The Invisible Epidemic

By IAfrica
In Nigeria News Feed
Feb 26th, 2014
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Published on February 26, 2014 by   ·   No Comments

As a lover of sweet foods all her life, she takes about six cubes of sugar with her tea so  she thought that three  cubes of sugar in her tea wouldn’t hurt. She also bought her favourite kind of assorted  sweets and an extra packet of sugar and put them in a secret place  in her bedroom. No one knew, she thought; it was a foolproof scheme.

But after supper one night, she left the family circle in the living room and tiptoed to her room secretly to have a piece of her favourite sweets. One piece didn’t quite do it, so she had one more. Those two didn’t quite satisfy her,either. Unable to stop, she ate herself into a diabetic coma!

The panic and confusion that followed sent shock  wave throughout the household and neighbourhood. It was quite a spectacle when she was rushed to a nearby hospital. About  a day later after so much money had been expended, she was back home feeling guilty and embarrassed for having been so foolish.

That was the horrible experience of a  woman I know. She was  overweight for her height and frame,  then she began to have the symptoms of frequent urination, insatiable thirst, dizziness and headaches. When she went to her physician  for an examination, he diagnosed her condition  as diabetes (too much sugar in the blood) she was put on a strict diet, with injections of insulin every morning. All sweets and sugar were strictly forbidden. The doctor made this very very plain.

In Nigeria, a 2007 research reports by Fasanmade showed that statistical indices from teaching hospitals, including Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) indicate that diabetes now trail AIDs and Hypertension as the most deadly diseases in adult medical wards.

In addition, diabetes was responsible for the highest number of amputation, kidney failure, and stroke. The type-two diabetes which is also known as adult diabetes because of it’s prevalence in adult is becoming more common in children. This may be attributed to sedentary and extreme adoption of westernized lifestyle

Component of metabolic syndrome also leads to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone, required to get cells to open up and let glucose in. Insulin resistance occurs when cells don’t have enough insulin receptors or insulin receptors don’t work properly. While metabolic syndrome is not a direct cause of diabetes, it is a predictor of the disease. For individuals who have metabolic syndrome, the risk of developing diabetes is two and half to four times greater than those who do not have the condition. And the more the risk factor for metabolic syndrome, the more likely for one to develop diabetes

Several health issues have emerged during the past decades because of their particular relevance to or importance for men and women These include eating disorders, which mostly afflict  young men and women; HIV and AIDS, which traditionally has been considered a male disease, but to which women have been shown to be more vulnerable; heart disease, which also is largely seen as a man’s disease in spite of the significant mortality it causes to women.

Two Types Of Diabetes:

Type 1, or juvenile  diabetes, occurring mostly in children and young adults and Type 11, adult onset diabetes. The disease is caused from a defect in insulin production by the pancreas. Insulin is needed by the body to utilise glucose for energy. In addition, juvenile-onset diabetes is caused by  a failure of the body to produce insulin, which is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates(starches and sugar). In maturity onset  diabetes, the body cells have an inability to respond normally to insulin. In both types, blood sugar fails to penetrate body cells, and they become deprived of vital energy. It is like a “water, water everywhere , and not a drop to drink” situation.

For maturity-onset diabetes, lowering one’s body weight to normal and keeping it there  eliminates the condition  in many cases. Juvenile -onset diabetes, on the contrary, is not usually reversible.

Diabetes complications are the third leading cause of death in Nigeria . Diet affects this disease as much as it does cancer. Overweight people who eat diets high in refined processed foods and sugary goodies and low in fiber are more likely  to develop diabetes as they grow older.

Principles To Follow

Are you one of those battling with excess weight? If you have decided  that you need to lose those excess pounds, here are a few basic  principles for you to follow:

Decrease your intake of:

•Meat( beef, lamb, pork, and pork products).

•Fats (fatty meats, fried foods, butter, oil,etc).

•Sugars (sweets,candy, refined sugars, etc).

•White-flour baked goods (bread, cakes, doughnuts, etc).

•Total calories (from all food groups).

Increase your intake of:

•Fresh vegetables (plain, with no oil or sauce).

•Fresh fruits and unsweetened fruit juices.

•Freshly squeezed vegetable juices (ugwu, carrots, bitter leave juices etc.

•Grilled or boiled fish and chicken, without oil or skin (Remember very little meat is ideal.)

•Whole grain products ( bread, cereal, foods.

This simple plan will help you to lose weight safely and will bring about a permanent change in your eating habits.

Diabetics should eat a protein portion and carb portion of the same size at each meal. Take a little fats with these foods too. Eating a wide variety of non starchy vegetable will fill you up without affecting insulin levels. You can enjoy salads with healthy salad  dressings since fat is not the issue for you. ( fat must be  cholesterol free).

Physical Activities: A Plus

Exercise provides the rare multidimensional benefits of improved physical and mental health, and morning exercise appears to give workers an edge.

In a recently published book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, coauthors Tom Rath and Jim Harter examined the qualities and habits that contribute to high levels of wellbeing in the social, career, financial, physical, and community elements of life. When it comes to daily habits for physical wellbeing, morning exercise is hard to beat. Studies show that a 20 minute workout can boost your mood for hours afterward.

“It is so easy to put things off, but when people exercise in the morning, in many cases they did so because over time they realied that working out in the morning puts you in a better mood and you’re more productive and you have more energy throughout the workday.  People with high levels of wellbeing have been careful to work out early in the morning and not to have heavy meals throughout the day.”

Tips on making morning workouts a routine:

Find a partner. It’s easier to brush off a workout when you’re only accountable to yourself, so find a workout friend who can help you stay on track.

Get used to running and jogging in the morning with a friend who lived in your neighborhood.  That’s a big motivating factor. Regular exercise helps prevent these chronic diseases.

You don’t have to wait for a special day to start your exercise routine, you can start right now. Physical activity, such as regular exercise, is important for weight loss and optimal health. What some people do not realize is being physically inactive is considered a risk factor for several illnesses and medical conditions.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2 million people worldwide die from conditions related to physical inactivity. People of all ages, from children to the elderly, can suffer negative consequences.

Send relevant  questions to me at bodyconfidencefitness@gmail.com  or send me a personal message at www.facebook.com/BodyConfidenceFitnessClub

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Posted by on February 26, 2014, 12:13 pm. Filed under Body Confidence by Sharon J. Akinyemi, Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


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