Diabetes is one of the most common illnesses among many Filipinos. However, did you know that you can have diabetes and be unaware of it? To prevent diabetes from becoming more serious, you should be aware of important medical facts so you’ll be able to treat it properly.
“Many people are being affected by diabetes, and some aren’t even aware that they have it. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to severe health complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and a blood vessel disease that may require amputation. That is why it’s vital to learn more about diabetes and if needed, seek proper treatment immediately,” says MediCard president and CEO Dr. Nicky Montoya.
Here’s what you need to know about diabetes:
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a health complication wherein the body either can’t produce insulin or does not use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that enables the body to use glucose that is found in food for energy. There are several types of diabetes but the most common ones are Type 1, where the pancreas does not produce insulin; and Type 2, where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not use insulin properly.
What are its symptoms? People with diabetes experience frequent urination, excessive thirst, constant hunger, irritability, blurry vision, extreme and unexplained fatigue, wounds or cuts that are slow to heal, weight loss even if you are eating more, and tingling, numbness or pain in the hands and feet. In some cases, individuals with diabetes don’t show any symptoms. That is why it is very important to visit your doctor regularly for check-ups.
What are its complications? People with diabetes are more at risk of having other serious health problems. They are more prone to infections. High glucose levels and high blood pressure can also lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve disease and eye diseases, among others. To avoid complications, it’s important to regularly monitor and maintain your blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol.
How is it treated? To prevent complications of diabetes, Dr. Montoya recommends that diabetics should have a meal plan prescribed by a dietitian. Eating healthy and engaging in physical activities will help the body break down insulin better and convert glucose into energy. Some need to take insulin injections and oral agents, pills which help diabetics produce more insulin or utilize insulin better. Always remember to visit a diabetes specialist regularly to monitor your glucose level.
What should I do to prevent diabetes? To reduce your risk of diabetes, get moving and have a regular exercise routine like 30 minutes of walking a day. Dr. Montoya also recommends reducing your consumption of alcohol and processed sugars such as candies and sodas while adding more food rich in monounsaturated fats in your diet like avocados, nuts and olive oil.
Learn how to combat diabetes. MediCard has numerous free-standing clinics located in key cities nationwide that offer endocrinology consultations. Visit a MediCard clinic near you or check out their website at www.medicardphils.com for more information.