With World Diabetes Day falling on Friday November 14, Benita Adesuyan looks at how to prevent the disease.
When Frederick Banting and Dr Charles Best discovered in 1922 that insulin could be used to treat diabetic patients, they may not have thought that their medical discovery would be a lifesaver for so many sufferers.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14, Banting’s birthday, and sufferers and supporters seek to raise money to support further research into the incurable disease. According to the International Diabetes Federation, as of November 14 last year, 19 percent of the population in the UAE was living with the disease. Diabetes is split into two types. Type 1 is when the body does not produce any insulin to convert the sugars into energy, and type 2 is when not enough insulin is produced, or when the body is unable to use what is produced well enough. Type 2 diabetes is most common. It is often associated with poor diet and a lack of exercise, and some people have a genetic predisposition to the disorder. Although there is no cure for diabetes, there are plenty of things people suffering from the disorder can do to keep it at bay. So this World Diabetes Day, take the opportunity to get a free test and learn how to keep your blood sugar in check.
Free check-ups with Mediclinic Middle East
The private healthcare group will be offering prick tests at its Welcare and City hospitals as well as in shopping malls across Dubai on Thursday November 13. Qualified doctors and nurses will be on hand to conduct the tests and check blood pressure, BMI, glucose and cholesterol. Practitioners welcome adults to be tested and results will be delivered within five minutes. The Mediclinic team will give those who attend a data card with their results recorded on it, so if there is a cause for concern, they can take it to their GP.
Free. 8am-2pm at clinics. See website for mall schedule. www.mediclinic.ae (04 435 9999).
Beat Diabetes Walkathon
One way to avoid developing type 2 diabetes is to get active. With this in mind the The Landmark Group walkathon has become a regular event on the wellness calendar. The walk has been going for six years and is open to all. This year, it has been rescheduled to December, but registration to participate opens this week. The day will be full of family fun. Kids and adults can walk together and all participants will receive walkathon kits comprising a T-shirt and cap. All proceeds will go to the Al Jalila Foundation and will be utilised for diabetes research.
Dhs20 per person. Friday December 12, 7am. Zabeel Park, Gate 3, www.beatdiabetes.me (no number).
Wellness workshops at Oasis Centre
On Thursday November 13 to Saturday 15, Oasis Centre dedicates itself to diabetes awareness as a host of healthy activities kick off. Health food enthusiasts or those wishing to give their diets an overhaul should head to the healthy recipe cook-off at Balance Café, where visitors will be given tips on creating tasty, healthy meals for the whole family. In addition, Johnson & Johnson will be in store providing free blood sugar tests, and Fitness First will get shoppers burning calories with a host of interactive group exercise classes.
Thursday November 13 to Saturday 15 10am-10pm. Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.oasiscentremall.com (04 515 4000).
Getting to grips with diabetes control
Riham Shamseddine, dietician at The Right Bite Nutrition Centre, offers five top tips to outsmart type 2 diabetes.
1. Reduce your weight if you are overweight or suffering from obesity. A reduction of 0.5kg to 1kg a week is healthy weight loss.
2. Eat small meals more frequently at consistent times to improve blood sugar levels. Aim to have three main meals with one or two healthy snacks, as recommended by health-care providers.
3. Practice portion control as it is essential to consume the right amount of calories to avoid weight gain. Use the plate method to guide you – about a quarter of your plate should be for starchy foods or grains, another quarter for lean proteins and half for non-starchy vegetables.
4. Ease up on carbohydrates. Choose the right kind of carbs to help regulate blood sugar levels, such as sweet potato, brown rice, wholewheat pasta and quinoa.
5. Cut back on salt to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Right Bite Nutrition Centre, Block B, Sheikh Hamdam Award Complex, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.right-bite.com (04 338 8763).