Over 280,000 adults aged 40 years and above are said to be living with Type II diabetes, the latest research into the non-communicable disease has found.

Dr Harrienta Fiscian, a Senior Specialist and Endocrinologist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge), who disclosed this said the research attributed it to poor dieting, inactivity, and alcohol intake.

According to her, the Out-Patients Department (OPD) of the Ridge Hospital, on average, records 60 cases of the disease diabetes daily, with most of the patients between 35 to 42.

She disclosed this at a training session for journalists on diabetes reporting organised by Novo Nordisk, a leading global healthcare company. Novo Nordisk provides services on diabetes care medications and devices.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas can no longer make insulin or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

It occurs when the sugar level is high, and the body is unable to handle it. There are two types of the disease, i.e. Type I and II.

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.

Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults.

Type II is a chronic medical condition in which the levels of sugar, or glucose, build up in your bloodstream.

Typically, the hormone insulin helps move glucose from your blood to your cells, where it’s used for energy.

But with Type II diabetes, your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin as well as they should. As a result, in later stages of the condition, your body may not produce enough insulin.

Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to chronically high blood glucose levels, which can cause several symptoms and potentially lead to severe complications.

According to Dr Fiscian, most people who develop this type of diabetes do not show any symptoms at the early stages.

“They are fine and live normal until maybe after five years,” she said.

She said although diabetes was mainly a lifestyle disease, it was sometimes genetic and age-related.

“Presently, younger people are developing diabetes because they do not exercise; they are eating too many saturated fats, which is not too good for their health,” she said.

She said all is not lost urging the public to ensure that they eat “at least three times in a day, have breakfast, lunch, and supper on time to provide enough energy for the body if you don’t eat, there is no energy, and you always feel hungry.

Dr Fiscian also charged the public to eat fewer carbohydrate foods like white rice and take in more vegetables to reduce the disease’s risk.

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