World Diabetes Day

DIABETES CAN BE CONTROLLED THROUGH CARE

World Diabetes Day is celebrated globally on the 14th of November in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. This year the theme for world diabetes day is Family and Diabetes.

Speaking to media at on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Dr. Waqas Shafiq (Consultant Endocrinologist, SKMCH&RC) said that, Diabetes is a chronic disease which develops when the body fails to produce insulin or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly. Families are urged to learn more about the warning signs of diabetes as one in every two people with diabetes is undiagnosed.

He said that the warning signs of diabetes are excessive thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, lack of energy, tiredness, recurrent skin infections, blurred vision and tingling or numbness in hands and feet. Symptoms are more often to be found in people with type 1 diabetes.  People with type 2 diabetes may have no or very few symptoms, prior to diagnosis and that is one of the reasons for delay in diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to prevent or delay life threatening complication of diabetes.

Talking about the facilities available at SKMCH&RC, he informed the journalists present at the hospital that, “It is one of few facilities in Pakistan with three Endocrinologists of international experience and exposure. A number of cancer patients being treated at SKMCH&RC are diabetic. It is very important to control diabetes during cancer treatment. Treatment of a diabetes cancer patient requires special expertise which is available at the facility.”

He also said that, “Shaukat Khanum Hospital is also open for non-cancer diabetic patients.”

He explained that “when we eat food, special cells in our pancreas produce insulin. The insulin transports glucose, made from carbohydrates in the food, into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy.  Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood. Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.”

Talking about the various types of diabetes, Dr. Waqas said that there are three main types, “Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. When you have type1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, which means that you need daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels under control. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control. The third type is Gestational diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. It usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.”

In the end, Dr. Waqas gave some tips for managing diabetes:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active.
  • Keep blood glucose levels under control.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking is highly damaging, but much more so when combined with diabetes.
  • Regular follow up with your doctor/specialist

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