WHAT IS DIABETES 2
SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES 4
TREATING AND MANAGING DIABETES 5
MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES 6
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
• Eat foods high in essential fats (e.g. salmon, tuna, herring,
mackerel, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and
• 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,
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
• 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
Poached egg on 1 slice of wholewheat toast, strawberries on the side
2 oatcakes with cottage cheese and sliced cucumber
Wholewheat wrap filled with lean chicken, pesto and salad
Plain yoghurt with nuts and seeds, sliced peach and xylitol for sweetening
Baked salmon with green beans, baby roast tomatoes, chopped olives
and 3 baby potatoes
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.
Does AllLife have exclusions on claims on an Optimum life and
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
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
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
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.
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
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)
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
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