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Diabetes in adults

HEALTH DIALOGUE
DIABETES is a chronic disease that affects all age groups, both men and women. This a condition in which the body is not able to process glucose (sugar) correctly for use in the body. Glucose acts as fuel for the body and is required inside the cells to be useful to the body. Glucose comes from either food that you eat or your liver that makes glucose from its reserves.
The most common form of diabetes found in adults is called type 2 diabetes; it was once called adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often develops slowly and will probably only be suspected when certain symptoms appear.While it is not known exactly why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others do not, there are some factors that increase a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include but are not limited to the following:  Weight, it has been noted that people who are overweight have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
A family history of diabetes especially in a parent or sibling increases your risk of developing diabetes. Physical activity is very important in keeping diabetes away as this encourages the uptake of glucose in cells and increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. It is unclear why but people of African descent, American Indians, Asians and Hispanics are more prone to developing diabetes.
In women, those with polycystic ovarian syndrome and those who have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby more than 4 kilograms have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
There are some cardinal symptoms to look for when suspecting type 2 diabetes. Unexplained increase in appetite associated with weight loss. This usually signals that your body is not able to process the glucose from food. You may notice you are drinking more water or feeling thirsty more often and passing urine very frequently.
You may notice that you do not heal from injuries as quickly as you used to and find yourself having more and more infections. If the disease remains untreated it may lead to damage to several different parts of the body. Diagnosis of diabetes is made by performing various tests to see how your body processes glucose.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication and/or oral medication.  Once diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to make changes in your life in order to remain healthy.
All people need a proper diet and sufficient exercise to remain healthy, it was believed that diabetic people needed an extra special diet, however that is not true, all that is required for diabetic people is to have a diet that is high in fibre and low in fat, increase fruit and vegetable intake and reduce on starches and sweets. A nutritionist would be able to guide a newly diagnosed person on the best menu plan for their taste in food.
Prevention is better than cure. If you start a healthy eating regimen and regular exercise, you may not have to “struggle” with a healthy diet and exercise to keep away complications of diabetes.
For more information on Diabetes email 990Health@champ.org.zm

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