Dr Opeyemi Akerele, a family Health Consultant with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Minna, says the adoption of western lifestyle predisposes many Nigerians to diabetes.
Akerele said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Calabar.
He maintained that although many factors like parental and genetic influence could cause diabetes, life style choices was key.
The consultant said that diabetes used to be seen as a disease of the western world but many western things were absolved into Nigerian and African societies including diseases because of the adoption of western diet and lifestyle.
According to him, Africans were very active people who ate mostly fresh foods which prevented diseases like diabetes until the recent rush for everything western including all sorts of canned and processed foods, with more calories.
He noted that the disease which was gradually becoming common in the nation could also cause erectile dysfunction in men when there is a damage of nerves and blood vessels following undiagnosed uncontrolled and progressive diabetes.
Akerele advised Nigerians to be careful of what they consumed to guard against the disease.
He highlighted symptoms of diabetes to include frequent urination, increased thirst, sores that are slow to heal or do not healing at all, blurry vision, extreme tiredness among others.
“Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or when it does not respond appropriately to the insulin it produces and in turn impacts on the usage of proteins and fats.
“However, the main issue begins with the inability to metabolise carbohydrates properly in the body,” he said.
Akerele noted that some of the risk factors that predispose people to diabetes included being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and a family history of the disease.
“On the issue of treatment and cure of diabetes, it is important to note that, some form of dietary modifications with exercise and maintaining healthy weight.
“Also, scheduling of yearly checkups if you are over 40 years can normalise elevated blood glucose at the early stages of the disease, particularly, the type two diabetes.
“However, type one generally has no cure but it can be controlled, it usually begins at a younger age and are also fewer than the type two,’’ he said.
The doctor asserted that specific management of diabetes is with glucose lowering medications like Metformin, Glibenclamide and Insulin.
Akerele admonished everyone to prioritise their health and make preventing diabetes an important health focus.