AS WE wrap up Women’s Month, it’s important that we take notice of the health of Mzansi women.
According to Statistics South Africa, diabetes is the number one cause of ill health and death among Mzansi women.
Diabetes is a complex lifestyle condition that poses challenges for women who have to juggle family and career.
Dr Shaifali Joshi, healthcare practitioner and diabetologist, said that being overweight and over 45 are the largest contributors to the development of type 2 diabetes.
“For women, reaching middle age also means menopause with its symptoms of hot flushes, irregular sleep and related problems.
“The problem happens when the symptoms for onset diabetes in middle-aged women are confused with menopause.
“Both present problems of too low or too high blood glucose, which also causes continual fatigue or tiredness.
“Other shared symptoms include occasional dizziness, sweating, lack of concentration or unusual irritability.”
She said this is why it’s critical that women – and men – get into the habit of living a healthy lifestyle.
“We all need to understand how important it is to exercise regularly and eat healthy foods.”
But she said exercise and balanced diet are not enough for getting blood-sugar levels under control.
Women and men with type 2 diabetes have the option of a treatment belonging to a medical group called Sodium Glucose Cotransporter 2 inhibitors.
This new medicine is taken once a day. It’s an oral medication, which means the dose is swallowed through the mouth and slows the reabsorption of sugar from kidneys to the bloodstream. It also causes excess glucose to be channelled out of the blood and excreted through urine.
The glucose inhibitor impacts on glucose, body weight and blood pressure.
In partnership with healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is calling on the public – especially women – to take their health seriously and make the effort to manage their blood sugar daily.
The pharmaceuticals maker wants women to not only put their personal health first this month, but to keep doing so for rest of their lives.