Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose. It affects over 422 million people globally with high prevalence in low or middle income countries. 5.8% of adult Nigerians are living with Diabetes. In 2019, diabetes was the 9th leading cause of death with approximately 1.5 million deaths caused by diabetes.
There are four main types of Diabetes which are Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-Dependent Diabetes), Type 2 Diabetes (Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes), Gestational Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Tolerance.
Long term effects of high blood glucose include damage to blood vessels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, skin infections, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, depression, dementia, preeclampsia in pregnant women and hypoglycemia in newborn.
It can be diagnosed by carrying out blood tests to detect high levels of blood glucose. The tests we run in our laboratory are Fasting Blood Glucose Test (done after an eight hour fast), Random Blood Glucose Test (done anytime without the need to fast), Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c).
It can be prevented by maintaining healthy body weight, avoiding tobacco use, becoming more physically active, eating healthy plant foods and healthy fats.
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