Welcome to our spring 2020 issue of Diabetes Focus

Dear members and friends,

I am sure most of us have been looking so forward to spring this year. It is uplifting to see the flowers coming out and the lovely sunny days that we are starting to experience.
It has been a pretty grim winter with the COVID-19 virus amongst us and the months of lockdown.
Many of our friends and family members with diabetes have lost their lives due to COVID-19. We mourn the loss of each one and send our heartfelt condolences to each person who has suffered such a loss.
Our COVID-19 Helpline will continue for the foreseeable future and we will do our best to assist those who call.
I have read the spring issue with much anticipation and am delighted with the articles which are available for you to read. There are several important topics which we have not covered before, such as The risk of falls in diabetes; Why is thrush common in people with diabetes?; Diabetes telemedicine; and Play therapy in diabetes management.
The stories of Shelly Schutte, Shiara Pillay, Leslie Smith, Jordan Barber, and Noy Pullen are interesting and encouraging.
Management of diabetic ketoacidosis is a must-read as it can be lifesaving. I just love DSA Port Elizabeth’s snippet on Debbie the Great Dane; being an animal lover with a house full of animals myself.
There are so many other articles of interest, like on Avocado, Super foods and How to avoid the Snack Trap.  I hope you will enjoy them all and let us have your feedback.
We are not out of the woods yet with COVID-19. So, please do your best to keep those blood glucose levels as controlled as possible.
This will play an important role in your recovery, if you do happen to contract COVID-19. Also continue with the normal precautions, like handwashing, wearing your mask and social distancing.

Yours in Health

Margot McCumisky
National Manager – Diabetes South Africa

Diabetes helpline during COVID-19

Diabetes South Africa’s offices will be closed during the lockdown period and since people living with diabetes are at higher risk of complications if they get ill with COVID-19, we want to help you keep your diabetes in balance and on your current diabetes management plan.  

Therefore, Diabetes South Africa and the South African NCDs Alliance offer you free support in the current crisis. Starting on Friday, 3 April, our support service is live.

How it works: WhatsApp 081 578 6636 or send an email to diabeteshelp@sancda.org.za

You message us, and we call back or reply between 08:00 and 17:00. Leave a voice or WhatsApp message in English or Afrikaans. Tell us your name, cell number or email and a few words about your diabetes challenge and we will get back to you. 

Please do not use the diabetes helpline in the case of emergencies or if you experience a sudden worsening of your health or suspected COVID-19. Rather call an ambulance, go straight to your nearest hospital or follow government instructions.  


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Share mySugr reports with your healthcare professional

Roche Diabetes Care is pleased to offer you free access to the mySugr Pro app during

The science behind the Amajoya Sugar Free Collection

Ever wondered how sugar free sweets are made? Read more on the science behind the Amajoya

Avocado: packed with goodness

The #AvoExperts (Westfalia Fruit) tell us why avocado is good for you in so many ways. Avocado

MiaoMiao2 Smart Reader for FreeStyle Libre now Available in South Africa

MiaoMiao2 is an independent bluetooth reader designed to work with your FreeStyle Libre sensor. It transmits

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes

Registered diabetes educator and dietitian, Tammy Jardine, tells us all we need to know about Shape


Fabulite™ Cauliflower “Potato” Salad

Cauliflower has, over recent years, become a superhero in low carb diets. Its versatility allows it

Guacamole and cauliflower hummus

Makes 600 – 750ml | 10-12 servings per recipe Suggested serving: 1/4 cup (62,5ml) | 20g fat


Les Smith – 48 years living with diabetes

Chairman of Diabetes SA, Les Smith, tells us about this 48-year journey of living with Type

Sikelewa Duba: The reality of uncontrolled diabetes

Eighteen-year-old, Sikelewa Duba, candidly shares the complications  she has endured with her struggle of controlling her

Jordan Barber – I developed diabetes after a kidney transplant

We hear how Jordan Barber developed post-transplant diabetes mellitus after having a kidney transplant. Jordan Barber


Shiara Pillay – Diabetes community helps keep you accountable

Shiara Pillay tells us how her diabetes community, formed at DSA youth camps, has helped her

Play therapy in diabetes management

Daniel Sher educates us on the basics of play therapy and how it can help a

Shelly Schutte – Diabetes is my superpower, not my disability

DSA YT1 Youth Warrior Children's and Youth Outreach volunteer, Shelly Schutte, shares how she came to


Welcome to the Superfood lifestyle

Dietitian, Mignon Jordaan, shares ways to incorporate superfood in to your diabetic menu plan. Plus, she

The use of wearable technology

Wearable technology, such as smartwatches, is helping to monitor health and capture wellness data. We learn

Taking the vegetarian route

Noy Pullen shares how she changed her diet from meat eater to vegetarian and the benefits


What is the cause of dry body skin?

We find out the causes, symptoms and solutions for dry body skin. The skin is not

Oral health related to diabetes

Oral hygienist, Sarie Liebenberg, educates us on oral health related to diabetes and whether you should

Management of diabetic ketoacidosis

Dr Louise Johnson informs on what diabetic ketoacidosis is, the signs and how to manage it.

Post-transplant diabetes mellitus

Dr Riaan Flooks, a nephrologist, helps us understand what post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) is and how


Why is thrush common in people with diabetes?

Diabetes nurse educator, Christine Manga, explains why thrush is so common in people living with diabetes.

How to avoid the snack trap

Dietitian, Retha Harmse, guides us on how to avoid the snack trap and rather to eat

DSA News Spring 2020

DSA Port Elizabeth news Although it is still lockdown and we are not allowed to have

Guidepost: diabetes telemedicine

Guidepost, a digital healthcare solution, is emerging as an effective tool for safe, remote diabetes management

Body image and sexual function

Dr Larisse Badenhorst explains the correlation between body image and sexual function. Body image is the

The risk of falls in diabetes

Worldwide Fall Prevention Awareness Week is in September. We learn about falls with special consideration to


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