Diabetes, an ailment that shows no mercy - GulfToday

Diabetes, an ailment that shows no mercy


A paramedic checks the blood sugar level of a patient at a clinic in Jakarta, Indonesia. Reuters

The silent killer disease diabetes can be ruthless in its attack. The report by the International Diabetes Federation that one in ten (10.5%) adults around the world is currently living with diabetes is surely cause for concern, and raises a red flag globally.

The total number is predicted to rise to 643 million (11.3%) by 2030 and to 783 million (12.2%) by 2045.

These figures are definitely alarming.

World Diabetes Day is observed annually on November 14 to raise awareness on the high blood sugar condition and related consequences.

India, known as the diabetes capital of the world, is home to one in six diabetics on the globe.

The coronavirus only made the condition of diabetics in that country worse. The infectious disease not only raised the risk of severe disease progression and death among diabetics, affecting even the recovery, it also contributed towards the burden of diabetes.

While on an average, diabetes reduces life expectancy by 4-10 years increasing the risk of death due to other comorbidities, which include heart attacks, kidney failures and infections, Covid infection fast-tracked that among people with diabetes.

Diabetes increased inflammatory response among COVID patients, spiking their blood sugar levels. It then complicated the course of COVID, resulting in excess morbidity and mortality, apart from posing severe challenges in the recovery of patients.

There is also another worry: an immediate challenge today is the prevention of diabetes among the youth and pregnant women, India’s Union Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh said.

Excluding the mortality risks associated with COVID-19, approximately 6.7 million adults are estimated to have died due to diabetes or its complications in 2021. That’s a huge number and jangles the nerves of the medical fraternity.

The UAE is doing a pretty good job of raising awareness on, and making efforts to control, the disease.

The Ambulatory Healthcare Services conducts preventive examinations for its patients periodically in line with the standards of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health. The services are offered through the “Our Medical Home” programme, where the family doctor is responsible for following up the periodic examinations of the patients.

AHS developed an integrated system of performance indicators that include the percentages of periodic examinations in addition to the percentage of patients controlling their chronic diseases.

The Ambulatory Healthcare Services provides the latest technologies for the treatment of diabetic patients, including the Sudoscan examination which shows neuropathic abnormalities and complications within 3 minutes and without any pain.

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City’s (SKMC) Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology offers the latest treatment methods for all types of diabetes-related diseases and their complications. The centre provides footcare for diabetics, insulin treatments, and blood pressure monitoring.

The diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic at Tawam Hospital provides the latest diagnostic technologies and devices for the treatment of diabetes in adults, children and pregnant women.

At Corniche Hospital, as part of their antenatal care, pregnant women are checked for gestational diabetes.

Dr. Soha Saeed, Consultant and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Corniche Hospital, said: “Corniche Hospital uses the latest blood glucose meters, which is applied to the mother’s arm, and automatically measures and records blood glucose levels for a whole week while she is at her home. Based on the readings, a tailored management plan is developed to control the mother’s blood sugar, and to monitor the pregnancy on an ongoing basis, ensuring a healthy foetus and pregnancy.”

Patients with diabetes should pay attention to their health condition, especially the feet, as diabetic foot syndrome (DFD) is one of the most common complications that diabetic patients suffer from. DFD can often develop from a simple inconvenience to complicated debilitations.

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