The Diabetic Struggle in a Sugar Coated World

Blue is the colour to wear in November which is Diabetes Awareness month. World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated globally on November 14 to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

By Irshaad Gangat

An estimated 3.85 million South Africans suffer from diabetes, with many remaining undiagnosed. Truth be told, we check our social media activity more than our own health.

I once was normal and then overnight I started gaining weight. I was diagnosed as being diabetic at the tender age of 20. Fifteen years ago.

The struggle is real because everything we consume has sugar in it which is what diabetics must avoid. 

We do try to avoid sugar, however the no sugar products on the market are more expensive that the sugar filled products. So we need to question is capitalism more important than assisting diabetics in manage their disease cost effectively.

One realises that you should change your lifestyle and eating habits, especially when you lose someone you love to Diabetes. It hurts when you witness loved ones such as my older brother and mother both die from diabetic-related causes. It hits home hard and makes you work hard to take care of your own health.

It has been a year since I have been put onto insulin and stopped smoking. A complete nightmare at first where I was filled with anxiety and what ifs. Today I sit here knowing that having to inject myself is not the end of the world and nor is it a train smash to stop smoking. You can deal with it and save money!

Covid-19 has changed my life where I work from home as I have a reduced immune system by default due to being diabetic. Take care of yourself and eat healthy foods and take your vitamin supplements. Sanitise and social distance. Seeing loved ones who are diabetic fall ill with Corona is not a nice experience at all. Prevention is better than a cure.  

Diabetes is largely a genetic malfunction, caused when you inherit poor pancreatic function. This made me feel worse as if I felt that I was not normal. Change your lifestyle to monitor your weight and eat Low GI carbohydrates.

Do not for once believe that you are alone. Support is available. You can seek diabetic counselling for you and your loved ones or consult a dietician at your state hospital or at a private practice. 

The Diabetes East London branch of Diabetes South Africa organises a support group meeting once a month. You can contact Vrooda Makhan on 083 708 0489 to request to receive meeting notifications.

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