Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood glucose. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, type 2 and gestational diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin. Sadly, this means that they have to take artificial insulin daily to stay alive. For type 2 diabetes, the body fails to effectively use insulin. . It is the most common type of diabetes worldwide. The third one, gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy for women when the body becomes sensitive to insulin. Luckily, on most occasions the condition resolves after giving birth.
According to a 2012 report by World Health Organization, diabetic deaths account for 1% of the total country deaths. Globally, Non Communicable diseases are the leading cause of all global deaths. Shockingly , diabetes is the 4th main contributor of Non Communicable Diseases. The disease highly affects low-income countries and here is why as a Kenyan, you should worry !
AN OVERLOOK OF THE DISEASE.
The disease causes are majorly attributed to excessive body weight, physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle patterns. Relatively, the symptoms are easily identified. The body uses the food we eat to turn them to glucose for the cells to use for energy. Moreover, the cells need insulin to take in the glucose. So when your body cannot get the glucose from the food as a result of misfunction from insulin, your body tends to get hungrier and thirstier.
Along with this, one may pee more often than normal times. Dry mouth and even an Itchy skin and blurred vision are also one of the symptoms of the Type 1 diabetes. For Type 2 diabetes, yeasts infections, slow healing wounds/cuts and pain in your feet are types of the symptoms.
Apparently, Kenya has a life expectancy of 56 years. According to Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, the median age of a Kenyan is 20.1 years. Further the country`s population form 0.69% of the world population. Averagely, people with type 1 diabetes have a shorter life expectance by about 20 years while people with type 2 diabetes have a life expectancy of about 10 years. Hypothetically, if a young person of 20 years gets the disease, chances are , he/she might not reach 50 years ! For Kenya, this actually means that the disease could actually lower our life expectancy and even be a demise of the country’s main populated group!
According to researchers, consuming processed foods is listed as a catalyst cause of the disease. The youth are the most vulnerable people to consume processed foods especially with the rise in fast food restaurants in the last decade. Shockingly, the adult obesity prevalence stands at 7% from a 2016 report from Indexmundi . Yet according to researchers, people with obesity are 80 times likely to develop diabetes. Clearly, the more the consumption of processed, fast foods , the more the rates in obese people which tragically means a rise in this fatal ailment..
According to the World Health Organization, diabetes prevalence is at 3.3% , and they predict a rise to 4.5% by 2025. Further, the researchers say that about two thirds of diabetics may actually be undiagnosed. This puts a lot of pressure on low income countries.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for the disease. However, with the right treatment, the disease can go into remissions, where the symptoms naturally disappear for a while. Moreover, a key thing in fighting the disease is to be able to early detect it. Once that is done, one can get into the right treatment depending on one`s diagnosis.
For this to happen, the country’s needs to have good health institutions. Currently, the country’s health institutions are unevenly distributed. Private health institutions account for 43% while the governmental institutions account for 41%. Non-governmental
organizations then allocate 15%. Commonly, private institutions costs may actually be higher than the rests of the institutions. In East Africa, the total annual cost for care for type 1 diabetes is 229 USD , with 60%-70% of this being used to purchase insulin, according to Medical Journal of Therapeutics Africa. Although the country is the largest and most developed in Eastern and Central Africa, 36.1% of its population still live below the international poverty line.
One thing is certain, that there are individuals who actually cannot afford diabetes treatment. The big question is actually how can we prevent this ailment.
The most effective way of preventing diabetes is by regular exercise. This include simple tasks like running, walking , lifting weights and even skipping a rope. Further , doctors recommend one to get 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. Weight control is also a vital aspect in preventing this illness. One is advised to make sure he/she does not become overweight. In fact, if they notice becoming overweight, they are advised to make sure they reduce in weight.
Other prevention measures include following a healthy diet plan and stopping/minimizing a smoking habit.
By Brian Kiberu
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