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Energy drinks cause diabetes in Ghanaians

Concentrated carbohydrate ­beverages popularly referred to as “Energy Drinks” have been found to be contributing to the high rate of diabetes in the country.

These drinks, according to Dr Francis Ofei, a medical doctor at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hos­pital, have high calories that increase one's risk of being diagnosed with dia­betes. -

Speaking on the theme of General Emergency Care, but specifically on the topic of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Adults (DKA), Dr Ofei said DKA was ­one of the commonest causes of death among diabetic patients in Ghana.

“We are supposed to be eating wisely and properly. Instead of eating three times daily we could eat once, with all the essential nutrients in the diet,” he argued.

He also warned that new developments in youth culture were affecting their health and pointed out that Ghanaians in general, if tested, could be found to be positive candidates of type-two diabetes.

Habits like the use of cocaine and processed milk for young infants, he indicated, were other causes of diabetes.

He cited the problem of urinary tract infection as one major cause of diabetes and described some symptoms associated with diabetes as chest and­ abdominal pains, loss of breath, fever, infections, vomiting and dehydration.

Dr Ofei, therefore, advised doctors, particularly surgeons, to always check the insulin content or sugar levels of patients before they performed surgery on them, in order to avoid complica tions afterwards.

“We need to change our attitudes, towards modern emergency care in Ghana,” he stated, and urged that “everything you do, you do with caution and backed with knowledge.”

He recommended treatment through regular intake of insulin via an IV drip; regular medication and appro­priate monitoring of blood and urine test results to check for balancing of glucose levels in patients.