November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. With 3.5 million South Africans being diagnosed, and an estimated 5 million being pre-diabetic, it is clear that South Africa is being hit hard by diabetes.
The majority of people in South Africa have type 2 diabetes, however many of these cases go undiagnosed as there are very few symptoms initially. Often it takes years before a person gets diagnosed. Dr Larry Distiller, founder and MD of the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Johannesburg indicates that roughly 30% of people with type 2 diabetes have already developed complications by the time they are diagnosed. Diabetes complications are serious and include heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. In most cases these complications could have been avoided entirely by early diagnosis and proper treatment.
The fact that many diabetic patients only get help when they already have complications, also poses a great burden on the health care system, whereas 80% of type 2 diabetes could have been avoided through the following of a healthy eating plan and regular exercise.
What is your company doing to get active for World Diabetes Day?