Diabetes patients said to starve themselves before check up so as to lower blood sugar

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – Some diabetic patients in Kenya are now reported to be deliberately setting themselves up for misdiagnosis by starving themselves before they go for their scheduled medical checkup.

This emerged as the country joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Health Day under the theme ‘Diabetes is Preventable and Manageable’ on Thursday.

Kenya Diabetes Association Chairman, Reuben Magoko, revealed that patients were cheating their way out of correct treatment by fasting before their medical appointments so as to lower their blood sugar levels and get ‘favorable’ reviews that would even see them get lower doses of insulin.

“Diabetes patients are cheating their doctors. Some fast for even three days before they go to hospital and get health reports that do not reflect their actual status,” he said.

Mr. Magoko, who is diabetic and hypertensive, further asked the Ministry of Health to make glucometers available to persons living with the disease so that they are able to monitor their blood sugar wherever they are.

Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu expressed concern at this revelation saying that that level of scheming just jeopardized the health of diabetic patients and increased the risk of developing life threatening complications.

“They should just come as they are so that we are able to make well informed decisions. We do not want them to fast because we will end up with retinopathy or other issues,” observed the CS.

Aside from blindness, diabetes if left untreated can also lead to the loss of limbs, kidney failure and death.

Head of the Division of Non Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Kibachio highlighted the need to adopt a multisectoral approach in the management and prevention of diabetes.

He also said that the best way to address these issues was to invest in community health programmes.

“In the past, non communicable diseases like diabetes were seen as rich man diseases but that was a falsehood because we are also witnessing them in low income and middle income people,” he explained.