DIABETES

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WHAT IS DIABETES 2

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES 4

TREATING AND MANAGING DIABETES 5

MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES 6

ALL ABOUT

DIABETES

THE BASIS OF THE LOW GL DIET 7

EXAMPLE OF A LOW GL MENU 9

MORE INFORMATION 10


WHAT IS DIABETES?

In both cases, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, creating a

ripple effect of symptoms throughout the body. Extra glucose is

also stored in the liver. When cells don’t receive the insulin they

need, this can cause the liver to release even more glucose into

the bloodstream.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type

2 diabetes. The majority of people have type 2 diabetes. In

South Africa, the highest prevalence of diabetes is among the

Indian population (11-13%), as this group has a strong genetic

predisposition for diabetes. This is followed by the coloured

population (8-10%), blacks (5-8%) and whites (4%).

TYPE 1 DIABETES

Diabetes is a disease that affects the metabolism of glucose,

creating a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce any insulin

at all because the insulin-producing cells have somehow been

destroyed. We don’t know why this happens in some people

and not in others.

Glucose is what gives the body energy and we get it from the

foods we eat. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and

we get these from starchy foods and sugars.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 15% of all diabetes cases and

is more common in people under 40 and mostly starts in children

and young adults.

Starchy foods include bread, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereals

and couscous. Sugars include sucrose (found in fruit), lactose

(found in milk and some dairy products) and added sugars

(found in sweets, chocolates, sugary drinks and desserts).

The stomach and digestive system break down these carbohydrate

foods into glucose, which then travels through the bloodstream.

Once glucose is in the bloodstream, it needs to get into

the body’s cells and it is insulin that is responsible for getting

the glucose into the cells where it is needed.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a small gland

found just below the stomach. When a person has diabetes,

either the pancreas does not produce any insulin at all or the

insulin it produces can’t do the job it needs to.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually come on very quickly, over

a matter of weeks. Type 1 diabetics must take insulin injections

every day and symptoms go away with treatment.

TYPE 2 DIABETES

In type 2 diabetes, two things can happen: either the pancreas

does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin it does produce

can’t do the job it needs to.

The pancreas can become worn out from over-producing

insulin to meet high levels of glucose building up in the bloodstream.

In other cases, there may be fat deposits in the cells

that prevent the insulin from getting the glucose into those

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cells. This can be due to being overweight, but type 2 diabetes

can also occur in people of a healthy weight.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 85% of cases. The symptoms

come along very slowly and some people don’t even develop

symptoms. This is why people can live with type 2 diabetes for

up to 10 years before they realise they have it.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated in a number of different ways.

This includes making changes to your diet, getting more exercise

and losing weight if you are overweight. Most people will

also need some form of medication to treat it.

The kidney also kicks into action when there is too much glucose

in the bloodstream. It tries to flush out or dilute the glucose

and draws water from the body to do this. So a person

with undiagnosed diabetes will go to the toilet a lot and get

thirsty.

The urine is also full of glucose, and this creates an environment

where it’s easy for bacteria to thrive. This can cause thrush or

genital itching. The same goes for flesh wounds. Bacteria thrive

on the high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, so wounds

tend to heal slowly.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES

Glucose also builds up in the lens in front of the eye, so the lens

liquid becomes cloudy and this leads to blurry vision.

To summarise, the main symptoms of diabetes include: tiredness,

weight loss in some people, thirst, frequent urination,

thrush or genital itching, slow healing and blurred vision.

TREATING AND MANAGING

DIABETES

The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood glucose levels

into the normal range, which is about 4 to 6 millimoles of

glucose per litre (mmol/l) – your doctor will verify this for you.

Treatment will include healthy eating, exercise, insulin injections

for type 1 diabetics and tablets or insulin (or both) for type

2 diabetics.

In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, glucose can’t get into the

cells and builds up in the bloodstream, and the symptoms of

this are the same. Because glucose can’t get into the cells to

give the body energy, a person with undiagnosed diabetes may

feel tired and lethargic and unable to go about their usual daily

activities. The body still needs an energy source however, so it

may use its fat stores and that can lead to weight loss.

Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate medication and

action to take for your diabetes. You can also consult a registered

dietician if you need help losing weight or developing a

meal plan.

The most important person on your diabetes management

team, however, is you. Learning about diabetes and taking

responsibility for your diabetes will help you manage it more

effectively.

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GET INFORMATION – the more you know, the more confident

you will be about managing your diabetes.

A low GL (glycaemic load) diet is about eating foods that help

balance your blood sugar and eating at regular intervals.

GET SUPPORT – involve your friends and family as you learn

how to manage your diabetes, get to know other people with

diabetes and join groups (e.g. join a diabetes Facebook group or

your local branch of Diabetes SA).

SET GOALS – these can be goals related to your diet, to exercise,

to gathering support, going for regular check-ups, monitoring

your diabetes, finding ways to alleviate stress, giving up

smoking, etc.

KEEP MONITORING – monitoring your diabetes is crucial in

preventing some of the possible complications associated with

diabetes. This means knowing your blood glucose, blood pressure

and blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides), as well

as the condition of your feet and getting your eyes and kidneys

screened for early signs of damage. Some of the monitoring you

can do yourself (like blood glucose levels) and some your doctors

will do.

MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES – along with medication, regular testing

and being active, food choices are a very important part of

your diabetes management.

MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES

Diet and exercise are core to treating and managing diabetes.

By looking after your nutritional needs and being active, you can

achieve and maintain good control of your blood glucose levels,

regulate your body weight and delay or prevent the onset of

long-term complications of diabetes.

When it comes to nutrition, there are 3 key components you

need to consider: timing, quantity and quality. How often you

eat meals and snacks, the quantity you eat and drink, and the

type of food and drinks you consume.

THE BASIS OF

THE LOW GL DIET

• Eat carbohydrates with protein

• Choose low GL carbohydrates (e.g. oats or wholewheat

toast with breakfast, quinoa, wholewheat pasta and brown

basmati rice with lunch and dinner, but get the majority of

your carbs from low GL fruit and veg)

• Eat whole, unprocessed foods (e.g. wholegrains, brown

rice, wholewheat bread, nuts, oats, beans and wholewheat

pasta)

• Eat foods high in essential fats (e.g. salmon, tuna, herring,

mackerel, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and

sunflower seeds)

• 1 serving = 1 handful

• Eat 2 daily servings of good quality protein foods (e.g.

quinoa, soya, tofu, lean meat and poultry, fish, beans and

lentils), but eating more fish and less meat

• Eat 2 servings of low GL fruit a day (e.g. berries, grapefruit,

pear, plum, peach, orange, apple or kiwi fruit) and 3 servings

of non-starchy veg a day (e.g. green veg, salad, mushrooms,

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peppers, onions, etc.) and choose a wide variety of colours

• Drink the equivalent of 8 glasses of water a day (including

herbal or fruit teas)

• Avoid sugars, white and refined foods (replace sugar with

xylitol)

• Avoid fast-releasing carbohydrates (any food with refined

flour or refined sugar, most packaged foods or frozen foods

and most baked goods)

• Get at least 15 minutes of exercise a day (or 35 minutes 3

times a week)

• Avoid or minimise alcohol

• Limit or avoid caffeine

EXAMPLE OF A

LOW GL MENU

BREAKFAST

Poached egg on 1 slice of wholewheat toast, strawberries on the side

SNACK

2 oatcakes with cottage cheese and sliced cucumber

LUNCH

Wholewheat wrap filled with lean chicken, pesto and salad

SNACK

Plain yoghurt with nuts and seeds, sliced peach and xylitol for sweetening

DINNER

Baked salmon with green beans, baby roast tomatoes, chopped olives

and 3 baby potatoes

9


DIABETIC?

GET LIFE COVER NOW.

HOW TO APPLY

1. Call us on 0861 25 55 43 or *SMS “INFO” to

42034 for a no-obligation quote

2. Discuss the product options available with

one of our consultants

3. Choose the life insurance product that

meets your needs

4. Choose when you want your policy to

start and you’re covered

*(Standard SMS rates apply)

Affordable Life & Disability Cover for South Africans living with

Diabetes and / or HIV.

