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Diabetes triggers blindness as medical experts suggest regular check ups


By Ebele Egoh

 Enugwu Ukwu (Njikoka LGA), Aug.11, 2021 (MOI) The Medical Doctor- In-Charge of General Hospital, Nri, Dr Livinus Chukwuma has cautioned that diabetes mellitus can lead to blindness and called for  regular medical checkups.

 He made the observation while fielding questions from health correspondents in his office at Nri, Anaocha Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

 He described diabetes mellitus as a common metabolic disease that could result in too much sugar in the bloodstream accompanied by frequent urination.

 ``The process begins when we eat food and try to digest it; this triggers the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

 ``This, then, goes round the entire body and stimulates the receptors which open up channels and take the sugar into circulation into the system.

 ``There are situations when sugar stored cannot be utilized by the body due to insufficient insulin in the body. This is where the problem starts,’’ Chukwuma explained.

 Dr Chukwuma classified diabetes into type 1 and type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, there is absolutely a lack of insulin, while in type 2 there is relative lack of insulin; this means it is there, but not enough.

 ``Diabetes has its complications, when they come as it can be devastating. It is a major cause of blindness, and can adversely affect every part of the body.

 ``The sugar goes to the lens, prevents light from passing to the retina; obstructs the blood vessels and making them non receptive.

 ``It can affect every other nerve, including that of hearing and may result in deafness. Cardiovascular system, the heart, the kidney and the blood system are most affected,’’ he said.

 Dr Chukwuma noted that when the blood vessels were disrupted and could no longer carry out its job, it would start absorbing the sugar.

 Also the inner lining would start changing; damaging, blocking and narrowing, then high blood pressure would set in.

 ``Apart from high blood pressure, the areas with the small vessels that are blocked make it hard for organs of the structure to get sugar and blood supply.

 ``That organ will not be functional again, it either becomes swollen or dead and our people think it is poison or what Igbo calls ‘enyiule’.

 The signs and symptoms include very high sugar in the bloodstream, voluminous and frequent urination, thirst, excessive hunger and weight loss.

 Dr Chukwuma noted that diabetes could be genetic, meaning it could run in families, noting, ``when both parents have it, the children are most likely to have it”.

 ``Lifestyle can give rise to diabetes and if one is exposed genetically to ailment their lifestyle can either push it up or down.’’

 Prevention, he noted, would be key to living a healthy lifestyle, frequently visiting the hospital for tests, eating lots of fruits and vegetables rich fibre and exercising.

 He cautioned against smoking, eating late at night or eating too much carbohydrate, but applied moderation was being consumed.

 Chukwuma called on the state government to subsidise the cost of screening, managing and treatment of diabetic patients in Government hospitals.

 Those that are already diabetic, he advised, ought to take their medications judiciously and do as their health providers’ advice. (MOI)



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