Women prone to diabetes – expert

BAGUIO CITY  – An expert from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) disclosed that women have greater chances of contracting the dreaded diabetes once preventive measures of control will not be embraced by individuals during the early stages of the illness.

Dr. Domingo Solimen, head of BGHMC’s Diabetes Prevention program, said that in the next two decades the number of people with diabetes in the world will increase from the current 400 million to 640 million, wherein 313 million will be females.

Diabetes mellitus is not a single disease considering that it is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous of metabolic disorders characterized by glucose intolerance, with hyperglycemia present at time of diagnosis.

Solimen explained that diabetes is an interaction between two factors, lifestyle, which includes obesity, nutrition and lack of physical activity or exercise and specific cases that depends on the types of diabetes.

The BGHMC official disclosed that the types of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes, which is insulin dependent, Type 2 which is non-insulin dependent diabetes, and gestational diabetes which develops during pregnancy and can develop into full-blown diabetes.

According to him, the ration of people contracting diabetes in the world is 1:10 while in the Philippines, it is 1:15. In Baguio and its environs, the ration of individuals contracting diabetes is 1:20 while outside the urban areas, it is already 1:25.

Solimen claimed non-insulin dependent diabetes is common occurring in about 90 to 95 percent of all persons with diabetes but it is also more preventable because it is associated with obesity and diet.

Among the risk factors of the non-insulin dependent diabetes is the family history of diabetes like parents of siblings with diabetes, overweight and obesity, sedentary lifestyle like those with hypertension, history of gestational diabetes like delivery of a baby weighing 9 pounds or 4 kilos, complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycemic coma and hypoglycemia, especially in insulin-dependent diabetes.

He explained chronic complications cause most of the disability associated with the disease which include chronic renal kidney disease, blindness, coronary artery disease and stroke as well as foot ulcers.

Solimen disclosed that among the ways to prevent and control diabetes include the proper maintenance of body weight and prevent obesity through proper nutrition and physical activity or exercise, encourage proper nutrition, promote regular physical activity and exercise to prevent obesity, and quit smoking.

He emphasized almost 50 percent of those with diabetes do not have symptoms and that the condition is discovered during regular checkups where only a blood examination can determine if one has elevated blood sugar levels. There is no known cure for diabetes since a diabetic person has to take therapy for the rest of his or her life to maintain a normal blood sugar level and to prevent complications.

By Dexter A. See

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