QDA strives to educate those living with the disease
After suffering from extreme exhaustion for many years, Fatiha Ben Idris finally went to the hospital with her daughter for a checkup. The diagnosis: type 2 diabetes, which – without a definitive treatment – she was told she would have for the rest of her life.
The constant support from Qatar Diabetes Association helped me maintain a balanced diet. I became educated on what a healthy diet really looked like
Ben Idris tried to listen to her doctor, who told her there were ways to mitigate its effects, but as complications increased – such as a dry throat, fatigue, and increased hunger – she struggled to manage her condition. And every time she felt weak, she would eat a lot of sugar, which would cause new symptoms to appear, such as intense sweating.
Caught in a vicious circle, she tried new doctors and new management techniques, but ultimately failing each time, until one day she learned about the Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) by driving past its headquarters.
She immediately made an appointment with the Qatar Foundation entity, and during her first visit she learned about the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle, including eating well and exercising regularly. She was taught about the benefits of reducing carbohydrates within her diet and checking her blood sugar levels regularly.
“In the past, I used to follow an unhealthy lifestyle. I would eat too much sugar every time I had hypoglycemic attacks, but the constant support from Qatar Diabetes Association helped me maintain a balanced diet. I became educated on what a healthy diet really looked like,” says Ben Idris.
Although I am still classed as having diabetes, I feel victorious, and in control
“For example, how many meals a day I am supposed to eat, when and what I should eat if my blood sugar level was low. I counted carbohydrates and reduced foods high in starch, like bread. I ate more vegetables and soups and avoided fried foods and sugary drinks.
After nearly a year, Ben Idris began to notice a difference. She was able to move better and for longer, without feeling fatigued or exhausted. She lost weight – nearly 35kgs. And, after tests, she learned she no longer needed to take her diabetes medicine.
The successful control of diabetes depends on self-management by the person diagnosed with diabetes
“I could not believe it when the sports coach at QDA told me that with exercise and a healthy diet I could fully control my diabetes. And although I am still classed as having diabetes, I feel victorious, and in control. I no longer need to use insulin or medicine, but I continue to monitor blood sugar levels regularly,” says Ben Idris.
And despite COVID-19, and the imposed restrictions, Ben Idris is still in regular contact with QDA. “Because of the pandemic, I am constantly monitoring my health. And while I am unable to physically go to QDA’s gym at the moment, I exercise at home.”
Dr. Amal Adam, Head of Health Education Department, QDA, emphasizes the importance of placing ownership on the individual with diabetes, and adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, saying:
“The successful control of diabetes depends on self-management by the person diagnosed with diabetes.
“The medical team at QDA strives to help people manage their diabetes by providing the relevant information, tools, and support in order to ensure that an individual is eating well, taking part in physical activity, and monitoring blood sugar levels.”
For more information, please visit: qda.org.qa