The shocking death of actress Henrietta Kosoko, 53, today ( Monday, June 6, 2016) from diabetes complications has again brought to the fore the devastating ailment common among black people.
And for our readers, here are some important facts to hold on to about the disease.
- Known as diabetes mellitus, it is a metabolic disease (the way our body uses digested food for energy and growth) where patients have high blood glucose (blood sugar) because insulin production is inadequate (type 1) or the body’s cell are not responding to insulin (type 2). Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas.
- Patients are usually very hungry, thirsty and urinate frequently, with abnormal weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, wounds that fail to heal, erectile dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, blurred vision, irritability, itchy skin,
- It is a long term condition.
- There’s also gestational diabetes which affects pregnant women.
- Those who have type 1 diabetes have a good survival rate and longevity if they follow a strict diet, exercise and take insulin.
- Type 2 is more complicated with patients needing more attention, a stricter diet, exercise and insulin.
- Over weight and very fat people are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Taking soft drinks and sugary liquids and sweetened foods can increase chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Older people are prone to diabetes. Mainly because older people are less active.
- Genetics also play a major role in developing diabetes.
- Doctors use three tests to determine who has diabetes – AIC test, fasting plasma glucose test and oral glucose tolerance test.
- All types of diabetes are treatable. And it’s possible to recover fully when managed properly with diet and exercise.
- When badly managed, patients can suffer from glaucoma, cataracts, ulcers, gangrene which leads to amputation, skin disorders, heart diseases, stroke, hypertension, heart attack, depression, anxiety, hearing loss, gum diseases, kidney disease, impotence…