Type 2 diabetes is increasing in prevalence across the world at epidemic rates.
Absolute prevalence varies widely between different countries and between ethnic groups, said Belhoul Speciality Hospital’s Specialist Endocrinologist Dr Imad Ginawi. He said all populations in the developed and developing countries are showing dramatic increases in the burden of morbidity and mortality from diabetes and its complications.
Organised by the International Diabetes Federatio, the Annual World Diabetes Day falls on November 14 and the theme for 2005 is diabetes and foot care, “Put feet first, prevent amputations.” World Diabetes Day was introduced in 1991 in response to the escalating incidence of diabetes worldwide.
According to Dr Ginawi, the disease remains silent for many years (7-10 years) damaging the body before it shows itself as increased thirst, passing large amount of urine, hunger spells and weight loss in some patients. Some patients may know that they are diabetic because of skin, chest or urinary tract infection. Other patients may discover that they are diabetic with their first heart attack or stroke.
“Diabetes is a very serious disease. It is a disease of the heart, large and small blood vessels, this is why it affects the whole body but mainly the heart, brain, leg vessels, kidneys and the eyes,” said Dr Ginawi.
“Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a serious risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and leg amputation. It is the leading cause of blindness and renal failure worldwide,” he added.
The past 10-20 years have seen dramatic developments in the treatments of diabetes and its complications. Technologies such as accurate blood glucometers, insulin pens, potent oral hypoglycaemic drugs and a change in approach have enabled patients to achieve greater control over their disease.
Also aggressive treatment of associated risk factors like high cholesterol, hypertensio, weight management and smoking cessatio, give a better outcomes. It is our role now to prevent people from becoming diabetic by advising people to have ideal body weight, exercise regularly and have healthy diet.

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