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A day in the life of a diabetes patient in UAE

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on November 14, 2019

(Supplied)

Rich said exercising regularly and strict dieting helped him lead a very normal life.

Irish expat Richard H, 38, has been living with type 1 diabetes since he was three years old. It means he has to take insulin shots to survive the disease on a daily basis.

The disease was passed on to him through his bloodline as his grandmother and mother had it.

Rich, as he is popularly called, works as a radio jockey in the UAE that has been his home for the last 13 years.

"I've had type 1 diabetes since I was a child so I did not face huge issues as diabetic lifestyle is the only one I have known and I have learnt to live a healthy and good life by managing it."

Rich said exercising regularly and strict dieting helped him lead a very normal life. However, he said that as type 1 has been linked to the immune system, over the years he realised that he tends to have issues with certain allergans, such as gluten that causes issues with his already strict diet.

He said a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity are essential to maintain a normal life. "Exercise makes it easier to control your blood sugar levels and knowing what to eat and when to eat, means it is totally under control in my case," he said.

Busting some myths related to diabetes, Rich said: "There are so many myths and a lack of real knowledge about the condition that I have been learning new information about it very regularly. Having had Diabetes since the early 80's it's a lot easier to manage it now. The myth I hate the most is that since I have diabetes I can't play or do sports activities.

"I play American football and as long as I eat correctly and keep hydrated, I personally have never had an issue. The reality is that managing any diabetes is a 24/7 job, as is many medical conditions you just need to be aware of the situation and managing your sugar. And not worry if you mess up every now and then," said Rich.

With the aim to create more awareness about the disease, Richard will be taking part in a 3km Beat Diabetes Walk being organised by the Landmark Group in Zaabeel Park today.

He has been named as a blue champion for the Beat Diabetes walk, through which the Landmark Group celebrates the spirit of people who stand bravely in the face of diabetes and effectively manage the condition by leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

Rich said: "Diabetes is a very manageable condition when you have the correct knowledge and its our duty to educate, and dispel the myths and stigma."


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