Michael starts by voicing his frustrations with the ‘dumbing down’ of diabetes and its care. He explains his thoughts on ameliorating ‘The Egregious Eleven’ problem pathways in type 2 diabetes with more risk-mitigating diabetes insights from self-defence and military strategy. Stan talks about the difference between insulin supplementation and insulin replacement.

“Retired, but not tired!” – living a ‘Blue Zone’ life

Our studio guest this week is Lungi Siqebengu, a retired IT consultant in immovable properties, and current photographer, drone pilot, wood worker and active church, and community member. Giving the ‘Energiser bunny’ a run for its money, Lungi enthusiastically shares his:

  • Family history with diabetes
  • Diagnosis of diabetes following an induced coma for the treatment of COVID-19
  • Journey to retard the effects of diabetes – he chose the lifestyle option
  • Life-changing knee replacement surgery as an ‘enabler’ to improve his mobility
  • Management of diabetes by eating healthier, assisted by his family
  • Health-supporting involvement with his church and the men’s ministry and role-modelling healthy behaviours
  • Mission to immerse himself with diabetes knowledge and to be more physically active
  • Spiritual thoughts and insights around his diagnosis
  • Desire to engage in diabetes advocacy
  • Efforts to reduce the impact of his diabetes on his wife and marriage.

With Stan off sick this week, Michael dives straight into the show with co-opted co-host and studio guest Pitso Molemane, well known as a South African radio personality, journalist and Diabetes Survivor, Warrior and Activist who has lived with type 1 diabetes for four decades. We first met Pitso in Episode 48 and he graciously and at short notice agreed to co-pilot this week’s show.

Together Michael and Pitso ‘take the pulse’ of the lived experience of diabetes at a ‘grassroots’ level and explore concepts as diverse as erectile dysfunction, and thieving holders of the public purse:

  • Basic important principles of the self-management of diabetes and other chronic health conditions
  • Why many people do not admit to having diabetes or pay enough attention to their self-care
  • Community, school and employer support is there if you share your diabetes status
  • Common myths around diabetes
  • Harnessing our brain power
  • Visualising and using blood glucose levels to maintain body health and function
  • Challenges accessing health services and attaining optimum wellness and health in South Africa
  • Accepting your chronic condition to give yourself power and energy to change your life and health
  • Following Pitso across various social and other media channels

The ‘Glucose Glitch’, Lurina Fourie, encourages diabetes advocates by reminding all that your advocacy efforts matter!

Michael leads with a clinical advance in the science of ‘AGEs’ and uses this to contrast how many countries are advancing in diabetes care, and how in South Africa, the speciality of diabetes is dying from neglect, while the population at large suffers. Stan counters the population risks posed by unmanaged diabetes with the fact that people well managed in the CDE environment have relatively little to fear.

Our studio guest this week is is married father of two, Mark Langley – with an MSc in Property Studies, he is well qualified for his work in the property industry.

Apart from this, Mark is on a journey to discover more about how to live comfortably with two burdensome chronic health conditions, and not be boring or annoying doing it! In this momentous Episode characterised by deep self-awareness and brutal honesty, Mark shares some vital motivations, life skills attitudes and insights for others in a similar situation…

  • His ‘deserved’ development of type 2 diabetes
  • How, being motivated by his family responsibilities and desire to live life to the full, Mark responded to his ‘wake-up call’ and changed his lifestyle (and it shows in how he looks!)
  • How Mark’s dad and grandmother lived long and healthy lives despite having diabetes
  • How a friend with terminal cancer encouraged Mark to go for a colonoscopy and his subsequent diagnosis of coeliac disease, a relatively common condition characterised by non-specific symptoms and prone to missed diagnosis
  • Trying to understand and cope with the lifestyle restrictions and changes imposed on Mark by having coeliac disease and ‘getting on with’ balancing that and diabetes management
  • ‘Eating clean’ and feeling so much better on a gluten-free diet – the importance of a registered dietician for guidance
  • The challenges of and tips for eating out (and at home) with coeliac disease
  • Encouragement to screen for coeliac disease for any suspicious gut symptoms.

Stan and Michael start by commenting on the common and possibly dangerous clinical issue of yearly changes in medical funder formularies and how this can negatively affect care continuity for people with diabetes.

