Diabetes Mellitus



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Over 50% of all adult hospital admissions and 55% of hospital deaths in Kenya are non-communicable diseases, of which diabetes is among the leading. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat as explained in our previous article.

Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into the cells to be used for energy. Insulin’s work is to lower the blood glucose to normal levels, when our bodies can’t manage to make enough insulin, Glucose accumulates in our bloodstream for long and don’t get to reach the cells. Over time, having too much glucose in the blood causes diabetes.


Glucose — sugar — is a source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.
-Glucose comes from two major sources: food and your liver.
-Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin and the liver makes and stores glucose.
-When glucose levels are low, such as when one hasn’t eaten for a while, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to keep our glucose level within a normal range.

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The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive. This is the most expensive condition to manage. It is also the most difficult to reverse because it is an auto immune disease. It is more genetic than due to lifestyle. It occurs in younger people. This requires medical interventions. We leave it to medics to help those battling it.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make enough or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. It is normally caused by bad lifestyle behavioral practices. This is what Azima is more concerned with. This is where we cannot leave it to our overwhelmed medics. They have more than enough work dealing with medical cases that require their interventions

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.
Other types of diabetes

There re several other types of diabetes but we will not go to them. Our focus will be on the ones we can change or prevent / reverse with lifestyle adjustment and behavior change


The most common risk factors are high fat diet (59.4%)
Sedentary lifestyle (46.8%)
And family history of diabetes in first degree relative (37.5%)
Risk factors for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes.

Risk factors for type 1 diabetes

Factors that may signal risk of exposure include:
-Family history. One’s risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.
-Environmental factors. Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness such as Coxsackievirus B (CVB), rotavirus, mumps virus, cytomegalovirus’ Rubella virus play some role in type 1 diabetes.
-The presence of damaging immune system cells autoantibodies (T-cells). Sometimes family members of people with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Factors increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes includes:
-Weight. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
-Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

-Family history. Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes as diabetes can arise as Multifactorial inheritance disorders caused by a combination of environmental factors and mutations in multiple family genes
-Age. Your risk increases as you get older. This may be because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age.

Gestational diabetes.

– If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases.
-If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
-Polycystic ovary syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.
-High blood pressure. Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
-Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher.
-Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.

Diabetes is closely connected with many other lifestyle diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular conditions, kidney failure and almost all other major NCDs. Luckily we can make interventions to avoid or reverse many of these conditions. This Is what we will continue to unpack this week.

Keep it here for more on diabetes and other lifestyle diseases

Your total wellness is our concern.

With Profound Respect,
Coach Maina Azimio.

ICF- Accredited Certified Professional Coach,
Conference Speaker and Corporate Trainer in Wellness.
Tell: 0704 561 095 or 0722 516 896
Email: mainazimio1@gmail.com
Websites; azimawellness.com/mainazimio.co.ke

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#Kevin Ochieng


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