Diabetes is a silent killer and is becoming an epidemic in Ghana. An alarming case study showed that 2.2 million Ghanaians are now living with the disease, and every 10 seconds, someone dies from Diabetes. My father died from it; my mother is living with it, and I’ve lost other family members to this illness. One of the most dangerous characteristics about Diabetes is that it can be present for a long time without showing any unusual symptoms and one could carry on with life for quite a long time before discovering the presence of the disease. As if that is not enough, it is also a pre-condition for other complications like heart disease and cancer, so people! Let’s wake up to the facts! Wake up and taste the sugar people!
I always wondered why I was always overweight. I was born almost 10lbs and have never been skinny a day in my life. Growing up, I would put on weight very easily compared to some of my slimmer friends who could eat almost anything they wanted, and then when I hit my 20’s my weight sky-rocketed. People would refer to me as the ‘fat singer’ or ‘that fat Lebanese girl’. That didn’t do very much for my self esteem. I didn’t understand what was happening to my body. I was eating all the wrong foods, and seriously lacking the vitamins my body really needed.
Glucose intolerance is mostly a genetic condition. Most of the time it is inherited through family lines but can also be induced through bad lifestyles e.g. over-consumption of sugar and processed foods. The hike in the number of Diabetics in Ghana has been attributed mainly to the shift from eating traditional and natural foods to eating packaged and processed foods, and foods that contain high levels of chemicals and gene-altering preservatives. I came across this information via a TV program and that’s when I started doing my research. Boom! I had discovered why I was so fat! I was glucose intolerant. A simple piece of information like this could prevent a lifetime of disease and frustration. My body was not processing sugars the way it should so I constantly had excess deposits of sugar in my blood which meant more fat, and more pressure on my organs. This would then lead to other physical and hormonal changes and risks of becoming Diabetic, having heart disease and more scary stuff. After some check-ups, I’ve been diagnosed as pre-diabetic but there is good news.. This condition can be reversed! Even though you cannot reverse type 1 Diabetes you can reverse pre-diabetes that occurs due to obesity, bad lifestyle e.t.c by losing weight, eating healthy, exercising and implementing a complete lifestyle change. Another thing is, getting your blood sugar levels to normal doesn’t mean you can start eating anything you like or going back to your old ways. Glucose intolerance is a lifetime condition so you must always try to keep a healthy lifestyle..
Don’t give up! I know how hard it is living with PCOS or Diabetes but there truly are ways to fight the condition and to live a healthy and normal life. So far I’ve lost 10 Kg and I do have really hard days, but I’m not giving up! I love the organic lifestyle and I’ve been living a very natural life for the last 5 years. This has helped greatly with the weight loss. In my home garden, I have important greens like the African Bitter Leaf, and Dandelion which I have incorporated into my diet. I will write more about these herbs later as they are very important in the life of a Diabetic. Hopefully I can use my influence to educate more people in Ghana about Diabetes because prevention is always the way to go. It is also cheaper! Consider an estimated $120 – $400 per year for managing the disease at the earlier stages, as opposed to the estimated $9,000 a year if the Diabetic has progressed and needs Dialysis. $400/year and a normal life or $9,000/year and never-ending Dialysis trips. Which do you prefer? We can make a change through education, awareness, but most of all, inspiration! Your diet doesn’t need to be boring. You may actually grow to love it. I’ll leave you with a mouth-watering picture of the Dandelion and Avocado salad I had this morning. The recipe is posted below. 🙂
1 ripe Avocado Pear
1 small onion
Apple Cider Vinegar
Few drops of Lemon juice (optional)
Directions: Chop everything up and mix in a bowl. Add a little salt and try as much as possible to use Apple Cider Vinegar specifically.