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Staving off diabetes the delicious way

Representatives of diabe­tes professionals nation­wide held an enlightenment workshop tagged ‘Diabetes Self-Management Workshop’ in Lagos recently. GBUBEMI GOD’S COVENANT SNR re­ports that with the eating of salmon fish, herring and sardines and other fruits, pa­tients may just eat their way to good and stable health.

Diabetes patients all over the world would be glad to learn that steady consumption of salmon, herring, and sardines and oth­ers fishes ensure the supply of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes.

This was the first of many dis­coveries discussed at a workshop held at the Freedom Park in La­gos recently with over 300 per­sons living with the condition in attendance.

The workshop, organised by Diabetes Alert, a Nigerian co­ordinating Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO), affiliated with international diabetes pro­fessionals worldwide, presented papers on diabetes care and practice, managing complica­tions, education and support, prevention strategies and in dif­ferent age groups.

The programme coordinator, diabetes nurse specialist, Mrs. Vicky Bob-Manuel, announced that the workshop marked the beginning of counseling and teaching sessions with diabetes patients of all age groups nation­wide.

“We are delighted to have this encouraging response and we look forward to sharing im­proved research information on the management and control of this disease that is ravaging the whole world,” Vicky declared, adding some statistics:

“Diabetes is becoming more common in the united states. From 1980 through 2002 to 2014, the number of Americans with diabetes doubled and increased in all age groups. In USA, more than 23 million people have dia­betes. 1/3 of these are undiag­nosed. Newly diagnosed cases

increased by about 1 million people per year (C.D.C and pre­vention 2008). By 2030, the num­ber of cases is expected to exceed 30million.

“Fifteen years ago, worldwide estimation of the prevalence of diabetes was 171 million people; by 2030, it is expected to increase to more than 360 million accord­ing to a World Health Organisa­tion (W.H.O) 2008 report.”

A representative from Delta State,Mrs. Onome Obaro, listed some challenges in dealing with diabetes: “One of the most chal­lenging parts of diabetes man­agement is the fact that patients have to make so many decisions every day on their own. Like what kind of meal is right for the moment, how much carbohy­drate is in the meal? How much insulin should I take? What ad­justments do I need to make?’ etc. And the situation is worse for patients who are not literate living in the rural and grassroots areas.”

Vicky Bob-Manuel introduced the major topic of the day, and five speakers took time to ex­plain research findings and ways to manage it among other topics.

What is pancreas?

It’s a gland near the stomach which secretes a fluid into the duodenum to help with food di­gestion.

The pancreas has three major cells classified as beta,alphaand delta cells.

Beta cell secretes insulin which lowers the glucose level in the blood. When a person eats a meal, insulin secretion increas­es and moves glucose from the blood into the muscle, liver and fat cells.

Alpha cell secrete glucagon which increases the sugar level in the blood during fasting or when the blood glucose level de­creases and stimulates the liver to release stored glucose.

When pancreas and the liver is sick, the ability to perform this function reduces drastically, and a condition called diabetes mel­litus is diagnosed.

Participants listened with rapt attention as speaker after speaker demystified the areas of diabetes in their categories.

“One of the useful tips re­searchers have gladdened our hearts with,” Vicky said, “is that apart from the consumption of salmon, herring fish and sar­dines, a steady intake of le­gumes, such as peanuts and soy­beans, has been shown to mark­edly reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes; so it’s not all about drugs.”

A joint Vanderbilt University (Tennessee, USA) and Shanghai Cancer Institute (China) study observed 64,227 Chinese women for nearly five years.

In that study, diabetes risk was reduced by 38% in women with high intake of a variety of le­gumes, but in particular, a high intake of soybeans was associ­ated with a 47% risk reduction.

Diabetes mellitus

There is diabetes, and there is diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mel­litus (DM) is a chronic non-com­municable disease associated with disorder of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, which has become an area of concern to all due to its increas­ing rate all over the world, espe­cially in Nigeria.

DM is a disorder in which blood sugar level are abnormally high because the body does not produce enough insulin to meet its needs.

It is a metabolic disease, char­acterized by increase level of glucose in the blood (hypergly­cemia) resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both.

Predisposing factors

The predisposing factors in­clude Genetic Tendency, Auto-immune Response and Envi­ronmental Factors (e.g. viruses, toxins, tumor, inflammation) etc,

Risk factors

*Heredity, obesity, age (above 45), previously identi­fied impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension (higher than 140/90mmHg), history of gesta­tional diabetes or delivery of big babies (over 4kg).


The major classifications of diabetes mellitus are:

Type 1 – juvenile diabetes/in­sulin dependence diabetes

Type 2 – non-insulin depen­dence diabetes Other lesser ones are gestational diabetes; Malnutrition-related diabetes; Diabetes mellitus due to hormonal imbalance; Pancre­as-related diabetes mellitus and Liver-related diabetes mellitus.

