Lagos, Nov. 15, 2017 (TNE) Prof. Oluyemi Akinloye , a Consultant Endocrinologist, has said that dietary condiments and natural products such as locust bean could be used to lower the body’s blood glucose level, especially in people with diabetes.
Akinloye, of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, made the assertion in Lagos on the occasion of the 2017 World Diabetes Day with theme: “Women and Diabetes- Our Right to a Healthy Future.”
”Keeping the blood glucose level can be achieved with change of lifestyle which would include consistent body exercise, healthy diet and use of glucose lowering drugs as well as natural condiments.
”Our research group has also discovered several dietary condiments and natural products that can lower blood glucose.
”Some of these are locust bean ” Iru” (Pakia Biglobosa), eggplant (Solanum melongena/Solalnium fruits) and African basil (Ocimum Gratissimum Linn),” the endocrinologist said.
Akinloye defines diabetes as a disease in which blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body are too high either due to deficiency of insulin or dysfunctional insulin.
He said: “Diabetes poses severe health consequences; it affects both men and women.
”The primary target in the treatment of diabetes is to keep the blood glucose level normal in both men and women.”
According to Akinloye, preventing complications that can arise from diabetes also requires keeping a consistent check on the body’s glucose level.
Speaking on this year’s theme, he said: “Globally, it is estimated that 199 million women are currently living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
”Based on this year’s theme which is focusing on women and diabetes, two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide.
”Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to developing gestational diabetes and unfortunately, gestational diabetes is on the increase with its accompanying consequences.
”The theme is timely and of high resolution because many of our women still do not have access to timely healthcare.”
According to Akinloye, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is when a pregnant woman, who has not had a history of having diabetes prior to becoming pregnant, is diagnosed at 24 weeks to have very high blood sugar.
”In Nigeria, it is estimated that one out seven births is affected by gestational diabetes. This is huge and calls for global attention especially as it is a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health,’’ the endocrinologist said.
According to him, diabetes has grave consequences in pregnancy if it is not properly managed.
”Diabetes can cause serious health problems including heart attack or stroke, blindness, problems during pregnancy and kidney failure. Many women with GDM experience pregnancy related complications including high blood pressure, large birth weight babies and obstructed labour.
”A significant number of women with GDM also go on to develop type 2 diabetes resulting in further healthcare complications and costs,’’ he said.
The endocrinologist advised people with diabetes to look at for as warning signs, especially if they had increased risk for diabetes, in order to control their blood sugar level and prevent complications.
He also advised people to go for regular checkups for early diagnosis of diabetes and if diagnosed positive, they should adhere to instructions by their healthcare givers
World Diabetes Day is commemorated annually on November 14 to draw attention to issues of utmost importance on diabetes, as well as to keep diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), “World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
“World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225,’’ says IDF.