'Therapeutic Lifestyle Modification' Lowers Risk of Diabetes - Expert

Posted on: Tue 01-08-2023

A consultant cardiologist at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr Akinlolu Ajani, has proffered ways to reduce the risk of having diabetes.

He said they include suggested therapeutic lifestyle modification, eating less of carbohydrates but more of vegetables and fruits; exercise regularly, and abstaining from passive and active smoking, not taking alcohol, reduction of salt intake, and psychological or physical stress.

Ajani said this while speaking with Daily Trust shortly after giving a health talk at Ibara Baptist Church, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He spoke on ‘Diabetes Mellitus, A Ravaging Disease’, in commemoration of the annual health week of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

Ajani blamed increasing cases of diabetes on “family history, sedentary lifestyle and what we are eating.”

The medical expert said it’s always good to be knowledgeable about prevention and management of the disease, adding that it’s “not the matter of ‘I reject it in Jesus Name’.”

He said “We have brought this to the congregation to increase the awareness; what they can do to prevent, types and classifications amongst other things.

“We also talked about clinical presentation – type one in the old, type two in the young though things are changing now where old people have what looks like type one while young ones present the type two.

“We want people to know the symptoms which include polyurea – urinating much, polydipsia – too much thirst for water, polyphagia – weight loss, tingling sensation, different nerve issues and others.

“We also want people to know it is good to screen, to know if your pancreas has enough insulin because it is absolute or relative lack of insulin that results in diabetes mellitus. This stage is however manageable, you can use a drug or insulin injection depending on which type.

“We are admonishing the congregation to go for screening, if you don’t have it, you continue lifestyle modification, we call it therapeutic lifestyle modification, eating less of carbohydrates but more of vegetables and fruits; exercise regularly, abstain from passive and active smoking, run away from alcohol intake, reduce salt, psychological or physical stress. Anybody who does the screening and has pre-diabetes must intensify lifestyle.

“It is not a death sentence if you have it; it will prevent you from complications like stroke, kidney, heart disease, traumatic amputations. We are trying to educate our congregation to have this knowledge, so they will help themselves and they will be able to take this message to friends and families and help them get necessary medical advice.”

When asked if miracle can cure diabetes, the consultant cardiologist said, “It is a miracle to listen to this talk, everything is a miracle. I believe in miracle. But what we are telling people is to do their part. If you meet the right doctor, it’s a miracle, if you get the right treatment in this part of the world, it’s a miracle.

“But we want people to know that this disease is real, it has to be prevented while if anyone has it, it has to be treated. You still have to pray that God helps you to adhere to lifestyle modification. People need grace to live a lifestyle good for their health.”

Speaking on prevalence among youths, he said, “Diabetes type 1 is in the younger people but the food lifestyle, like taking food with bad fats, glycemic index, these are what will increase glucose load in the body and can even overwork the pancreas; this is why it is important for people to live healthy, watch what they eat to prevent this.

“We say we have transformed from eating healthy to eating junk instead of fresh food and vegetables. Youths should check themselves regularly, this will help.”

In his sermon, the pastor in charge of the church, Dr Timothy Olatunbosun, admonished Christians to believe in the power of God to heal, saying “God is also glad when we are in good health condition because it’s only when we are healthy that we can serve Him better.”