Diabetes management is not only about reducing blood sugar
Diabetes and its complications are major causes of death in most countries. The thin line between life and death is often the lack of awareness.
Despite the fact that lifestyle interventions and adherence to medications are central to disease prevention and management, public health education is still needed at the population level to address the public lack of awareness of the disease, its complications and their lasting effects on a person’s health and psyche. Moreover, it is important to encourage behavior change to prevent type 2 diabetes’ multiple complications.
Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent form of diabetes and has increased alongside cultural and societal changes. In high-income countries, up to 91% of adults with the disease have type 2 diabetes.In the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), two out of five adults with diabetes are actually undiagnosed.
People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, it is evident that the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) doubles. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death and disability among people with diabetes. Further risks are aggravated by high cholesterol, smoking and sedentary lifestyle.
Awareness campaigns, specialized clinics, and financial investments are some of the actions implemented to address not only the increase in the number of diagnosed patients but to raise awareness and prevent diabetes complications within the diabetic population. The American Diabetes Association recommends that in all patients with diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors should be systematically assessed at least annually.To prevent adverse effects on one’s health, it is most advisable to manage glucose, also called blood sugar. There is growing evidence supporting the cardio-protective benefits of some pharmacological agents over the others in certain cohorts of patients, however, research in this field is still ongoing to provide more details.
The high blood glucose due to diabetes damages not only blood vessels but also one’s nervous system, kidneys, and eyes. Reducing one’s weight especially through a balanced diet and exercise can decrease insulin concentration and increase insulin sensitivity. Also; restricting from harmful lifestyle habits such as smoking can further help, in addition to controlling the blood pressure and cholesterol. Reducing CVD outcomes associated with diabetes requires a global approach that focuses on the reduction of multiple risk factors for CVD. Completing the annual cycle of care can help achieve better outcomes for people with diabetes. Regular assessments can prevent complications and other adverse outcomes associated with the disease.
Dr. Najiba M Abdulrazzaq
Head of Medical Department
Al Baraha Hospital
Head of Infection Prevention and Control Central Committee