Diabetes Awareness Week slated

07/23/2010 - CEBU CITY (PIA) – An estimated three out of five Filipinos are pre-diabetic or at high-risk of becoming diabetics and worse, they may not know it.

Dr. Renan S. Dungog of the Diabetes Philippines – Cebu Chapter (DPCC) said that the incidence of diabetes in the country is growing at an alarming rate and that symptoms only surface at a later stage because of complications.

Dungog was one of the main guests of the recent PIA Kapihan that talked on the celebration of the Diabetes Awareness Week from July 27 to August 2.

"Diabetes is the number one endocrine disorder. Just check with the data of hospitalized patients and you will see that most of them are admitted because of diabetes complications such as hypertension, kidney disease, retinopathy which can lead to blindness and neuropathy which can lead to amputation of the lower limbs," Dungog stressed.

Dungog admitted there is no comprehensive data on the incidence of diabetes in the country but that a survey done in seven regions including Central Visayas back in 1998 showed that four to five percent of the populace had Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM T2) in these areas. Cebu is one of the four provinces in Central Visayas.

Other regions that were part of the survey included the National Capital Region, Regions 3, 4, 5, and 10, it was learned.

There are two types of DM – Type 1 and Type 2, but the most common is the DM Type 2 of which 90 to 95 percent of those with diabetes have this kind, according to Dungog.

DM Type 1 is when the person does not have insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the level of the sugar glucose in the blood, while Type 2 has insulin but the cells throughout the body do not respond normally to it, it was also learned.

Dungog said recent studies showed that three out of five Filipinos are pre-diabetic or are potentials to develop diabetes.

Pre-diabetes does not necessarily mean that one has diabetes but that it is a stage where one will ultimately develop diabetes if the high-risk factors are not taken out, Dungog disclosed.

Age and genetics play a role in developing diabetes as Dungog advised 45 years old and above and those whose family has a history of diabetes to undergo blood glucose exam.

Although Dungog said the average age of diabetics is getting younger today at early thirties.

Obesity is the strongest risk factor in developing diabetes that will lead to hypertension and high cholesterol among other complications that will occur while the Filipino diet is usually pack with fats and oil and the Filipinos’ propensity to eat including midnight snacks is geared towards gaining excess weight, Dungog said.

Other predisposing factors mentioned by Dungog are women who gave birth to eight pounds or more where 50 percent of similar cases develop diabetes; large waistline where women with over 30 inches are at risk while 34 inches and over for men; fatty diets that increases weight on top of a sedentary lifestyle (Manila Bulletin)

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