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Sweet Life Talks

A series of talks with some of South Africa’s top diabetes experts. Dial in to get advice and share your experiences with other people living with diabetes.

Sweet Life Talks are brought to you by Abbott Diabetes Care.

Tuesday 8th December, 12.30pm: Nicholas Caracandas

What kind of exercise should people with diabetes do? How do you start an exercise routine with diabetes? How do you lose weight? We get questions on Diabetic South Africans about exercise and weight loss all the time – that’s why we’ve asked Nicholas Caracandas (the Diabetic Athletic) to join us to answer all your questions.

Diabetes and exercise

Join us for a *free* lunchtime chat about diabetes and exercise. Here’s the video, in case you missed it:

About Nicholas Caracandas

Nicholas Caracandas – the Diabetic Athletic – is a strength and conditioning coach, and a Type 1 diabetic for 26 years. He is the founder of Diabetic Athletic – Training & Nutrition for Diabetics. His passion is coaching , guiding and assisting fellow diabetics on how to eliminate diabetic overwhelm, and how to implement winning strategies to succeed and overcome our condition. 

Tuesday 3rd November, 12.30pm: Vuyisile Nkalane

If there’s one question we get on Diabetic South Africans all the time, it’s what to do with feet. Achey feet, dry feet, hot feet, itchy feet… We all know that diabetes and feet can be tricky. That’s why we asked podiatrist Vuyisile Nkalane to join us to answer all your questions.

Diabetes and feet

Join us for a *free* lunchtime chat about diabetes and feet. Here’s the video, in case you missed it:

About Vuyisile Nkalane

Vuyisile Nkalane

Vuyisile Nkalane graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a BTech in Podiatry in 2017. Her first steps into the field came during her third and fourth years when she undertook her practical experience at Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke and Helen Joseph Hospitals.

Vuyisile has developed a special interest in diabetes and diabetic foot management, which stimulated her to further her knowledge in diabetes and wound healing. Nail surgery, diabetic foot assessment and education, footwear assessment, biomechanics, heel fissures and callus removal are among her other podiatry-related interests. She’s currently working at Anette Thompson & Associates in Musgrave, Durban.

Tuesday 6th October, 12.30pm: Donna van Zyl

Who needs advice from a dietician? We all do! That’s why we’ve invited Donna van Zyl to come and chat to us about all things diabetes and food. Be sure to ask your questions on Diabetic South Africans or email and we’ll get Donna to answer them. Donna’s practical, easy to understand style means that the advice she gives is just what you need to improve your diet, today.

Diabetes and diet

About Donna van Zyl

Donna van Zyl has been practicing as a dietician in Bloemfontein for the past 5 years. She consults at several hospitals for paediatrics and diabetics. She has a special interest in Type 1 diabetes. In her private practice she consults for a variety of conditions including lifestyle diseases, has special interest in Paediatrics, Diabetes Type 1 and Sports Nutrition. She is well educated regarding the use of Insulin Pump Therapy and the current technology on the market including continuous glucose monitoring etc. She is also a part-time Basic Nutrition and Sport’s Nutrition lecturer at UFS. Donna’s passion is to help people manage their condition using practical nutritional therapy in order to achieve overall health.

Tuesday 1st September, 12.30pm: Daniel Sher

One of the questions we get asked a lot on Diabetic South Africans is how to manage diabetes and mental health. A lot of people with diabetes are battling depression or anxiety as well, and COVID-19 certainly hasn’t helped that!

We are so excited to welcome Type 1 diabetic and clinical psychologist Daniel Sher to speak to us about diabetes and mental health. Here are some of the issues he deals with:

Diabetes and mental health

  • Depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders that are linked to diabetes (did you know that 50% of all diabetics also experience symptoms of depression?)
  • Diabetes burnout.
  • Denial, avoidance and “non-compliance”.
  • General coaching to help achieve diabetes related goals.
  • Therapy for binge-eating and emotional eating.
  • Diabetes education.
  • Needle phobias.
  • Coping with erectile dysfunction and other complications of diabetes
  • Hypoglycaemia phobias (fear of going low) and hypoglycaemia unawareness (where you don’t realize that you’re going low).
  • Therapy to target barriers against weight loss and lifestyle change

Watch Daniel Sher’s talk here:

About Daniel Sher

Daniel Sher is a clinical psychologist practicing from Cape Town. Having lived as a Type 1 diabetic for over 30 years, he uses his personal experience and professional training to empower other Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics to thrive. You can learn more about his services on his webpage or Facebook page.

Tuesday 4th August, 12.30pm: Dr Sundeep Ruder

We are so excited to kick off Sweet Life Talks with Dr Sundeep Ruder. Dr Ruder is one of SA’s top endocrinologists, with a deep interest in philosophy, so his approach to diabetes is fresh and fascinating. Here’s what you can expect from his talk:

How to gather honey from a weed

Often there is pessimistic feeling when diagnosed with a disease. People feel like it’s an ‘unwanted’. But how we think about a condition can change our attitude to it, which can improve our health outcomes. This can actually help us extract huge benefits from it. This talk uses diabetes as an example of the power of perspective on disease, offering scientific examples to make the point in a way everyone can understand.

Watch Dr Ruder’s talk here:

About Dr Ruder

Dr Sundeep Ruder MBBCh, FCP (SA), FSEM (SA) is an endocrinologist in private practice as well as an associate lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, honorary consultant at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and an Executive Committee Member of SEMDSA (Society of Endocrinology Metabolism and Diabetes South Africa). He is an experienced speaker on the topic of Philosophy and Diabetes, and has contributed to many scholarly articles in the SA Journal of Diabetes and the Indian Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, amongst others. He is part of Sweet Life’s Panel of Experts.

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.