Welcome to our winter 2020 issue of Diabetes Focus

Dear members and friends,

I do hope that you are taking extra care of yourselves during winter and especially these challenging times.

Diabetes South Africa has received important advice from local and international sources. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important for people living with diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels as well controlled as possible. As well as the normal handwashing, wearing your mask and social distancing.

Please contact us and if we can help, we will do our best to assist you.

In the 2020 winter issue, we have included articles on COVID-19 and diabetes; Children and youth with diabetes going back to school; Foods for immunity and so much more.

I do hope you enjoy the personal stories of Mikyle Rodrigues, Peter Zangerle, and Mignon Jordaan.

Stay safe, stay home if you can, and stay well.

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 ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Roche Diabetes Care is offering

The cool winter warmer

Is it just us, or does winter make everyone suddenly crave unhealthy foods? Not that we have any research to back it up, but we


Mignon Jordaan – the diabetic dietitian

Mignon Jordaan tells us how the help of a dietitian early on in her diabetes diagnosis inspired her to start a career in dietetics. Mignon

Peter Zangerle – lockdown has helped improve my management of diabetes

With no stressful job to go to and more time to exercise, Peter Zangerle tells us how lockdown has helped him manage his Type 2


PEAD-SA – Should children with diabetes go back to school?

The Paediatric & Adolescent Endocrinology & Diabetes Society - South Africa (PEAD-SA) share their position statement on children with Type 1 diabetes mellitus returning to

Lunch ideas for home or school during lockdown

Mommy, what are we eating for lunch? A question that most mommies have heard a lot during the lockdown period. Donna Van Zyl, a dietitian,

Youth with Diabetes – How to decide if your child should go back to school

We hear Youth with Diabetes’ position statement on whether sending your child with diabetes back to school is a good idea. Two large studies from

Esther Rodrigues – My hero calls me Mom

Esther Rodrigues, a T1D Mom, shares the joys of seeing her son, Mikyle, celebrate his 21st birthday. Esther Rodrigues stays in Cape Town with her


Keep up good exercise during winter

Nick Caracandas from Diabetic Athletic shares an action plan to keep up good exercise during the colder months. As people living with diabetes, we know

Healthy herbs and spices for cooking

Dietitian, Retha Harmse, informs us on how to make low sodium meals by using healthy herbs and spices. Wintertime calls for more comforting stews, soups

Eat for energy this winter

Dietitian, Mignon Jordaan, advises us how to eat for energy this winter so the winter-blues will be a thing of the past. Cold weather can

Supporting an elderly parent with diabetes

It’s no secret that diabetes is hard to handle. This is true for those who have the condition themselves, but also for their friends, family

Glucose levels and exercise – frequently asked questions

Nick Caracandas from Diabetic Athletic answers frequently answered questions regarding glucose levels and exercise. Cardio Q: What should I do if my blood glucose is

Motivation, management and movement

How do you find your winter mojo? The Biokinetics Association of South Africa (BASA) says it is all about motivation, management and movement. We are


The science behind caring for dry skin

Dr Alexander Filbry, Head of Product Development for Body Care at Eucerin, looks at the causes of dry skin and the science behind Eucerin’s UreaRepair

10 foods to build immunity

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa advises what foods should be eaten to build immunity during this viral era. While many people are stocking

Diabetic erectile dysfunction

Dr Larisse Badenhorst helps us understand why men who have diabetes may also suffer with diabetic erectile dysfunction. Understanding erectile dysfunction Erectile dysfunction (ED) is

Winter foot care advice

Podiatrist, Dennis Rehbock, shares winter foot care advice for people living with diabetes. While winter in South Africa may not be extremely cold and snowy


DSA – Take extra care during corona virus pandemic

Diabetes South Africa warns patients to pay extra attention to their glucose control by taking medications as prescribed, eating regularly and getting enough exercise.  

COVID-19 and diabetes

Dr Angela Murphy updates on us on the current research on COVID-19 and diabetes. People living with diabetes have been particularly concerned during this COVID-19

How does menstruation affect blood glucose?

Dr Louise Johnson expands on how menstruation can affect blood glucose levels. Women living with diabetes know that it’s nearly impossible to predict what blood

DSA News Winter 2020

DSA Port Elizabeth news So far 2020 has been an interesting and strange year, first with power outages and then the COVID-19 lockdown. We have learnt

Using word transformation to make life better

Noy Pullen shares how she has been spending her time during lockdown and offers us to try a word transformation game to help us cope


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