Our studio guest this week is Andrew Heilbrunn, well known in professional diabetes circles as a doyen of the profession of biokinetics and the application of this discipline to the team-based management of diabetes. Since qualifying with an honours degree in Human Movement Sciences from Wits University and an honours degree in Biokinetics from the University of Pretoria, Andrew Heilbrunn worked for nearly 30 years as the Head Biokineticist at the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, in Houghton, Johannesburg. He currently works in private practice. Andrew is well-known nationally and internationally for his expertise on the benefits of exercise in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and osteoporosis. Andrew is also a devoted family man, an avid sportsman and sports fan and a thorough gentleman!

Together with Andrew we discuss:

  • How Andrew developed his career passion for diabetes and its treatment with physical activity
  • The role of biokinetics in a variety of people with health risks
  • The huge learning curves of kid’s diabetes camps and staffing the 24-hour CDE Emergency Hotline
  • Reducing sitting and physical activity vs exercise
  • The continuum of acceptance of the need for body movement by people with diabetes
  • The power of doctor referral for physical activity
  • Endurance vs resistance exercises and possible acute and longer-acting effects on glycaemia
  • Trial and error and experience in adapting to increased physical activity and competitive exercise
  • The power of resistance exercise and its combination with endurance exercise
  • Proprioception and balance in fall prevention
  • The blessing of biokinetics in South Africa

This week, diabetes advocate Gabriela Richter, encourages health professionals to remember that everyone is unique and that their care needs are also unique.

We are joined in studio this week by Charlotte Meschede, a registered dietitian specialising in clinical nutrition and lifestyle education for diabetes and women’s health. Charlotte recently joined the CDE Academy as a nutrition and education consultant – with her vast clinical, life, mothering and farming experience behind her, we are proud to have Charlotte as part of our team!

Charlotte shares her accumulated wisdom and reflects on:

  • The rise of diabetes and metabolic disorders in the late 1970s
  • Working as a young dietitian and farmer while focussing on motherhood
  • Food messaging and healthy eating in young children with diabetes
  • How to reduce parental anxiety around eating in kids
  • The invigorating changes in medical nutrition therapy over the years
  • Healthy eating as being just one of many contextual factors in managing diabetes
  • Our varied relationships with food
  • The importance of families eating healthy foods together
  • Facilitating healthy nutrition in older and possibly sicker adults
  • The principles behind ‘natural food grocery shopping with Charlotte’
  • ‘Red flags’ for disordered eating or eating disorders
  • Eating well on a budget
  • Understanding food labelling
  • Take home pearl – we need to listen!

Whether you’re living with diabetes or a health professional that facilitates diabetes care, you’re in the right place! Join our journey, as we grow together in understanding, insight, and self-awareness to change lives for the better. Our deliberations are always honest, challenging and thought provoking. Nothing is off the table as we meet real people, discuss their real issues and stories, and together discover real answers to many vexing practical issues in diabetes and its care.

Stan and Michael discuss several advocacy issues including low income globally for diabetes specialists and the need to sustain advocacy efforts led by a few over-committed individuals. And, then don’t forget to screen for osteoporosis in older people with diabetes – the loss of height is a too-late indicator…

Advocacy message

This week, CDE Academy Administrator and person living with and advocating for diabetes, Elré Clarence, encourages health professionals to upskill themselves in diabetes care so that they can better advocate with and for people with diabetes

Our studio guest this week is Dr Kenalemang Kgoroeadira, fondly known as MamaKena.

MamaKena is an academic, culturalist and Indigenous Knowledge Systems expert, holding a PhD on the Philosophy of Education focussing on Indigenous Knowledge Systems. She is an experienced teacher, primary school and technical college principal, school book and teacher’s guide author, and local and international lecturer on Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

She won provincial and national female farmer of the year awards in 2014, and serves as a board member or consultant for several organisations.

From a uniquely African perspective we discover that:

  • Historically, Africa’s languages had no names to describe many modern lifestyle-related chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer or stroke.
  • People used to be more active and often grew their own foods and foraged from the environment
  • Meat was far less frequently consumed than now
    Indigenous grains like sorghum have been replaced with ‘mielies’
  • We no longer eat according to the rhythm of the seasons
    Traditional medicines have been neglected
  • We all need to learn from our respective historical roots, “from the known to the unknown”

MamaKena also shares her contributions to farming and indigenous teaching and history, how she manages her own diabetes pairing modern and traditional herbal treatments, and her take on ‘faith’ and spirituality.


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