Sabi ni Doc: What do you need to know about DIABETES?
Diabetes is one of the top ten causes of deaths in the Philippines according to DOH. The World Health Organization describes it as an emerging global epidemic that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
Diabetes occurs when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces or there is a deficiency in its production. As a consequence, hyperglycemia occurs. This leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
The symptoms of diabetes include the following: increased urinary frequency, thirst, hunger and unexplained weight loss. Numbness in extremities, pain in feet, fatigue, and blurred vision can also occur especially in long standing and severe diabetes.
It is estimated that about 80% of diabetes deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Currently, there are about 347 million people with diabetes worldwide.
In 2030, WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double. Diabetes can develop serious complications such as blindness, amputations, heart attack and stroke.
The good news is Diabetes and its complications can be prevented! Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Early screening for Diabetes and regular monitoring among those at risk will help prevent the more serious complications of this disease.
Alvin B. SIlva, MD, DPAFP
UP College of Medicine
Quality Management Representative