Diabetes a silent killer in SA

Diabetes prevalence in South Africa has doubled in the last decade with more than 4.2 million people now suffering from the condition.

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That’s one in nine adults, making it the leading cause of death in women, and the second largest cause for the entire population.

A pharmaceutical company with a focus on preventative care urged the public and government in light of World Diabetes Day, observed in November, to do more to reverse this predictable, yet preventable health crisis.

Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in South Africa due to the high risk of obesity.

According to a study published in the Lancet, South Africa is one of the most obese nations in the world.

Obesity increases the risk of many debilitating and deadly diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers.

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Obesity is also a primary driver of T2D with 90% of patients categorized as either overweight or obese.

While T2D is more common in older adults, the increase in the number of children with obesity has led to more cases of diabetes in younger people too.

Other risk factors for T2D include age (over 45), having a close family relative with the disease, a diet high in fat, sugar and salt, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, heart disease, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and not exercising. enough.

Some diabetes complications include:

Heart attack or stroke.

• Blindness.

• Poor circulation in the feet that could lead to amputation if left untreated.

• Nerve damage.

Kidney problems.

Gum disease.

Erectile dysfunction.

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Treatment options are:

Healthy diet. Your doctor or dietician could work out a diet plan for you by adjusting your calorie intake.

Eating smaller portions and including more high-fiber foods, like fruit, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains are key.

Equally important is reducing your intake of refined grains, unhealthy fats and sugar.

• Exercise. Regular physical activity will help you lose and/or maintain a healthy weight, plus it’ll help regulate blood sugar levels.

Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity (walking, cycling, running) most days of the week, in combination with strength training.

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• Medication. Your doctor will decide whether it’s necessary for you to go on medication and/or insulin to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

• Information provided by Pharma Dynamics.


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