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World Diabetes Day Raises Awareness on Prevalence, Complications

Many With Diabetes Remain Unaware of their Affliction Before Checkup
By: Farrah Abdelazim

A number of AUC students and faculty suffer from diabetes, but many more were unaware that they had the disease.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by blood sugar levels higher than normal due to the lack of insulin secretion by the pancreas and can result in eye, kidney, nerves, feet and heart complications.

On November 14, Dr. Meshir from the Arab Association for the Study of Diabetes and Metabolism (AASD) held a lecture on diabetes, methods of prevention and complications at the Shafik Gabr Hall to commemorate World Diabetes Day.

Meshir spoke about diabetes for one hour, and spent the remaining time checking the blood sugar levels of students and faculty.

Some students and faculty were previously diagnosed with diabetes and were there to check their blood sugar levels.

But four students who had come to the lecture discovered for the first time that they were indeed diabetic.

“There are four different types of diabetes, the first one is dependent on insulin. The second, gestational diabetes, is not depending on insulin and is caused by different reasons,” said Meshir.

She also added that there are several  factors that increase the expectancy rate of diabetes, including family history, laziness and not practicing sports.

However, according to Meshir, complications can be avoided by controlling the blood sugar level and performing regular checkups.

“My diabetes patients eat healthy, decrease salts and spices and caffeine and read the instructions and components stacked on food … Avoid eating large amounts of food on the same meal to avoid increasing the percentage of blood pressure,” she said.

As threatening as the disease is, diabetic patients do not often experience complications unless they fail to take their medications on time.

“Today was very useful given that some attendees actually found out that they are diabetic while others who already knew also had checkups,” Ahmed Galal from Novartis, a global pharmaceuticals company, told The Caravan.

If you want to be in the safe side and avoid diabetes then avoid stress and pressure stay away from anything that cause stress , he added.

Ahmed Tarek, management student at the British University in Egypt (BUE) and  a diabetic believes that the main reason behind his disease is both unhealthy eating habits and increased psychological pressure.

“I do not only like food but I do eat too much sweets per day,” he said .

Although family history does put one at risk of being diabetic, it is not necessarily guaranteed.

“My mom and grandparents are all diabetic but doctors told me that having direct family members with diabetes does not necessarily mean that I was bound to have it too,” he said.

Dr. Abdelazim Youssef, an ophthalmologist in the Al-Watany Eye hospital, said that most complications of diabetes appear in the eyes.

“It could cause blindness and high eye pressure and the best way to control the complications is by controlling your food,” he said.  

He also added that the average age of diabetic patients who visit his clinic is 50 and above.

Ahmed Galal said that diabetics  should consult a doctor regularly and at least walk half an hour per day, and avoid fast food  in order to maintain their health.

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