Why Is Diabetes On The Rise Across Africa?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that out of the 422 million people living with diabetes globally, 55 million of them are occupants in Africa.

The disorder triggers an alarm not because of the high numbers of affected people but the WHO has revealed that premature deaths from diabetes in Africa alone is 10 percent higher than the global average of 48 percent.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a common health disorder that affects blood sugar levels and could cause severe health issues like heart disease, nerve damage and eye issues if untreated. . It develops when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or any at all and affects people of all ages.

There are three main types of diabetes, Type 1, 2 and gestational diabetes whose symptoms vary but may include a frequent urge to urinate, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision,slow healing sores and feeling very thirsty.

Why is it happening in Africa?

The various factors which have been identified by experts as the causes of the outburst of diabetes in Africa include;

  • Rapid urbanization; diabetes is more common and prevalent among the wealthy and the powerful in Africa and more pronounced in urban centres where people tend to be less physically active, and consume modern diets that are rich in saturated fats and refined sugars
  • More sedentary lifestyle; the sudden change in lifestyle of Africans which includes the omission of physically active practices have rendered majority of the population obese. It is well known that obesity is one of the most significant contributors to increased prevalence of diabetes both in rural and urban areas. The WHO estimates that more than one-third of African women are obese compared to one-fourth of the men.
  • Changing diet and societal obstacles such as poor education and illiteracy, low socioeconomic status, and lack of access to health care are all being speculated by experts to be potential contributors to the alarming rate of diabetes across Africa.

How to manage diabetes?

Although there is currently no way you can prevent an autoimmune disease, there certain measures you can adopt to can lower your risk for developing diabetes and they include;

  • Eating a healthy diet mostly natural foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Manage your stress.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Get adequate sleep and seek treatment for sleep disorders.
  • Avoid smoking.

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