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Local Health News
Diabetes Now An Epidemic in the Philippines
Written by L.D. Ramirez (info sourced from articles written by Pocholo Concepcion of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Henrylito Tacio of Business Mirror)

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50,000 Filipinos died in 2017 due to diabetes-related complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney and heart failure.


According to the Western Pacific Region of the International Diabetes Federation, the Philippines has more than 5 million diagnosed diabetics.


The foundation also noted that 50,000 Filipinos died in 2017 due to diabetes-related complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney and heart failure.


Diabetes destroys many of the organs in our body. It’s the #1 cause of blindness and the #1 cause of kidney failure. It destroys or blocks the blood vessels in the heart, in the brain, and in the legs, so that the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke, or leg amputation, is much higher than normal.


"Diabetes can be controlled, however," says Dr. JM Co, chair of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. “Avoid the risk factors: being overweight, and lack of exercise.”


It’s also important, he stressed, to have a checkup: “Get tested on or before age 40. Those who are at low risk should get checked every three years. Those with risk factors should get one every year.”


WHAT IS DIABETES?


Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders marked by high blood sugar over a long period.


The three main types of diabetes are:

  • Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes), which results from the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes (adult diabetes), which starts with insulin resistance or when cells fail to respond to insulin properly.
  • Gestational diabetes, or when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes, develop high blood sugar levels

To know if you’re diabetic, fast for 8-14 hours.

  • For nondiabetics, blood sugar level should be less than 100.
  • For prediabetics, blood sugar level will be around 100-125.
  • For diabetics, blood sugar level will be 126 and above.

Also, common symptoms are frequent urinating, thirstiness, hunger, extreme fatigue, blurry vision; slow-healing cuts or bruises, weight loss, even when eating more (type 1), tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and / or feet (type 2).


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Figure 01 - Uncontrolled diabetes eventually leads to - among other things - heart and kidney failure .


AVOIDING DIABETES


In layman’s language, Dr. Co pointed out how to avoid suffering from diabetes, which, he said, now afflicts 3 to 4 million Filipinos.


“You can control diabetes,” Dr Co said confidently. “Simply avoid the risk factors: obesity (being overweight) and inactivity (lack of exercise).”


It’s also important to have a checkup: “Get tested before age 40. It’s strongly recommended for all Filipinos at age 40—those who are at low risk, every three years, those with risk factors, do it annually.”


© Aventus Medical Care Inc., 2019.
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