Signs and symptoms

Clinical manifestations of all type-diabetes include the 3p’s:

  1. a) Polyuria: Increased urina­tion
  2. b) Polydipsia: Increased thirst

c.) Polyphagia: Increased ap­petite

Other symptoms include fa­tigue, sudden vision change, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, dry skin, skin lesion or wound that is slow to heal and re­current infections.

The onset of type 1 diabetes may also be associated with sudden weight loss or nausea, vomiting or abdominal pains, hypertension and shock. Others include sweetish smell of ke­tones in the breath, and ketones in the urine, Kassmaul respira­tion (could be air hunger or deep sighing respiration due to acido­sis-depressed respiration).


A person at high risk for type 2 diabetes must live a healthy life,maintain normal weight or reduce weight by 7% client BMI, and must be involved in a moder­ate physical activities.

Medical management

The main goal of diabetes treatment is to normalise insu­lin activity and blood glucose level without hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) while maintaining a high quality of life, and reduc­ing the development of vascular and neuropathic complication.

Diabetes mellitus manage­ment has five components:

Nutritional therapy, exercise, self-monitoring, pharmacology therapy and education

Healthy diet:

Diets that reduce the risk of complications include:

Grains, e.g. wheat, corn-flour, millets, beans, brown rice, etc.

Wheat bread, unripe plan­tain, oatmeal/cereals, nuts/Seeds,lean meat/ fish/chicken, garden egg, crackers, cucumber vegetables and two small carrots, fats from plants, etc.

A-Z of foot care tips

In ruling over your diabetes, you must:

Inspect your feet everyday for cut, blisters, red spots and swelling. Use mirror to check the bottom of your feet or ask a family member for help if you have trouble seeing it, check for changes in temperature.

Wash your feet everyday in warm (not hot) water, dry your feet well, be sure to dry in be­tween the toes, do not soak your feet, do not check water tempera­ture with your feet, use your el­bow or thermometer.

Keep the skin soft and smooth: rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not in-between your toes.

Smooth corns and calluses gently: use a purnice stone to smooth corns and calluses.

Trim your toe nails, file the edges with a nail file each week or when needed.

Wear shoes/slippers and socks at all times: never walk bare-foot­ed, wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet, feel inside your shoes before putting them on each time to make sure the lining is smooth and there is no object inside.

Protect your feet from hot and cold: wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement, wear socks at night if your feet get cold.

Keep the blood flowing to your feet: put your feet up when sit­ting, wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for five minutes, two or three times a day; do not cross your legs for long periods and, especially, do not smoke.

Check with your healthcare provider: patient may not feel pain of an injury, but must check his or her feet with the caregiv­er. Inform your caregiver right away if there is a cut, blister, or bruise that fails to improve with­in few days.

ABC of personal health management

A – Alone at least 30 minutes per day

B- Be aware of your stress me­ter: Know when to step back and cool down.

C – Concentrate on controlling your own situation, without con­trolling everybody else.

D- Daily exercise burns off stress chemicals

E- Eat lots of fresh fruits, veg­etables and plenty of water

F- Forgive others, don’t hold grudges and be tolerant

H- Hug your spouse and chil­dren more, kiss them more and laugh more with them.

I – Have fun and share your feelings with your spouse

J – Judge your goals and per­formance realistically

K- Keep a positive attitude: your attitude will influence the way others treat you.

L – Love your spouse, children, siblings and your subordinates

M – Manage money well: ac­quire financial intelligence. Save at least 10 per cent of what you earn.

N- No is a word you need to learn to use for extra work de­mands without feeling guilty.

O – Outdoor activities with family members can be a great way to relax.

P- Participate in activities that have meaning to you, such as community, religious activities, etc.

Q- Quit smoking: it can make you die quickly

R- Relationships: nurture and enjoy them, learn to listen more and talk less.

S – Sleep well with a firm mat­tress and good pillow for at least 6-8 hours. When you wake up tired, your emotional threshold is low and makes you vulnerable to stress.

T- Treat yourself once a while with dinner out; pamper your­self. You deserve the best.

U – Understand things from the other person’s point of view; we may not see things equally.

V- Vacation: take as many weekend vacations as possible before your annual leave.

W – Verify facts and figures be­fore getting annoyed

X – Worry less, what you can­not control, it makes no point to worry about them.

Y- Your health is your wealth; you can’t afford to be careless with it.

Z- Zest for life: Each day is a gift, smile and be thankful; live your life to the full everyday

Last line:

Express yourself to the fullest; know what you want specifically and go for it.

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