As Nigeria joined the world to mark the World Diabetes day, health experts have decried the rise of diabetes cases globally, and the high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in Nigeria and other developing nations. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria stands at 4.3 per cent. This is primarily attributed to lifestyle changes driven by urbanisation, unhealthy diets, sugary drinks, insufficient physical activity, widespread tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. While lifestyle adjustments can be instrumental in preventing diabetes, anyone with potential risk factors are urged to get tested, and follow regular self-monitoring of blood glucose, as early diagnosis can save lives.
Also, Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa, stressed the need for increased education and access to diagnostic tools and medicines are paramount in the battle against diabetes. He noted that the chronic condition is a significant contributor to blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputations. Globally, between 2000 and 2019, diabetes mortality rates increased by per cent across different age groups and in lower-middle-income countries, the mortality rate due to diabetes increased to 13per cent. The International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas (10th edition) estimates that excluding the mortality risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 6.7 million adults between the age of 20–79 have died as a result of diabetes or its complications in 2021. According to experts, preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes can be achieved through simple yet powerful lifestyle changes.
A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, and abstaining from tobacco use are effective strategies. Diabetes can be managed and its complications avoided or delayed through a combination of diet, physical activity, medication, and regular screening, self-monitoring and treatment for potential complications. Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) plays a pivotal role for people living with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. While early diagnosis is undoubtedly crucial for effective management, SMBG is vital to maintain control over blood glucose levels,” the experts noted.
According to them, “While in some cases, diabetes symptoms may suddenly appear, Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be mild and often take years to become noticeable. These symptoms include extreme thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, fatigue and unintentional weight loss. The disease can progressively damage blood vessels in the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Type 2 diabetes is progressive, and in the absence of early diagnosis and proper management, its course can impact your health and overall well-being.
“If you want to significantly mitigate against the complications of Type 2 diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, empower yourself with knowledge and monitor your blood glucose meaningfully. The impact on patients’ vision can also be severe, with an increased risk of permanent vision loss by damaging eye blood vessels. Additionally, many people living with diabetes experience foot problems due to nerve damage and poor blood flow, which can lead to foot ulcers and, in severe cases, amputation. The risks associated with diabetes should never be taken lightly. “We urge anyone who feels they may be at risk due to lifestyle factors or symptoms to get tested early and follow a routine of regular self-monitoring so that the proper treatment can mitigate all these risks.
The firm said self-monitoring of blood glucose empowers individuals to proactively track their blood glucose, facilitating timely interventions and lifestyle adjustments. Regular monitoring acts as a proactive tool against diabetes. When self-monitoring of blood glucose is done according to standard recommendations, people living with diabetes or those at risk, can gain insights into the impact of their choices, going beyond mere detection to the active maintenance of a healthy and balanced life,” the firm added. News Echo therefore advises effective management of the disease. Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing the worst possible effects of type 2 diabetes.
Regular check-ups, blood tests with a healthcare provider are the most effective means of detecting diabetes early. Early diagnosis ensures that proper management and treatment can commence before complications arise, significantly improving the patient’s long-term outlook. In the ongoing battle against diabetes and its consequences, Roche is a dedicated partner, aligning with global objectives to raise awareness, encourage early diagnosis, and promote standard monitoring practices. By emphasising the importance of early detection, regular monitoring and effective treatment, we aim to help people live longer, healthier lives. But we cannot do it alone. Self-monitoring of blood glucose takes minimal time and can be done at any primary healthcare facility or at home using a blood glucose monitor. Patients can take control of their lives by having one simple test. Together, we can work towards a future where diabetes no longer threatens the well-being of our caregivers, our children, our mothers, our fathers and every Nigerian who contributes to a healthier society.”