Alarming rise in diabetes, urgent awareness highly recommended

Majorities of the 84 lakh diabetic patients in the country don’t know they have diabetes, according to the Diabetes Association of Bangladesh or better known as Bangladesh Diabetic Somiti (BADAS). The organization also reveals that out of every 10 persons at least one develops diabetes in Bangladesh. The number of diabetic patients in the world has exceeded 8 million while the estimated number of diabetic patients in Bangladesh are about 90 lakhs, with one lakh new patients adding every year.

Experts fear that the number of diabetic patients in the world will exceed 55 million by 2030 if effective measures are not taken to prevent diabetes right now. People of all ages are suffering from diabetes today, including childhood diabetes. Patients are increasing at double the current rate every year. Many people are suffering from this disease due to lack of mainly awareness.

The President of the Bangladesh Diabetic Association (BDA) Dr A K Azad said, "Not everyone in the country knows that he/she is suffering from diabetes. The main reason for this is unconsciousness and reluctance to go to the doctor. Most people in our country do not want to go to the doctor unless there is a major illness.”

Without the help of family members, it is not possible to control diabetes. Everybody should check blood sugar regularly - everyone in the family should take care of them, he added. In addition, mentioning about lack of sufficient knowledge on diabetes, he mentioned that, people with obesity, or someone with diabetes and who do not engage in regular physical activities, are at great risk of developing diabetes. The screening should start before the age of 40. At least at the age 30 you must checkup once a year. Awareness is mandatory for diabetes.

Diabetes patients need to take regular insulin or drugs and keep them in the monitoring and check for regular examinations of kidney function, eye vision and nerve conduction examination which are usually affected at the initial stage of developing diabetes. Head of the Department of Endocrinology BIRDEM, Dr Faruque Pathan said, two things need to be emphasized in the management of this disease. First, those who are not diabetics can be diabetic, so take preventive measures in advance.

And those who are already affected by diabetes should control blood sugar and avoid any complications that may arise from excess input of sugar in blood, he added. The treatment of diabetes should be family-based. Because it is not possible for the patient to control the disease. All families have to help control the disease. Without awareness doctors or patients can’t tackle this, he pointed out.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), old men in the family is at the highest risk of developing diabetes, as young, pregnant women and even children are also not out of risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is one of the main causes of lacks of physical and labor-intensive activities.

The World Health Organization in 1980 estimated the number of diabetic patients in the world to be about 11 million; in 2000 the number increased to about 17 million; which is about 3 percent of the world’s population. WHO expects that number to be more than double by 2030. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) states nearly 80 percent of the adult population suffering from diabetes is from middle and low-income countries.