A person may be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but lifestyle is what actually makes the individual become diabetic.
Speaking at the launch of Glucovance, a drug for the management of diabetes, Mr Femi Soremekun, Managing Director, Biofem Pharmaceuticals Limited, explained that the genes which we get from our parents "loads the gun" of type 2 diabetes, but the environment "pulls the trigger."
He also disclosed that there is no rigid prescribed diet plan for those with diabetes. Rather, eating plans are tailored to fit an individual’s needs, schedules, and eating habits.
Soremekun said a diabetes diet plan must also be combined with the intake of appropriate diabetes medications, pointing out that calucovance promises to introduce a new dimension in diabetes medication.
According to him, "diabetes remains a leading cause of blindness, amputation, renal failure and heart attack. Type I diabetes continuously occurs in early childhood, while type 2 diabetes generally occur in the middle age and the elderly. There have, however, been recent reports of type 2 diabetes occurring in children and adolescents. People, who only have diabetes only when they are pregnant are said to have gestational diabetes.
"The rate of death arising from diabetes mellitus in developing countries is becoming worrisome. Diabetes, according to medical experts, seems to be the third leading cause of death worldwide, after heart diseases and cancer. Diabetes is the third commonest cause of end stage renal failure in Nigeria."
"National prevalence of those living with diabetes, according to a national survey, is 2.2 per cent. That 2.3 in 100 people are suffering from diabetes. If considered in the light of our population of 140 million, the number of people who are already living with diabetes is considerably large. Also, a surveillance carried out in Lagos revealed that 3.2 per cent have diabetes in the urban areas because this is the place where sedentary lifestyle is prevalent."
"Type 2 diabetes accounts for 77.0 per cent of all cases of diabetes, type 1 diabetes 15.7 per cent, gestational diabetes 1.9 per cent and secondary diabetes 3.5 per cent. The increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes is demonstrated by the fact that in a survey done in Lagos in 1963, there were just five diabetic persons per 1000.
"Over time, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. These types of damage are the result of damage to small vessels, referred to as micro-vascular complications. Diabetes is also an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (a theroscherosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other complications. These complications, are referred to as macro-vascular complications.
"From experts point of view, proper nutrition is essential for anyone living with diabetes. Control of blood glucose levels is only one goal of a healthy eating plan for people with diabetes. A diet for those with diabetes should also help achieve and maintain a normal body weight as well as prevent heart and vascular diseases, which are frequent complications of diabetes.
"Medical practitioners and the pharmaceutical industry are rising to the challenge posed by diabetes, combining availability of effective drugs with education since education is power. Most of them have resolved to further inform both the masses and the people living with diabetes the causes of diabetes and its management.
"A good example of such efforts is the launch of Glucorance by Biofem Pharmaceutical Limited. Biotem is involved in the distribution of high quality pharmaceutical products for the treatment and monitoring of individuals living with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
"The company believes that little efforts, like facilitating such a gathering of experts could go a long way at forging better understanding of the peculiar nature of the disease in our environment.
"There has been a progressive increase in the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes worldwide. This is particularly so especially in the underdeveloped and developing countries. This increase, of course, was brought about in changes in lifestyles as a result of urbanization and modernization, as well as genetic factors that are responsible for change. Such changes include changing from cultural to western nutrition habits, breastfeeding to artificial formulae, sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
"The relationship between lifestyle changes and type 2 diabetes has been explained by different hypothesis like the "thirty gene," poor ante-natal care, infant and childhood malnutrition. Experts believe that the genes which we get from our parents "load the gun" of type 2 diabetes, but the environment "pulls the trigger." So, a person may be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but lifestyle is what actually makes the individual become diabetic.
"There is no rigid prescribed diet plan for those with diabetes. Rather, eating plans are tailored to fit an individual needs, schedules, and eating habits. A diabetes diet plan must also be combined with the intake of appropriate diabetes medications. Glucovance promises to introduce a new dimension to diabetes medication.
"Glucovance, a fixed dose combination Metformin and Glibendamide is manufactured by Merck Sante, a multinational pharmaceutical company based in France and to already in use in several countries.
"In general, the principles of a healthy diabetes diet are the same for everyone. Consumption of a variety of foods, including whole grannies, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, and lean meats or vegetable substitutes, poultry and fish are recommended to achieve a healthy diet."