A Consultant Endocrinologist, Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade, on Tuesday, said diabetes mellitus remained a leading cause of cardiovascular – heart and blood vessels – diseases.
Fasanmade disclosed this during the 2022 SUNU Health Maintenance Organisation first quarter health webinar with the theme: “Diabetes Mellitus, A Public Health Concern: Prevention and Current Treatment.”
Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder in which the body fails to produce enough or respond normally to insulin, leading to an abnormally high levels of blood sugar (glucose).
According to Fasanmade, 50 to 60 per cent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease, while 44 per cent of kidney failure cases are observed in patients with diabetes.
He said that 60 per cent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occurred in diabetes patients who were more than 20 (> 20) years old.
He also said that 16 per cent of people aged above 65 years with diabetes die of stroke and 29 per cent of people with diabetes aged more than 40 years have diabetic retinopathy.
Retinopathy is the disease of the retina which results in impairment or loss of vision.
He said that diabetes mellitus had no single cause but several risk factors could cause the disease, which could either be hereditary or acquired factors.
The consultant added that risk factors for the development of diabetes included excess calories, western diets of refined foods, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and strong family history of the disease.
Other risk factors are smoking; excessive alcohol consumption; hypertension; poor sleep; stress; and anxiety.
He noted that “diabetes mellitus causes blindness, stroke, limb amputation, kidney failure, early loss of teeth, among others.
“Other symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination and thirst, poor vision, poor erection, weight loss despite a good appetite, painful feet and legs, fatigue, frequent boils and unhealing wounds,” he said.
Fasanmade also said that diabetes mellitus could be prevented through a healthy and active lifestyle, including a good traditional diet (of cereals, nuts, complex carbohydrates and vegetables).
He said that prevention also included loss of weight if overweight, quitting smoking, alcohol consumption, soft drinks and concentrated fruit juices.
He noted that treatment options could be in three categories – exercise and diet; exercise, diet and tablets; or exercise, diet, tablets and injections.
According to him, diabetes education and medications are required to control diabetes mellitus and prevention is mainly by lifestyle changes.
Dr Patrick Korie, the Managing Director, SUNU Health Nigeria Limited, said that the organisation’s mission was to provide prompt and quality healthcare services at the most cost effective price.
Korie said that health education, a very important aspect of preventive medicine, was a cost-effective way of ensuring the health of the populace.
He added that “prevention is always better than cure and at SUNU Health, humanity is the centre of our initiatives.
“Ensuring the health of human beings is our business, anchored on the provision of quality access to healthcare, including health education.”