Diabetes: A silent killer

Pakistan is the seventh highest population f diabetic patients in the world; alarmingly 7.1 million people suffer from diabetes. According to National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology Director, Dr Zaman Shaikh, with an estimate of present prevalence, it is estimated that by 2030, Pakistan will have the fourth largest diabetic population in the world that will be around 13.8 million people. In Pakistan, approximately 88,000 people die from diabetes every year, in which 35,615 are men and 52,397 are women. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children with about 200 children worldwide develop Type 1 diabetes every day. The age of onset of diabetes in Pakistan is one of the lowest in the world and it is becoming a disease of young generation. Because of high instance of diabetes in children, it is important to educate the public about the early warning signs of diabetes. The warning signs of diabetes are often overlooked and misdiagnosed as a flu or stomach viruses. If Type 1 diabetes, or the inability of the body to create insulin due to an autoimmune disorder, is not detected at an early age in children can be difficult to manage. With early diagnosis and access to care diabetes can be controlled. In many cases Type 2 diabetes, where the body does not produce enough insulin can only be diagnosed early if the children undergo regular blood and urine tests. Self-monitoring of diabetes is crucial to early detection of diabetes. Healthy diet, regular physical activities, maintaining a normal body weight, managing stress and depression and by avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes that makes up around 90 percent of diabetes cases. Government, health workers and media has to play a significant role to educate public about the common symptoms and compilations of diabetes.

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