Living with diabetes: how should we care?

Diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions and its impact will continue to grow in the coming decades, mainly due to the increase in obesity, one of the most important risk factors. On World Diabetes Day, November 14, we review the current scenario and offer some care to control this pathology and prevent other.

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin ( a hormone responsible for regulating the level of glucose in the blood) or the body does not use it effectively.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with diabetes has quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, most of whom live in developing countries.

The International Diabetes Federation (FND) estimates that by the year 2040, more than 600 million people will suffer from this disease worldwide.

Care and control

After the diagnosis, the patients must adapt their lives to the new situation.

The daily coexistence with diabetes implies special attention to disproportionate increases in blood sugar, which is known as hyperglycemia, and also to the decrease of these levels (hypoglycemia), conventionally below 70 mg / dl.

These imbalances should be avoided with self – monitoring of glucose and medication dosages, the practice of physical exercise and proper nutrition.

The Spanish Society of Diabetes  has warned that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to blindness and has reported that 35% of those diagnosed suffer diabetic retinopathy and 7% diabetic macular edema.

These changes should be prevented through periodic eye examinations, with a minimum frequency of once a year, because a quick action will ensure better results to preserve the vision.

Regarding renal impairment, diabetes can cause diabetic nephropathy, so it is very important to control blood pressure to protect the kidneys from further damage, as well as cholesterol.

In addition, about 15% of people with diabetes will develop conditions in the foot , the most common are neuropathy (loss of feeling) and peripheral vascular disease, highlighted the College of Podiatrists of Valencia.

These pathologies require an adequate treatment, since if they are seriously complicated by the problems of cicatrization they could end up in amputation.

For this reason, it is recommended to use a suitable footwear , especially care for hygiene and rehydrate feet daily to combat dryness and prevent cracking and infections, as well as perform daily visual scans to rule out injury.

At oral level, the main problems that can occur are: alterations in the development and replacement of teeth, fungal infections, enlargement of the salivary glands and decreased salivary flow. To prevent complications and good oral health, diabetic patients should maintain adequate hygiene habits.

Obesity: main risk factor

Among the factors that have contributed to the dramatic increase in diabetes are overweight and obesity worldwide.

Obesity is the cause of more than 40% of diabetes, so these cases could be prevented or delayed by adopting healthy lifestyles.

WHO has warned that childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century, and experts talk about a real public health crisis.

Currently, surgery can cure type II diabetes in people with excess weight of 30kg. Or with a body mass index greater than 35.

This is achieved by performing a metabolic by-pass that prevents food from passing through the stomach to the distal part of the small intestine, modifying the interaction of the hormones responsible for diabetes, achieving a normal pancreatic function and sufficient for its function Metabolic.

The procedure is performed by laparoscopy, without aggression and without opening the patient.

Apps for mobile

In diabetes, each patient requires personalized treatment and the novelties are directed towards new antidiabetics and synthetic insulins with a more individualized therapeutic approach.

Since the technology is also being recorded advances intended to facilitate the lives of diabetics and mobile applications are emerging as a promising tool. It is estimated that there are over 1,200 apps and these patients take a more active role in managing their data and their health care.

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