Diabetes Awareness


Diabetes is a disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It is the leading cause of blindness, and visual disability in adults in developed countries. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. Treatment involves medicines, diet, and exercise to control blood sugar and prevent symptoms.

In Asia, diabetes is considered as one of the top 10 causes of death. In the Philippines, the incidence of diabetes is on the rise, claiming at least 5,000 lives each year. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country. The government reports that the diabetes mortality rate has increased by 92 percent over a 10-year period. Many Filipinos who are afflicted with diabetes do not know they have it already. In many urban areas, a proportion of the population is reportedly leading unhealthy lifestyle without exercise.

The World Health Organization reports that diabetics are twice more prone to heart attack and cardiovascular diseases, and that heart disease accounts for 75 percent of deaths among people with diabetes in industrialized countries. It is said that by 2025, most people with diabetes will be in aged 65 years or more, while in developing countries most will be in aged 45 to 65 years range.

Regular exercise is important for people with diabetes. It helps to control blood sugar, weight gain, and high blood pressure. People with diabetes who exercise are less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who do not exercise regularly.

New research and improved treatment are constantly being developed. With blood glucose and blood pressure control, healthy diet, and physical activity, many of the complications can be prevented. Studies show that self-discipline and control of risk factors in persons with diabetes help reduce kidney, eye and nervous system diseases, heart attack and stroke.

(source: Manila Bulletin)
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