly and difficult to understand

“I have Type 1 diabetes and I had a low sugar attack, a ‘hypo’, just as we came on air which caused me a little confusion in my opening sequences , so many apologies for that.”

A BBC spokeswoman said

“One of our presenters was a little unwell while on air this morning.”

”The presenter came back on air later in the programme and explained to listeners that they had Type 1 diabetes and were feeling better ”

So many listeners have commended him for that.

While so many of us think diabetes is just a problem of high blood sugar, it really is a struggle between high sugar levels and low sugar levels that result from insulin use. The patient is basically struggling to find a balance.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurs in people with diabetes when their blood sugar goes beneath 4mmol/l (70mg/dl) but the value varies for most people.

Early signs and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia include:

Shakiness, Dizziness, Sweating, Hunger, Irritability or moodiness, Anxiety or nervousness, Headache

In more severe cases, there can be confusion, unconsciousness and even death.

To know more about hypoglycemia, you can check this

 Hypoglycemia training programme

Diabetes and Mental Health : What You Need To Know.

Today is World Mental Health Day.

According to the WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

1 in 5 Nigerians have mental health issues.

So many people go through mental health issues unrecognized.

Nigeria is in dire need of mental health awareness as well as diabetes awareness as there are a lot of societal stigma attached to these conditions.

So many people would rather go to a spiritual home without consulting a physician for their mental health conditions.
It is not only those on the streets with tattered clothing that have mental health issues. So many people around us in our families or workplace might also be victims.

Mental health problems also coexist in about 25 percent of people with health challenges one of which is diabetes mellitus.

Why are people living with diabetes at risk of developing mental health problems?
Having depression raises your risk for onset of diabetes, just as having diabetes raises your risk for onset of depression. Depression can lead to poor lifestyle decisions, such as unhealthy eating, less exercise, smoking and weight gain — all of which are risk factors for diabetes.

Getting a diagnosis of diabetes in itself can lead to some emotional responses like anger, denial and fear which is normal in the initial stage of grief. However, this can be prolonged and then can lead to a myriad of problems.
Newly diagnosed people living witb diabetes can exhibit anger and wonder why they are diagnosed when other friends and relatives do not have the condition.

The stress involved in the entire lifestyle change of being careful with choice of food, regular blood sugar checks and having to take insulin can take a toll on a person.

Anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders and post traumatic stress disorder are also common among people living with diabetes.

The financial and social burden of living with diabetes can also predispose to mental illness.
People with mental health challenge increases their risk of diabetes complications as they are more likely to be non-adherent to medications and self care.

It has been said that mental health state can affect treatment outcome of diabetes. For instance, Women with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders have poorer glycemic control, with higher rates of hospitalizations and retinopathy, neuropathy, and premature death compared with similarly aged women with type 1 diabetes without eating disorders.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that clinicians routinely screen diabetes patients for psychological problems; however, few diabetes clinics do provide those mental-health screenings
The World Health Organization estimates that diabetes will affect more than 350 million persons worldwide by 2030, with the number of persons affected more than doubling from the year 2000.

People living with diabetes need care, love and support from friends and family.
Learn coping mechanisms – diabetes management should include self care mechanisms. Exercise is said to be helpful in reducing stress and depression due to release of endorphins.
Find a support network or group.
Eating balanced diet.
Adequate sleep.
See a doctor for regular mental state examination and psychotherapy.

You can still win an all expense paid trip to a diabetes youth camp in Ghana . Click here

Woman Living With Diabetes No Longer Needs Insulin After Bioengineered Pancreas Transplant

The major problem with type 1 diabetes is that the body produces antibodies that attack the body’s healthy islet cells in the pancreas which produces insulin. This limits insulin production making the body the body unable to make use of glucose gotten from diet leading to high blood sugar. The patient then has to makes rely on insulin injections or pumps to survive.

Before now, several research works have being aimed at transplanting islet cells from deceased donors into the liver but this has not been ideal The liver can only take few islet cells and with risk of bleeding.
Recently, researchers at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute have tried another location – the omentum, a fatty membrane in the belly.

