Averting Diabetes Before it Takes Hold

November 14 is World Diabetes Day and for this, Georges Chidiac, Vice President & General Manager of SAICOHEALTH, explores how prediabetics can stop the disease in its tracks, and shines light on new treatment options for Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t be fooled: the ‘pre’ in prediabetes is not a positive diagnosis. Indeed, the ‘pre’ in this particular prefix is telling. Prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. If prediabetes is not managed it can lead to the debilitating disease that is diabetes as well as heart disease and other health issues.

According to figures released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are an estimated 1,185,500 diabetics in the UAE. The IDF also estimates that 13.6 percent of the GCC adult population has been diagnosed with diabetes, higher than the global average of 8.5 percent.

The positive news is that prediabetes can be managed and is completely reversible – with the right attitude. It’s important to use a prediabetes diagnosis as a motivator for making changes that can help  .

Small changes make a big difference, so educate yourself on the condition, start eating the right foods and exercising regularly to manage your weight. Avoid stress and be regimented in ensuring optimal sleep patterns. It’s all part of adopting a cleaner and healthier lifestyle to promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.

This drive for a better lifestyle also applies once Type 2 diabetes has taken hold, although new treatment options are now available which make life more comfortable and managing the disease easier. Insulin pumps are one of the latest treatment options. These pumps are small computerised devices that are programmed to release small doses of insulin continuously over 24 hours (basal), or a bolus dose close to meal times to control the rise in blood glucose after eating. Insulin pumps can help some patients achieve better control of the disease due to its structured drug delivery mechanism, while many others still prefer the continuous delivery of insulin via injections, which is equally effective.

Looking further afield, clinical trials are currently being conducted to consider metabolic surgery in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes with obesity. While results are still being examined, along with the high cost of surgery means that adoption of this method is yet to gain acceptance in the healthcare ecosystem.

Credit: SAICOHEALTH which closely monitors the latest advancements in this field as it has shown positive results particularly with people suffering from obesity.