According to Diabetes South Africa, there is no such thing as ‘mild’ diabetes. The condition must be taken seriously. However, many people who have Type 2 diabetes are not even aware that they need treatment as the condition is undetected.

What are the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes that you should know about?

  • Excessive thirstiness
  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, boils and itching skin
  • Tingling and a numb feeling in hands and feet.

What should you do if you notice these symptoms?
“A visit to your GP or clinic is essential. In fact, you should have your blood sugar levels checked frequently so that early detection can lead to early treatment. Your GP, clinic or pharmacist can do the blood screening. Medication may be prescribed by your GP but you will also need to exercise more, lose weight and eat healthily”, says pharmacist Lia Ntoa who owns Link pharmacies in Kokstad and Kimberley.

Why is it so important to detect and manage Type 2 diabetes?
The latest Statssa findings are that after tuberculosis, diabetes is the biggest cause of death in South Africa. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), there are currently 422 million diabetes patients worldwide. The latest 2016 statistics indicate that 1.6 million people died from this condition. Closer to home, IDF (International Diabetes Federation) which represents 34 diabetes organisations in 29 African countries, estimates that there are 19 million diabetes patients in their region.

Untreated Type 2 diabetes can result in the following, illustrating the importance of early detection and management:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Lower limb amputation

Type 2 diabetes is serious, leading Diabetes South Africa to comment that there is no such thing as ‘mild’ diabetes. Can Type 2 diabetes be reversed?

Credible healthcare publication WebMD say that although there is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that it can be reversed.

“Diet changes, weight loss, exercise and where prescribed, medication, can help you to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels. Even if one is in remission – which means that you are not taking medication – and your blood sugar levels are in a healthy range, it is still very important to persist with a good health regime. Talk to your community pharmacist for guidance and support”, says Ntoa.

Visit your GP or Link pharmacist for a blood sugar level screening and talk to them about how you can avoid or manage Type 2 diabetes.

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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.