At the Heart of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that can lead to complications over time. These complications can include:

  • Coronary heart diseases  or Cardiovascular disease which can lead to a heart attack
  • Cerebrovascular diseases which can lead to a stroke
  • Retinoplasty (disease of the eye) which can lead to blindness
  • Nephropathy (disease of the kidney) which can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis
  • Neuropathy (disease of the nerves) which can lead to, among other things, ulceration of the foot requiring amputation.

Many of these complications produce no symptoms in the early stages, and most can be prevented or minimized with a combination of regular medical care and blood sugar monitoring.

Heart diseases, particularly coronary heart diseases (CHD) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus. At least 68% of people aged 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16% of people die of stroke. Compared to individuals without diabetes, those with diabetes have a higher prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD), a greater extent of coronary ischemia, and are more likely to have a Heart Attack (MI) and silent heart attack.

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Diabetes effects in UAE

The effect of Diabetes in the UAE

November is designated as the official Diabetes Awareness Month, and Specialist Physician Dr. George Cherian sat down with the reporters of Friday Magazine to give his insights on the condition and the effects of Diabetes in the UAE. Here are the excerpts from the published interview.

Diabetes in 2017;  how is it affecting people here in the UAE, any statistics/numbers that you can share? 

The International Diabetes Federation states that 415 million people globally have diabetes. As per research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, 19.3% of the population in UAE are living with Diabetes.

Diabetes is extremely common these days. Earlier it was seen in people above the age of 50. These days there are innumerable cases of youngsters who have diabetes. There are two common types of diabetes, namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 and typically develops in adults, although now children as young as 13 years of age develop the condition. The increase in type 2 diabetes appears to be driven by genetics and unhealthy lifestyle conditions. Genetic factors are out of individual control, however, lifestyle factors like healthy dietary practices and maintaining a healthy weight are factors that can be controlled and managed at an individual level.

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Defeating Diabetes

The International Diabetes Federation states that 415 million people globally have diabetes. As per research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, 19.3% of the population in UAE are living with Diabetes. [1]

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person has high blood sugar caused by discrepancies in producing sufficient insulin. It is a serious chronic condition caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is responsible for regulating and maintaining the blood sugar levels in the normal range. Insulin deficiency causes an imbalance in the blood sugar levels, raising it to higher than normal levels, resulting in Diabetes.

Every year, the 14th of November is recognized as World Diabetes Day, in order to spread the word about diabetes and its health consequences of being left untreated and ineffectively managed. World Diabetes Day 2017 goes to the theme Women and Diabetes – Our right to a healthy future.

Half of the people affected by diabetes globally are women. The burden of diabetes on women is unique because it can affect a woman and her unborn child. There are majorly 2 types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas considering it to be a foreign body. The pancreas stop functioning and there is no insulin production, hence causing the buildup on sugar levels in the blood. Type 2 diabetes generally develops after the age of 35 and is caused when the body doesn’t develop sufficient insulin or becomes insulin resistant.  Women, however also suffer from a condition called as Gestational Diabetes.

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The importance of handwashing

Is the hype about hand washing really true or is it an overreaction?

It is common knowledge that washing hands well after performing any activity is the best way to keep away from infections. Hand washing is the oldest and most simple step one can take in order to ensure prevention of bacterial infections or spread of infections from person to person. It is one of the most underrated means of prevention because a lot of times when we are asked to wash our hands we ignore it. But this is a message that is actually worth repeating.

Proper handwashing helps prevent many illnesses as germs can spread in many ways. In our daily routines, we often touch many things and objects without realizing the harm it could cause. Everything from doorknobs, tables, bottles to our own mobile phones have germs because various people use/touch it. Once a person is infected, it’s only a matter of time before that the people around also get infected. Handwashing is definitely the first line of defense against the spread of various infections like the common cold, hepatitis, meningitis, respiratory infections, skin, and diarrhea etc. Handwashing is definitely an underrated technique of saving yourself a trip to the hospital. It is like self-vaccinating against infectious diseases.

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Orthopaedic specialist in Silicon Oasis

Common orthopaedic conditions in children

  1. How common are these conditions in the UAE, do have any statistics?

Conditions such as in-toeing, flat feet, bowlegs and knock knee are rather common conditions affecting infants and children. In all of these cases, parents often anxiously rush to consult a specialist in order to check if their child’s limbs are normal. In most cases, these issues are not serious health concerns but a part of development.

  1. How frequently do you see these cases as a doctor and how do you usually deal with them?

In-toeing or pigeon toe is an extremely common condition found in children which they generally outgrow with age. Parents often consult us with the request to fix the deformity in their child’s feet. However children below the age of 8, with this condition do not require any specific treatment as they will outgrow it naturally.                               (more…)

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