A 43 year old single mother with a 25 year history of type 1 diabetes has been off insulin for over a year following islet cell transplant in the omentum. Before the transplant, she was said to have been on about 33 units of insulin per day. No surgical complications were observed during the procedure.

The researchers said

“The cells began producing insulin faster than expected, and after one year she is doing well and doesn’t need insulin injections”.

“We’re exploring a way to optimize islet cell therapy to a larger population. This study gives us hope for a different transplant approach,”

Dr. David Baidal, assistant professor in the University of Miami Research Institute who led the study said. The research is the first step towards developing a mini organ called BioHub.

The BioHub would be like a home to the islet cells providing it with blood supply and nutrition, making it easier to remove in cases of complications. The researchers plan to test the use of omentum as a site in 5 new patients.

Baidal explained that

“Her quality of life was severely impacted. She had to move in with her parents. And, if she traveled, she had to travel with her father”.

This is indeed good news.
This is a step in the positive direction for about 422 million people worldwide living diabetes. It would also markedly save cost for insulin in the long term.
More information of this ground breaking research headed by Dr David A. Baidal can be seen in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Meanwhile, you can win an all expense paid trip to a Diabetes youth camp in Ghana. Click here for details


There could be a lot of struggle for people living with diabetes especially when they’re going through it alone. There could be frustration for both the child and the care givers.
Camp experience is always exciting and it makes all the difference!

Diabetes camp provides fun and excitement while creating an avenue to learn more about how to manage diabetes. It allows children living with diabetes and those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to learn in a safe and fun environment. It builds a community of people who grow together knowing they are not alone. It’s also a great opportunity for networking.

Camp is a lifeline for children with diabetes to develop the critical skills they need to manage the disease. Children get to be surrounded with people who understand their fears and frustrations; people who ‘get it’.
They learn about how to manage their diet, understand the symptoms and how their daily activities affect their health
It also helps build Confidence. It might be all you need to get your child motivated in a medically safe environment while also acquiring social skills and lifelong relationships (diabuddies!).
Share a one minute video about your diabetes journey and stand a chance to go on an all expense paid trip to the West Africa Diabetes Youth Camp in Ghana from the 17th to 19th of November, 2017.

Send the video to our facebook page ‘NGDOC’.
Participants must be between ages 10-25 and must be able to attend the meeting.
Winners would be selected and reached.
For more information, Please send a mail to

Diabetes Advocates Protest Against High Insulin Prices

When Frederick Banting discovered Insulin in 1922, he never thought it’s prices would be as high as what is obtainable today.

Source: T1International

Insulin is a vital drug that is needed for people living with diabetes to survive but the increasing prices have caused people to ration insulin doses and skip injections causing poor control of their blood sugar.
On Saturday, 9th of September, 2017, T1International, an advocacy group for people living with type 1 diabetes around the world and People of Faith for Access to Medicines (PFAM) along with other stakeholders led a demonstration in front of Eli Lilly and Company International corporate headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. The day for online action was September 8th, 2017.

“We spend more money on diabetes than on our house payments,” Indiana resident Erin Roberts said.
Mike Hoskins who was at the protest said on his blog that he was spending $700 per month to get 3 vials of insulin in 2015 and that was more than half of housing cost per month and he had to borrow from a friend.

Consumers of these products are frustrated and have come out in mass to express their feelings. Parents of children living with diabetes and other concerned persons participated in the protest. Some people lamented that they have to pick between buying their groceries and buying insulin.

Some protesters at the demonstration.
Source: T1International

The 3 main pharmaceutical companies producing insulin are Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi and they’ve continually increased the prices of insulin.
March 2017 saw another increase of Eli Lilly’s insulin product ; Humalog and Humilin by 7.8 percent.

Lilly is said to have raised the price of its version of insulin by over 300% over the past seven years. A U.S. patient’s out-of-pocket cost for a month’s supply of Eli Lilly’s Humalog can be over $400 (About 144,000 Naira).

