Diabetes SA says disease on the rise

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Beachfront awareness walk on Saturday

DIABETES is a growing burden for 415 million adults worldwide and numbers are rising at an alarming rate.

This month is Diabetes Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day, with this year’s theme: “Eyes on Diabetes”. According to chairman of the East London branch of Diabetes South Africa Dinesh Vallabh, “The theme responds to the growing concerns about escalating health threats posed by diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations.”

Vallabh said that screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications, and screening for diabetes complications are an essential part of managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

LIFE IS SWEET:  Diabetes  sufferers, families and the community will this weekend again take part in East London branch of  Diabetes  SA’s fun  walk  on the Esplanade. Matthew Ruiters, 5, Esethu Gaehler,14, Katelyn Ruiters,10, Anneline Cochrain and Rowan Ruiters had great fun taking part in last year’s event. The fun  walk /run will be held as part of the group’s World  Diabetes  Day celebrations Picture: FILE
LIFE IS SWEET: Diabetes sufferers, families and the community will this weekend again take part in East London branch of Diabetes SA’s fun walk on the Esplanade. Matthew Ruiters, 5, Esethu Gaehler,14, Katelyn Ruiters,10, Anneline Cochrain and Rowan Ruiters had great fun taking part in last year’s event. The fun walk /run will be held as part of the group’s World Diabetes Day celebrations Picture: FILE

“According to Statistics SA, diabetes is still a major cause of death in South Africa. A whopping 415 million people have diabetes in the world and by the year 2040, this figure will more than double. This year, approximately three million people in South Africa suffer from diabetes,” Vallabh said.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Vallabh said a regular exercise programme, reduction in stress levels, weight loss, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, following a plant-based low-calorie diet and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can go a long way to assist in prevention of the dreaded disease.

The East London branch of Diabetes South Africa are hosting a Diabetes Awareness Walk at the beachfront this Saturday at 10am to raise awareness of the disease. The course begins at the Wishing Well outside the Orient Theatre and goes along the beachfront. Diabetics and supporters are welcome to join.

There will be free glucose and blood pressure checks. The first 120 people to enter will receive free T-shirts. Entries cost R30 and can be done on the day.

The East London branch holds monthly meetings on the first Saturday of every month at the Regent Hotel which they encourage diabetics to attend.

“Professional people, including medical doctors, dieticians, podiatrists and ophthalmologists, are invited to share on different aspects of diabetes, including lifestyle counselling, regular management of blood glucose and medication advice on eye, foot and dental disease.”

For more information on the walk or joining the East London branch of Diabetes South Africa, contact Usha Jimmy on 083-556-0590.

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