To prevent diabetes from advancing, it is important for parents to be on the lookout for the symptoms and seek early treatment. This would prevent serious complications associated with the disease. While maintaining a normal blood sugar level of less than 7mmoll/L is highly recommended, all efforts that will help prevent the children from the condition is highly encouraged.
This involves giving them healthy foods which include vegetables and grains and frequent check-ups. Other interventions include diabetes reversal programs based on low carbohydrate consumption. It can be of great benefit to children who are overweight or obese, have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. They would be encouraged to also focus on healthy fats and proteins, as well as incorporating increased physical activity into their daily routine.
The children might not be so comfortable during a change of diet. However; it would actually save their lives. Similarly, parents may ought to explore fun activities that will help their children burn fat much faster.
How outreach programs aid in prevention
According to the Kenya Ministry of Health National Diabetes Strategy report, outreach programs that involve advocacy, empowerment, capacity building and diabetes control policies can have an impact in diabetes prevention and management.
In terms of advocacy, it is important to make diabetes an issue for everyone in that it includes the notion of individual, community, social and corporate responsibility to be aware of the disease. This would help others take note of the fact that diabetes affects us all in one way or the other and it should be our responsibility to address causes of the disease and its related conditions and how to prevent them.
For the concept of empowerment, it is important to encourage full engagement such as empowering individuals, families and community to prevent and manage diabetes optimally. This can be achieved through diabetes prevention and care integrated into local healthcare programs just like what Afyacode is doing today through its intervention programs.
For capacity building, it is important to improve the human resource capacity by making healthcare systems more responsive to diabetes through adequate medical supplies, improved diagnostic services and provision of essential health protocols and standards.
Diabetes control policies aid to ensure that diabetes support and legislation are enacted and implemented. For instance, governmental bodies and NGOs can develop policies that ensure access to insulin and treatment facilities are available, good quality and affordable.
Diabetes prevention can also be done through regulation of food labelling so as to know how much sugar is contained in foods. Also, standardisation and availability of testing kits for diabetics and establishing a national diabetes registry is carried out and at the same time formulating national standards for diabetes prevention and management.
How do you individually prevent diabetes?
Currently, there is increased consumption of unhealthy food and less exercise as the urban population increases. Most urban centre population depend on fast foods, sugary drinks and other processed foods that are also finding their way in remote parts of the country.
Yet, over the last two decades, several types of research have been conducted on the type 2 diabetes showing that many Kenyans can prevent diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle that also encourages one to engage in physical activities. The majority of the findings indicate that healthy individuals are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with adults living unhealthy lifestyles.
Since diabetes is driven largely by a rise in obesity, it is a key indication that local diets have changed drastically over the years. Some three decades ago, people were depending on healthy vegetables and grains. Today, different researches confirm that those who eat a lot of high-fibre foods are less likely to be diabetic because they consume less sugar, weigh less, and have a lower risk of diabetes.
Therefore, it is advisable for you to increase intake of vegetables which are rich in fibre, Healthy fats and Proteins. It is also advisable to adopt healthy eating habits like controlling food portions and limiting the intake of carbohydrates like cakes, soda, and table sugar to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Water is also highly recommended. If you must take tea and coffee, minimize intake of sugar in these drinks. As you cut down the intake of processed meat products, you should opt for non-starchy fruits and vegetables and greatly consider good oils like olive oil in your food.
Engaging in physical activity is key. Studies show that you can prevent diabetes by being physically active for at least 30 minutes 5 days of the week. This is important to note even in the midst of a steep decline in exercise in the country as more people prefer commuting to work using vehicles rather than walking. Also, the high number of high-rise buildings has left children locked inside with no backyard or playground to play or do exercise. However, this can be mitigated when they engage in more activities.