In July 2017 it was reported that Lilly had a 35% increase in quarterly profits: $1+ billion, on $5.82 billion revenue. Though Eli Lilly recently started a patients assistance program when people complained about the costs, it is still grossly inadequate as only a small number of people would benefit.

Humalog has seen a 1123 percent increase in price since June 1996.
The insulin makers have also argued that its costs a great deal for advancements to produce new and better insulin.

Photo credit : Business insider

An Eli Lilly spokesperson responded in an email saying, “We are pleased that people in the diabetes community are engaged in this issue, and demonstrations are one way to do so. It will take continued effort across the healthcare system to affect real change, and Lilly is committed to working with others to make it happen.”

People with diabetes are asking Eli Lilly for three things:
• Be transparent about how much it costs to make one vial of Humalog insulin
• Be transparent about your profits from each vial
• Lower the price of insulin

So many people are dying from diabetic ketoacidosis because they can’t afford insulin.
For a long time, Africa was thought to be safe from diseases called “diseases of affluence,” like diabetes which plague the Western world but this is now known to be false as there is an increasing statistic of people living with diabetes and this includes both rich and poor.

As at 2013, the Nigerian government was reportedly spending $500 million (78.5 million Naira at that time) on importation of insulin annually. Insulin access is still a major problem in developing countries too.

On the pages of Indystar on Saturday

You can still lend a voice to the cause via social media.
Hashtag is #Insulin4all . You can get more information on Facebook and other social media sites.




People of Faith for Access to Medicines

Public Citizen 

Patients for Affordable Drugs

Facts You Might Never Have Heard About Diabetes

1. The earliest description of Diabetes is in an Egyptian medical papyrus called Ebers papyrus describing “too great amount of urine”

2. The term diabetes was first used by Apollinus of Memphis 250AD

3. The Greek Physician Aretaeus (30-90CE) recorded a disease that caused ex-cessive thirst, urination and weight loss. The word “diabetes” is Greek for “siphon” describing the excess urine.

4. Galen, a physician and philosopher in the Roman empire commented that he had only seen 2 cases in his career (probably due to better diet and life-style). Galen named the disease “diarrhea of the urine” (diarrhea urinosa).

5. The term “mellitus” or “from honey” was added by the Briton John Rolle in the late 1700s to separate the condition from diabetes insipidus, which is also associated with frequent urination. It is said that some physicians tast-ed the urine in early times to aid in diagnosis.

6. In 1910, an English physiologist Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer discov-ered that a component was missing from the pancreas of diabetics and he called it “insulin”.

7. Before insulin, the only treatment for type 1 diabetes was starvation, which was of course, ineffective, extending life for only a few years.

8. In 1921, Canadian physician Frederick Banting and medical student Charles H. Best discovered the hormone insulin in pancreatic extracts of dogs. One year later, Banting was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. At the age of 32, he was the youngest Nobel laureate ever in this category.

Charles Best and Banting

9. The first people to ever receive insulin were Frederick Banting and Charles Best – they injected insulin into each other’s arms to see if it was safe on humans.

10. Banting was bad at spelling and first spelt diabetes as “diabetus”

11. Banting never profited from insulin and gave the patent for free to provide insulin for all.

12. Friedrick Banting was honored by World Diabetes Day which is held on his birthday, November 14

13. Leonard Thompson, 14, a charity patient at the Toronto General Hospital, became the first person to receive and injection of insulin to treat diabetes in January 1922. He lived another 13 years before dying of pneumonia at age 27.

14. Before the 20th century, tasting urine was the test for Diabetes

15. In 1969-1970, the first portable blood glucose meter was created by Ames Diagnostics.

16. Diabetes also occurs in animals like dogs and cats. It is more common in the female dog and the male cat. It has also been reported in horses, dolphins, foxes and hippopotamus

The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes. Amongst other things, it signifies unity showing our combined strength in diabetes campaign. It was designed in 2006 by the International Diabetes Federation. The blue border of the circle reflects the colour of the sky and the flag of the United Nations.

