Winnie Nginyo during the World Diabetes Day at the MP Shah hospital in Nairobi on November 14, 2017. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYAWinnie Nginyo during the World Diabetes Day at the MP Shah hospital in Nairobi on November 14, 2017. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA
By AGEWA MAGUT and AGGREY OMBOKI

When she miscarried, Winnie Nginyo went through the battery of tests as prescribed by her doctors, unaware of what had caused the traumatic event.

After analysing the results, doctors at MP Shah subsequently told her she had Type 1 diabetes.

“I was shocked and disappointed by the diagnosis at first since I could not imagine having the condition,” says Ms Nginyo, who runs the Whattle Blossom Lodge, a tourist hotel.

The bubbly mother of one did not grieve over her condition for long, as a few counselling sessions with her doctor and nutritionist gave her the courage to bravely forge ahead and overcome the challenge.

DISEASE IS MANAGEABLE

“After consulting my doctor and nutritionist who told me the disease was manageable, I realised that I had no choice but to accept that I was unwell,” said Ms Nginyo.

The road to recovery was initially a rocky one. Doctors had advised her to lose weight, which had shot to a massive 110 kilogrammes for her 165 centimetre height. This meant hours of exercise for Winnie who had gotten used to a busy but sedentary lifestyle.

“My sweet tooth became one of my immediate obstacles to recovery. I had to cut down on sugary drinks, cakes, juices and exercise every day in addition to drinking a lot of water and religiously taking my medication, which thankfully turned out to be one pill a day,” she told the Daily Nation.

A mere 18 months later, she has cut down her weight to 89 kilos and is on the road to full recovery, with the prospect of being discharged from medication should a test she is scheduled to attend next week show she is cured.

“I am only left with one test next week and should it show that the disease is no longer in me, doctors will discharge me from medication,” she says.

CHANGE FAMILY DIET

She says the disease forced her to also radically alter the family’s diet and exercise regime.

“ I make sure my husband and 11-year old son take lots of water, fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly,” she said.

Nginyo credits her husband, Mr Rudolph Swannapole for being her rock.

According to Dr Sairabannu Sokwalla, MP Shah Hospital’s diabetes care head of department, sedentary lifestyles are a leading cause of diabetes countrywide.

Lack of physical activity coupled with excessive weight gain can easily predispose one to develop diabetes, Dr Sokwalla said during a World Diabetes Awareness Day event held at the facility.

The World Health Organisation estimates that global diabetes prevalence among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4 per cent in 1980 to 8.5 per cent in 2014.