Sometimes I miss country living, more commonly known as the ‘village life’. I long for my childhood memories and the old-fashioned things we used to do in the village with my grandparents. Those of us who were raised in the villages can attest to this. You know a typical day in the village begins at 4 in the morning when the grandparents knock at your ‘Simba’ so you can help with the bulls going to plough. This is because the gardens are 20 kilometers away from the homestead. By the time you start ploughing it six in the morning. With several bulls to exchange in case one gets tired, it was the human resource under pressure. A calabash of uji with sweet potatoes was of great help for the breakfast. After the hard shamba labor, we would take a heavy lunch of which my most delicious of them was hen with ugali. Herding while playing football or running up and down with the historic hide and seek games were the afternoon routine. This was a typical day at the village, free from lifestyle diseases like diabetes. I miss the village life not because of hard labor but because of the advantages it had directly on our lifestyle. I still remember the day one of my relatives died of diabetes and our family physician was giving a speech. He told us the city life literally takes our life, it kills us because of the sedentary and poor lifestyle we live there
Today I choose to talk about diabetes and its impact on society. I chose to prevent diabetes rather than cure it. Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders which leads to high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) due to malfunction of insulin or lack of it. There are two types of diabetes; diabetes type one and diabetes type two. Diabetes type one or insulin-dependent diabetes as it was known traditionally known basically means that there is a total failure of insulin production from the pancreas. Type one diabetes is majorly caused by autoimmune diseases which destroy the pancreas. Diabetes type two is mostly caused by lifestyle and brags of some genetic predisposition. It is more common in people of over forty years of age and it is the most prevalent in society. The disease typically presents with an increase in the frequency of urination (polyuria), increased frequency of drinking water (polydipsia) and increased frequency of food intake (polyphagia).
The global burden of diabetes has tremendously increased in the past two decades and the center for disease control approximates that 10% of the population have diabetes and the number will double by 2050. What the approximation simply means is that out of 10 people you meet 1 person has diabetes mellitus. Approximately 25% of the money allocated to health goes to the management of diabetes and its complications. This is the burden that we bear due to mostly negligence about our lifestyle! It is hard to keep a good lifestyle but it is even harder to die. A high blood glucose means that there is no sufficient sugar inside the cells. The body responds by producing more hunger hormones so that the cells may have adequate glucose hence the increased food intake. The reduced glucose on the body cells is even more dangerous to organs which highly depend on glucose like the brain. Other complications of diabetes include diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy among other microvascular complications of diabetes like healing problems. Other causes of diabetes include genetics, old age, infections, and use of drugs while others are idiopathic. With increasing age, the body (insulin receptors) basically rejects the insulin hence becoming infective.
The most important and relatively constant factor in the management of diabetes is through a proper diet. You know the ones we usually ignore as old-fashioned? Proper and appropriate diet plays the most crucial role in the management of diabetes besides active physical exercises. A proper diet includes eliminating fast food such as chips and pizzas. Limiting sugary foods while increasing fruits and green vegetables is particularly important. Genetical counseling and gene mapping are fundamental for those who can be predisposed through inheritance. Medical management is also proper especially in diabetes type one. Individuals are injected with insulin drugs to boost the levels of insulin. The drug which is commonly used in the management of type two diabetes is metformin. It has several advantages compared to other drugs.