Let’s start with why you should try very hard to avoid Type 2 diabetes by looking at what the WHO (World Health Organisation) reported in 2021.

According to a paper published by The National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) the prevalence of  diabetes in South Africa is rapidly increasing, placing a significant burden on our health system.  

With the pandemic dominating our conversations, you might have heard that people with comorbidities (e.g. diabetes) have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID than those without comorbidities. (Apart from diabetes, the Centre for Communicable Diseases cites other comorbidities such as obesity, hypertension, chronic lung diseases, liver disease and HIV infection amongst others as diseases which can increase the risk of serious illness or mortality if contracting COVID).

Why is Type 2 Diabetes described as a preventable disease? Because in many instances it CAN be prevented.  

According to the WHO, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, and avoiding tobacco use can help to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes. If Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed early enough, a healthy lifestyle and diet, along with appropriate medication, can result in remission for some people.

The problem is that Type 2 Diabetes often goes undetected. What are the warning signs of Type 2 diabetes to look out for?

The Centre for Communicable Diseases (CDC) lists the following symptoms to look out for:

  • Frequent urination, often at night
  • Very thirsty
  • Loss of weight without trying
  • Very hungry
  • Blurry vision
  • Numb or tingling of hands or feet
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • More infections than usual

“At a time in history when there is a sense that so much is out of one’s control, Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that can be prevented and managed. Visit your Link pharmacist or GP for an easy blood sugar screening, review your lifestyle, and be very aware of the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes”, encourages Link’s Ryan Conybeare.

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While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.