Understanding Diabetes and resources available for newly diagnosed Diabetics in South Africa
The world of diabetes can be overwhelming and scary when you hear that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, but understanding what it is and how it works can help you manage it better.
So, what exactly is diabetes? Simply put, it's a condition where your body has trouble regulating the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. This means that people with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump to manage their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, and it occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough of it. This type of diabetes can often be managed through diet and lifestyle changes, but some people may also need medication or insulin.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of diabetes, including genetics, age, weight, and lifestyle habits. Symptoms can vary depending on the type of diabetes, but some common ones include frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision, and fatigue.
Managing diabetes is important because it can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage. But with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, it's possible to live a healthy and happy life with diabetes.
Remember, you're not alone in this journey. There are many resources and support groups available to help you navigate this new chapter in your life.
There are several resources available for newly diagnosed diabetics in South Africa, including:
Children's Diabetes Foundation South Africa: This organization is dedicated to helping children with diabetes and their families. They provide education, support, and resources for children and their families. Tel 031 303 9852
Youth with Diabetes: This is a non-profit organisation founded in 2005 by Sister Hester Davel and Prof David Segal in Johannesburg. https://youthwithdiabetes.com
The South African Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism (SASPEM): This is a professional organization that focuses on endocrine and metabolic diseases in children. They offer resources for parents and healthcare providers, including information on diabetes management. https://www.diabetessa.org.za/
Diabetes South Africa: This is a non-profit organization that provides information, support, and advocacy for people with diabetes. They have branches throughout South Africa and offer a range of services, including educational programs, support groups, and resources for managing diabetes. http://www.cdediabetes.org/
The Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology: This is a private clinic that specializes in the treatment of diabetes and other endocrine disorders. They offer a range of services, including consultations, diabetes education, and specialized care for people with diabetes. https://www.semdsa.org.za/
The South African Society of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes (SASEMD): This is a professional organization for healthcare providers who specialize in the treatment of endocrine disorders, including diabetes. They offer educational programs and resources for healthcare providers and patients alike. https://www.semdsa.org.za/
The National Department of Health: The South African government provides information and resources for people with diabetes through the National Department of Health. This includes information on healthy eating, physical activity, and managing diabetes medications. https://www.health.gov.za
Community-based organizations: There are many community-based organizations that provide support and resources for people with diabetes, including support groups, educational programs, and advocacy services.
Hope this helps!