18. An insulin requiring individual would spend 29 percent of his monthly income on insulin in Nigeria with payment being mostly “out of pocket”

19. Currently oral hypoglycemic drugs are readily available in Nigeria but insulin is less so.

20. Common alternative medicine used by Nigerians is vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf) with the belief that bitter taste would counteract the “ sweetness” of blood. Nigerian researchers have reported lowering of blood glucose in diabetic rats comparable to that diabetic rats on oral hypoglycemic drugs though more research in humans is needed in this area.

21. Inhaled insulin is an emerging 21st century innovation. Companies are also working on insulin tablets that can simply be placed under the tongue.

22. About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes and this is more in low and middle income countries. In 2012, it was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths.

23. A Nigerian study found that gestational diabetes to occur in 2.98 per 1000 pregnancies.

24. A Harvard study showed that eating one serving of cooked oatmeal two to 4 times a week was linked to 14 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes risk

25. WHO says taking brisk , 30 minutes walk,5 days a week can reduce diabetes risk

26. Men with diabetes are at greater risk of erectile dysfunction than those without it.
27. People with diabetes can live long and healthy lives with their diabetes detected and well managed

28. Celebrities like Nick Jonas, member of Jonas Brothers was diagnosed in 200k but went public in 2007.

29. Halle Berry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 22 years old after she reportedly went into a diabetic coma.

30. About one third of people with diabetes do not know they have the it.

Diabetes in Nigeria – past, present and future by AO Ogbera

Be our guest blogger. Send your articles to

Prediabetes : a point of no return?

Diabetes is a condition where a person has high blood glucose levels due to problems with insulin production or utilization.

Insulin is an hormone produced by the Pancreas that helps to mop up glucose from the blood and mobilise it into tissues especially adipose (fatty) tissue and muscles.

Diabetes is a common word, but Prediabetes is less so.

The onset of type 2 diabetes is usually preceded by an asymptomatic preclinical state known as prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition where a person has higher than normal blood sugar level but not quite high enough to make a diagnosis of full blown type 2 diabetes. The progression from Prediabetes to diabetes may occur rapidly or over a couple of years depending on lifestyle modification.

The prevalence of prediabetes ranges in adults from 2.2% to 16.2% with a prevalence of 7.3% in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s estimated that 90 percent of those with prediabetes are unaware that they have the condition. An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to American Diabetes Association, Prediabetes alone increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent. However, no statistics is available for the Nigerian population.

An international expert panel now recommends the A1C test ( which is the measure of blood glucose over the past two to three months ) to diagnose diabetes in everyone except pregnant women. Before now, diabetes was diagnosed by checking fasting or random blood glucose.

Researchers have shown that while one blood sugar test can be elevated at a particular time, the A1C test is a surer way of diagnosing diabetes. A1C of 5.6 and below is considered normal, 5.7-6.4 is termed Prediabetes and 6.5 and above is diabetes.

Checking fasting blood sugar is however still relevant and normal fasting blood sugar (before meal in the morning) levels is usually between 70-100 mg per dl. A blood sugar level between 100-125 is considered Prediabetes or Impaired fasting glucose while that from 126 and above is diagnosed Diabetes. Random blood sugar of less than 140 is considered normal, 140-199 is prediabetes while 200 and above is diabetes.

What Increases Your Risk of Prediabetes?

The eight risk factors identified by the American Diabetes Association include

Family history

Weight (especially abdominal)

Low physical activity

Age (more common in people above 45 years)

Race/ ethnicity ( More common in the African American, Hispanic/Latino, American, Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander)

A history of diabetes while Pregnant

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (presence of multiple cysts in the ovary)

Other factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

Is Prediabetes Reversible?

It’s very possible for a reversal of a Prediabetic state by healthy diet and exercise. This shows a need for regular check up to regulate blood sugar early enough.

What can be done to reverse Prediabetes?

Loosing weight and increasing physical activity and health diet can reduce or prevent the rate of progression to diabetes. Diet and exercise should focusing on loosing 5-7 percent of weight .

An Harvard School of Public Health study showed that women who took a brisk 30-minute walk every day lowered their risk for diabetes by 30 percent.

Proper management of prediabetes is important to curb the imminent type 2 diabetes epidermic.