As Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause havoc in Kenya, a doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital has advised the public to go for early screening for diabetes among other life-threatening diseases.
Dr.Carol Adhiambo while talking to KNA from the hospital yesterday regretted that scores of people had been diagnosed with diabetes only after visiting a health facility for a different ailment.
To curb such scenarios, it was important that people go for early screening for diabetes so that they can be put on proper medication before the condition got out of hand.
According to Dr Adhiambo diabetes is a condition that if it was managed well, the patient was enlightened on the precautionary measures they could take so as to be able to control it and live normally.
For a diabetic person, she explained that one’s body has sugar levels beyond the normal required amount and was caused by the inability of the pancreas to release insulin which serves the function of releasing sugar to the cells in order to create energy.
Inability of sugar penetrating to the cell leads to sugar accumulation in the blood thus exposing one to the risk of being diabetic. “Normal sugar levels should be between 4-6 but when it gets to between 8-11 one is considered to be close to being diagnosed with diabetes” she noted.
It is considered to be a chronic disease thus long term and can only be managed depending on the type one is diagnosed with as there are 3 different types of diabetes with different causes and they all have different methods of controlling them.
She explained that in Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin and has symptoms like increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue or even blurred vision. It is always linked to family history thus one whose parent or a family member has had it before, chances are that it can be inherited. Due to that, we always advise people to come for regular screening as early diagnosis might help one evade medical complications. In this case, one is fully dependent on insulin and the treatment aims at maintaining normal blood sugar levels, she said.
With type 2 diabetes, Dr.Adhiambo observed that one had insulin but the cells cannot take in the sugar because the cell receptors are not active. Its symptoms include increase thirst, frequent urination, and hunger and in other cases, no symptoms are exhibited. With type 2 an individual is fully dependent on drugs that serve the function of awakening the cells an 85% of diabetes cases are this type. This type of diabetes is also the one associated with one’s body size thus people diagnosed with it are advised to exercise a lot and check on their diet.
Type 3 also known as gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancies as the blood sugar levels are too high during this time and needs to be managed while still in its early stages” Ms. Adhiambo explained that in type 3, people were advised to visit the hospital for regular screening as early diagnosis helps one manage the diseases.
By Lydia Shiloya and Noel Kuchio