Former general secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Titus Yeboah has emphasized on the potential of pregnant women developing diabetes in during pregnancy.
He was speaking to Univers News where he was divulging on the topic of diabetes as a condition, whilst touching on the many aspects surrounding the disease.
Dr. Yeboah explained that some women tend to develop diabetes during pregnancy, with some of them retaining the diabetes even after pregnancy. He added that consumption of foods high in carbohydrates and fat can increase the risk of retention.
“A significant proportion of diabetics, especially women develop it during pregnancy, and it may persist even after pregnancy or increase their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Dietary factors such as consumption of high fat, high carbohydrates and high sugary [food] also increases the risk.”
Dr. Yeboah outlined some causes of diabetes, of which he mentioned heredity and increased production of insulin in the body.
“In terms of what causes diabetes, the risk factors are many; one is [heredity], diabetes may also be associated with other medical conditions like hypertension or cholesterol. Obesity can also increase the risk of getting diabetes as well as lack of physical activity. One can also develop a problem with the pancreas, an organ in the body which produces insulin. So, the pancreas may be destroyed by the body itself and will be unable to produce insulin leading to diabetes.”
He also revealed some early and late symptoms that may show that an individual has gotten diabetes.
“The commonest of them is that you begin to drink a lot of water and urinate a lot. In medical terms, drinking of plenty water is referred to as polydipsia and urinating plenty as polyuria. You may also urinate several times at night, which is known as nocturia.”
“If you urinate at a place which is not a washroom you will see that ants will come around your urine because you are excreting sugar in your urine, so your urine is sweet. You may also get recurring infections; some women may notice recurring vaginal discharge. These are the early signs.”
“When it gets late, then we have signs of complications; so, you can have it affecting your vision, heart, kidney …that’s where your kidney begins to fail as well. [Diabetes neuropathy] can affect nerves and can make your legs numb all the time which will make you aware that you have diabetes. You can even have a sore on your leg, and you won’t feel it.”
Highlighting that diabetes is not a communicable disease, Dr. Yeboah explained that associations with diabetic individuals will not cause the spread of the disease to get it. He finally advised diabetics to take their medications accordingly.
World Diabetes Day (WDD), which is celebrated on 14th November every year, was created in 1991 by Immune Deficiency Foundation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 . It is marked on the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
Story by: Awo Asantewaa Wiafe-Akenten | univers.ug.edu.gh