Approximately 8 million Filipinos are suffering from “pre-diabetes disease”, two health experts said.
Dr. Ruby Go, president of the Philippine Lipid Atherosclerosis Society (Plas), said that there are a great number of Filipinos mostly in their productive years who carry impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired glucose fasting (IGF).
“We’re now concerned with pre-diabetes,” said Go as she explained that the disease is a condition where in blood sugar levels are higher than the normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes .
Citing a study commissioned by the Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Go said unlike the normal diabetes, pre-diabetes has no symptoms and this could only be determined through a blood sugar test.
She added, “Pre-diabetes occurs when the body does not respond properly to its own insulin and this cause glucose levels in the blood to increase,” She, however, admitted that there is no official data yet that would determine the accurate figure of Filipinos who already have the disease .”
Dr. Rosa Allyn Sy, president of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (PSEM), said there are 3.3 million Filipinos who are suffering from diabetes .
She noted that in the 1997 Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) survey conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), there are 2.8 million Filipinos who were diagnosed with diabetes. From 1993 to 1997, 2.1 percent of the deaths recorded are due to diabetes and annually the cases of diabetes continue to increase by 2.5 percent.
Sy said, “Diabetes is one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the country .”
She said there are two types of diabetes, the failure of the body to produce insulin and the failure to respond to insulin and this cause hyperglycemia or an increase the plasma glucose or blood sugar.
Moreover, Sy said that globally, there are 193 million people who have diabetes and is expected to reach 330 million by 2025 with majority of the cases would come from the Western Pacific regio, including the Philippines .
She added,”The prevalence rate of diabetes in Western Pacific region is 4.3 percent and this is expected to go as high as 6.9 percent by 2025.”
Sy and Go said aside from exercise and good Nutrition, taking drugs would also help prevent the diabetes from developing.
Go said medicines like the newly developed Diabetes Reduction Approaches with ramipril and rosiglitazone Medications (Dream) may help in preventing the possible development of type 2 diabetes .
Among the symptoms of diabetes include blurring of the vision, excessive sweating and urine, weight loss, slow healing of the wounds, nausea, vomiting and tingling and numbing of feet and hands.

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