Nigeria: 'Diabetes Prevalence Higher in Blacks'

All Africa: BY WINIFRED OGBEBO, 5 MARCH 2012

INTERVIEW

Diabetes as you know does not really have a cure, not at this time. It’s a lifelong disease. But the good thing about it is that if it’s managed well, one can live a normal life. But if it’s not, it has a lot of complications that can lead to death. This summation was given by Dr Sunny Ekwunife , a Consultant Physician (Family Health/ General Medicine) at Cedar Crest Hospital, Abuja, in this interview with WINIFRED OGBEBO

How do you manage diabetes?

Management is a multi -approach. First of all, if you know why you have diabetes, for example, there are different types of it if you know the type you have, you will either control it by exercise, weight loss, taking care of the kind of food you eat and then if it Type 1 diabetes or Insulin dependent diabetes, you have to use the Insulin daily, Type -2 is usually controlled by drugs. The most important thing is, in addition to your drugs, you must watch your weight, you must watch what you eat and you must exercise. Those are the things that can keep diabetes under control in addition to the medication.

Do slim people have diabetes?

Oh sure. There are different types of diabetes. You have Type -1 or Insulin dependent diabetes which runs in the family. Usually, people get diabetes because they cannot make insulin or because their body cannot utilize the Insulin they make or both of them. So those that cannot make insulin usually are Insulin dependent. That means they have to prime them to give them insulin. That’s why its called insulin-dependent diabetes. This occurs in a lot of young children but it can occur in anybody- young teenagers, young adults and so on. That’s why its called Type-1. You have Type -2 which is the major class of diabetes. It can occur in older adults and also it’s becoming a little more rampant-that is, more common even among young people because of obesity. A lot of people are getting so fat now and that’s the reason why a lot of people can get it now even though it usually occurs in people older or older adults. Now, anybody can get it because of obesity. That means if you watch your weight especially and watch what you eat, you can control adult onset diabetes, known as Type-2 diabetes. Read More