With one call, you can be covered for up to R10 million in Life

Cover with just one blood test.

Premiums start from as little as R130 per month.

FREQUENTY ASKED

QUESTIONS

Does AllLife have exclusions on claims on an Optimum life and

disability policy?

We do have a number of necessary exclusions on claims.

These include (but are not limited to) claims as a result of suicideor

self-inflicted injury, war or other hostile activities, and

terroristacts. A full list of exclusions is available in the policy

terms and conditions and is available on request from

us directly.

Does AllLife pay for my diabetic treatment?

No. Payment for your diabetic treatment (as well as all blood

tests required to prove diabetic control) is for your cost. These

costs may be paid as a prescribed minimum benefit by your

medical aid or managed health care company, or by the public

health sector.

Get easy and affordable life and disability cover

that’s designed especially for you.

What happens if I miss a blood test?

Our diabetes control policy requires that you go for annual

HbA1c blood tests. We will remind you about any upcoming

blood tests. If you miss a blood test, your annual premium escalation

maybe adjusted. Don’t worry, adjustments will never

exceed 7.5% and are reversible.

No waiting period, no long forms, no fineprint.

Can I get disability cover without an Optimum life policy?

Yes. Optimum disability cover is available as a standalone

policy.

SMS “INFO” TO 42034

AND WE’LL CALL YOU

CONTACT US NOW

ON 0861 25 55 43

Will I qualify if I live in South Africa, but am not a citizen?

Yes. As long as you have a valid South African ID book and reside

in South Africa, you may qualify.

Can I take a loan against my policy?

We do not grant loans. You may, however, cede the policy to a

loan provider if required.

11


Is AllLife registered with the Financial Services Board?

AllLife is an Authorised Financial Services Provider

(License no. FSP 4946).

What is Life Insurance?

A Life Insurance policy allows you to take care of your loved

ones financially when you pass away. The policy pays out a large

benefit amount which replaces your lost future income so that

your loved ones can pay for school, university, rent, food, etc.

to our Diabetes Control Program, where we will help you manage

your diabetes so you can live a long, healthy life.

How does Diabetes Control work?

Our Diabetes Control Program is geared to help you stay

healthy. We do this by reminding you to go for tests every year,

monitoring your results on your behalf and alerting you of any

dangers. Premiums are linked to your level of control, so it really

does pay to stay healthy.

What is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance covers you should you become permanently

disabled. The policy pays out a large benefit amount which

replaces your lost future income so that you can keep your

finances in check and take-care of your loved ones even when

you cannot work anymore.

Being Diabetic shouldn’t have a negative

effect on your life cover.

Why do I need insurance?

The future is unpredicatble and insurance protects you and your

loved ones financially in the event that something unforeseen

happens to you. Therefore, anyone who has financial obligations

or loved ones who depend on them financially needs to

have insurance.

Why should I take out insurance with AllLife?

At AllLife we understand diabetes and that people living with

diabetes need simple, hassle-free cover. That’s why we have

designed innovative life and disability cover called Optimum

Life and Disability, which is affordable, easy-to-get insurance

that covers you for accidental and natural causes of death and

disability – including diabetes related conditions such as heart

attack and stroke. No complex underwriting is required - usually

just one blood test.

How much does it cost?

Premiums start from R 130 per month, but vary according to

your health status and the cover amount that you require.

What’s the catch?

There’s no catch! We offer life and disability cover to people

living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes following one simple phone

call. There’s no waiting period! Our underwriting process is very

simple, easy to complete and done at our expense. You can

complete underwriting at your convenience, within 3 months of

starting your policy. We also help you stay healthy, so that your

premiums stay low.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

*SMS “INFO” to 42034 and we’ll call you.

Alternatively call 0861 ALL LIFE (0861 255 5433)

Email info@alllife.co.za

Website www.alllife.co.za

What do I get with Optimum Life and Disability Insurance?

You get peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be

taken care of if something happens to you. You also get access

PROUD WINNER OF THE UNILEVER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AWARD,

SUPPORTED BY BUSINESS FIGHTS POVERTY.

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