We have all heard of diabetes, and we probably know someone who has either Type 1 or Type 2, and their individual struggles, but what do you really know about it? Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. It is a sizable public health concern worldwide, and the Philippines is no exception. An increasingly Western lifestyle and diet has led to a marked increase in the incidence of diabetes amongst the Filipino population.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it was estimated that around 4.8 million adults aged 20-79 were living with diabetes in the Philippines in 2019. This number is projected to increase to 6.8 million by 2045. Most diabetes cases in the Philippines are type 2 diabetes, which accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases, however there is a significant concern about the number of cases of diabetes that go undiagnosed. In 2019, it was estimated that about 2.5 million adults in the Philippines were living with undiagnosed diabetes.
We all know that there are several risk factors that contribute to the onset of diabetes, including, sedentary lifestyles, obesity, unhealthy diets, family history of diabetes, and increasing urbanisation. Diabetes can also lead to a range of related complications, including cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye damage, and more seriously, lower limb amputations.
For those with a family history of diabetes, EasyDNA Philippines offers the Genetic Predisposition Health Test. Simply, this test is designed to analyse an individual’s DNA to identify potential genetic variants or markers that could be associated with an increased risk of developing certain diseases or conditions, including diabetes, and 34 others. This test is based on advancements in genetic research and the identification of specific genetic variations linked to various health outcomes. Your results can provide insights into your unique genetic makeup and help you make more informed decisions about your health.
National Diabetes Week is an awareness campaign that aims to educate the public about diabetes, its risk factors, prevention, management, and available resources. Officially, National Diabetes Week in the Philippines runs from July 9-15, but it is a three-week observance to highlight diabetes, its causes, management, and research. During National Diabetes Week, various organisations, including government agencies, healthcare providers, diabetes associations, and advocacy groups, collaborate to raise awareness about diabetes and its impact on individuals, families, and communities, and often involves initiatives such as:
Health screenings: Free or discounted diabetes screenings are conducted to detect undiagnosed cases and raise awareness about the importance of early detection.
Educational programs: Seminars, workshops, and community events are organised to provide information about diabetes prevention, management, nutrition, exercise, and self-care practices.
Awareness campaigns: Public service announcements, advertisements, social media campaigns, and other forms of media are used to reach a wider audience and disseminate information about diabetes.
Support groups: Existing diabetes support groups may hold special meetings or events to provide support, share experiences, and offer guidance to individuals and families affected by diabetes.
So, if you are concerned that your lifestyle might play a hand in contributing to diabetes, then it is time to make some changes. Remember, a small change could change your life!