Sophie Ndaba. Picture: Instagram

Many South Africans remember Sophie Ndaba as Queen from the soapie Generations, but out of the spotlight she’s been dealing with the reality of her health issues.
In the past years, she has been open about her struggle with her weight. Last week, she became the victim of cyber-bullying as a result of her dramatic weight loss.

Ndaba has spoken out about her transformation. Using her Instagram page to set the record straight, the actress recently shared a message with fans who were concerned about her.

“Living with diabetes doesn’t mean my life must stop. It means I will fight to live and encourage those who already are suffering from this disease. Help others prevent it. I started my weight loss journey because I was obese, and it affected my health. I made a confident choice to start eating well and loose (sic) weight,” she said.

Her loss took many by surprise, but one of the symptoms of the disease is quick weight loss.

According to Diabetes South Africa (DSA) the other signs and symptoms of diabetes could include unusual thirst, frequent urination, extreme fatigue or a lack of energy, and blurred vision.

In South Africa, experts have warned that the burden of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity is threatening to cripple the country’s already overloaded health system.

While this disease is manageable for many, the DSA warns people to take the condition seriously.

“Diabetes is always serious. If it is left untreated or is not well managed, the high levels of blood glucose associated with diabetes can slowly damage both the fine nerves and the small and large blood vessels in the body, resulting in a variety of complications,” the organisation warns.

South Africa’s 2016 mortality report also found that tuberculosis and diabetes remain the top two killers among South Africa’s population.

The Nutrition Information Centre in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University provided these recommendations:

The dietary guidelines for diabetic people are based on the guidelines for healthy people, without diabetes. Variety means eating different foods within a meal on different days, and preparing food in different healthy ways. This ensures that our diet contains sufficient nutrients and that it is more enjoyable.

As little as 5% to 10% weight loss improves insulin resistance, therefore overweight and obese diabetics should be advised to lose weight.

Eat at least three balanced meals per day.

Increase your fibre intake: eat wholewheat bread instead of white bread; eat oats, oat bran, or whole wheat cereals, for example, high fibre cereal for breakfast; eat lots of vegetables and fruit; eat legumes regularly (peas, lentils, beans and soya), and include barley, samp, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.

Eat fish two to three times per week and chicken more regularly than red meat.