All eyes on diabetes
Few diseases command the “respect” that diabetes does, even atheists break into uncontrollable “tongues” once you diagnose them with this disease or merely suggest that they may have the condition. Unfortunately many of us out of fear of the unknown, lack of knowledge or purely for financial reasons never test for diabetes until we are saddled with complications.
14th November is World Diabetes Day and this year the world has EYES ON DIABETES; we all need to make an effort to get tested and create avenues for as many people as possible to get a chance to be screened for diabetes.
STATISTICS THAT WILL KEEP YOU AWAKE ALL NIGHT
• Currently about 415 million adults are living with diabetes BUT this already outrageous number will increase by over 50% by 2040 if no measures are put in place NOW.
o As is often the case those of us in developing countries will be most hard hit as poverty tends to exaggerate all negatives.
• In 2015 almost half of all adults living with diabetes globally were not aware. This number is an overwhelming 193 million people.
• 12% of total global expenditure on health is currently spent on adults with diabetes and we all know very little of that amount is coming from regions where finding a good meal a day is the prayer of many.
o BUT there is some good news; up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthy lifestyles.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT THAT WE TEST FOR DIABETES
Diabetes especially type 2 does not start suddenly. You will not be overwhelmed overnight with symptoms that will force you to seek medical care. It starts slowly sometimes with fatigue, blurred vision, frequent boils and other symptoms that “do not” appear like the picture of diabetes we have created in our minds. This is why it is so crucial that we all GET TESTED and ensure that others get tested too.
• Someone with Type 2 diabetes could live for several years without showing symptoms BUT the raised blood sugar will be causing damage to practically every organ in the body.
• It is important that someone with diabetes is diagnosed earlier and management started early so that the risk of complications can be reduced, costs of management can be contained and money that would have been used for diabetes management could be spent in other equally pressing areas.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
• Diabetes is a leading cause of; heart and blood vessel diseases such as stroke and heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations.
• One-third of all people currently living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes may develop eye complications that could lead to blindness.
• As the world creates children who are physically inactive and masters of poor nutrition, Type 2 diabetes in children may become a global public health issue sooner than we can imagine.
• Checking blood sugar alone is not enough to manage diabetes and reduce or avoid complications. Get professional help to control blood pressure, manage lipids (cholesterol), check your kidneys, eyes and heart as well and never leave out foot care.
ONE in TWO adults with diabetes is undiagnosed, together we can “find” the undiagnosed ones to start management and prevent complications that put more of a burden on our already overstretched finances. Corporate Social Responsibility on my mind.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ St Andrews Clinic
Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.
Thought for the week – “There is an URGENT need to SCREEN, DIAGNOSE and provide appropriate TREATMENT to people with diabetes.”
This November help to fight diabetes. If you do not know what to do, contact your nearest health facility or send an email to email@example.com
1. International Diabetes Federation – World Diabetes Day, 2016