A medical doctor, Dr Nicolas Baamlong, has expressed concern over the increasing cases of diabetes among Nigerians and advised that people undergo regular check-ups to ensure early detection and management of the condition.
Baamlong, a Consultant Family Health Physician at University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that all age groups were vulnerable to the disease.
He said 2.2 per cent of Nigerians had been found to be living with the condition and attributed the causes to genetic factors, viral infection, sedentary lifestyle and hormonal problems.
He said the warning signs were increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue and added that diabetes could be an epidemic if not managed promptly.
"All age groups are vulnerable to diabetes; the difference is that the young ones and even infants, some from age two, are more prone to type-1 diabetes.
" Our children are becoming obese; the prevalence of diabetes is on the increase because of increasing weight and lack of activity.
"The older people mostly have type-2 diabetes because of some factors that trigger the disease.
"Prevention should be more on the food we eat, eat natural fresh food and exercise, " Baamlong said.
The World Health Organisation and International Diabetes Federation declared Nov. 14 as World Diabetes Day to raise awareness to the condition.
Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.
According to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, there are various types of known diabetes mellitus.
These can be categorised in three types - type-1 diabetes, type-2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Type-1 diabetes is known as insulin dependent diabetes. In this case, patients require injection of laboratory made insulin hormones, which burns the glucose in the blood and produces energy.
Type-2 diabetes occurs when beta cells produce insulin but body cells fail to use them. This is the most common type of diabetes, common in adults.
The journal says that children are becoming prone to type-2 because of high consumption of fast and or junk foods and the lack of physical work.
Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones block insulin from doing its job. When this happens, glucose levels may increase in a pregnant woman's blood.