The Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) on Tuesday advised Nigerians to adopt healthy lifestyle that would save them from suffering from preventable diseases like diabetes.
The state Chairman of the association, Dr John Samssedi, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The optometrist spoke against the background of the World Diabetes Day (WDD) marked annually on Nov. 14 with this year’s theme entitled: “The Family and Diabetes.”
The optometrist says though every human body needs sugar to be able to perform optimally, diabetes occurs when there is excess sugar in the body than the body can handle.
According to him, excess sugar on the different structures of the eye can suddenly cause one to also develop cataract.
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Cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye; for people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged –up window.
He explained that the excess sugar could also begin to cause problem in different parts of the body.
He added that “one of the important organs affected when there is increased sugar intake more than the body can handle is the eye and that is called high blood sugar.
“High blood sugar affects the different structures of the eye like the lens and the retina; when it affects the lens, the person suddenly begins to develop cataract even when he or she is not supposed to develop it.
“It can also cause what we call diabetic retinopathy, which causes the retina to suddenly begin to swell and thereby causes blood to lick from blood vessel.
“These are some of the things that can affect the eye when there is diabetes in the body.”
He warned Nigerians about the risk of adopting foreign lifestyles and abandonment of local foods for junk foods that could easily make people suffer from diabetes.
He lamented that Nigerians now preferred shawarma and ice cream, among other foreign junk foods, to vegetables.
Samssedi advised people to adjust their lifestyle pattern, eat balanced diet, rest well and increase their physical activities to stay healthy.
He said “when you are too redundant and sit in one place, you will discover that what you have taking in is not equal to what is going out of your body. That way, there is going to be a buildup of sugar level.’’
According to him, anyone previously with good vision but now notices his vision going blurred, should either try and change his glasses or frequently go for eye check up.
Mrs Jane Eleodi, a Dietitian from JSPRINGS Nutrition and Dietary Health Services, urged Nigerians to eat healthy foods to stay healthy.
She said “as a dietitian, I will advise that people should eat more of nutritious foods, like whole grains such as millet, sorghum, guinea corn, brown rice, etc.
“Nigerians are blessed with many food items that contain protein like groundnut, cashew nuts, soya beans, even vegetables and others.
“We should form the habit of mixing vegetables with fruits to make smoothies to drink and be healthy.
“Drinking lots of water helps our metabolism; if you are dehydrated, the tendency for the blood to become phlegmatic occurs.
“When the blood is phlegmatic, it slows down the blood flow and the movement of insulin which is the hormone that contains sugar in the blood and takes it into the cell to be used for energy.
“We should not also forget to exercise; living a sedentary lifestyle will worsen our situation and will not help in the management and prevention of diabetes,’’ Eleodi said.