Dr Nana Ama Barnes, Physician Specialist at Effi-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, over the weekend called on society to assist and accept children living with diabetes to enable them to feel socially acceptable.
She said: “All that these children need is encouragement and not sympathy.
Dr Barnes said this when she officially launched the Diabetes Youth Care, an association of young people living with diabetes at Sekondi in the Western Region.
She said the group was started two years ago to set up a support group for young people living with diabetes in order to make it easier for them to access healthcare.
Dr Barnes noted that in most hospitals, adolescent and youth with chronic diseases are managed together with their adult folks, adding: “This is not the ideal situation as this group has special needs and problems which are not easily addressed in these regular clinics”.
Diabetes is a chronic life- long disease which is characterised by abnormally high levels of blood glucose in the blood due to a problem with the hormones.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type one is the insulin dependent and this renders the body incapable of producing insulin. Type two is makes it impossible for the body to carry the sugar produced to the needed areas of the body.
However, in pregnancies, a woman could develop gestational diabetes and the babies born are usually big and the sickness disappears immediately after birth.
The Physician Specialist mentioned frequent urination, excess intake of water, weight loss and sore which do not easily heal as some symptoms of the disease and called for regular checkups.
The Diabetes Youth Care, she says envisions a collaborative effort between the young persons living with diabetes and health professionals who are interested in diabetes in young people.
Mrs Dorcas Joanfiah, a retired Dietician who spoke on healthy eating and diabetes reiterated the need for diabetic patients to eat all foods in moderation to avoid complications.
She however discouraged the use of sweeteners, sugars, alcohol, salad creams and excessive intake of meat products.
The dietician urged people living with the conditions to enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables and fish products to improve and elongate their lives. GNA