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A GROUP reminded the public of the negative impacts or dangers of diabetes, which leads to long-term complications for the person who has it.

The Cebu Chapter of Diabetes Philippines Inc. organized a lecture and awareness program as part of the culminating activity of Diabetes Awareness Week 2022 (fourth week of July), which was themed “Say NO to XXX, NO to Xtra Rice, NO to Xtra Calories, NO to Xtra Pounds” at the Barangay Guadalupe Sports Complex in Cebu City on Saturday morning July 23, 2022

Diabetologist Dr. Marissa Garcia, president of the Diabetes Philippines-Cebu Chapter, advised the public to be mindful of what they are eating – avoid, otherwise eat moderately, foods with too many carbohydrates like bread, rice, noodles and pasta like these are major causes of diabetes.

Garcia defined diabetes as chronic or long-lasting with negative effects on the body when a person’s blood sugar rises because the body’s insulin or a hormone in the pancreas can no longer control the rise in blood sugar.

She added that the disease can also be passed on to offspring of the affected person.

To determine if a person has diabetes, Dr. Garcia said there are three main symptoms: The first is polyuria, which is a condition when a person’s body produces more urine , reaching 15 liters of urine per day instead of the normal three liters of urine; the second is polydipsia, a condition in which a person drinks too much water but no amount of water can quench their thirst; and the third symptom is polyphagia, a condition when a person eats an excessive amount of food, sometimes accompanied by severe weight loss due to high blood sugar.

The doctor said that a person who has these three symptoms should confirm if they have diabetes by undergoing lab tests.

Testing can be fasting blood glucose testing or random blood glucose testing, or via the 75 gram oral glucose tolerance test in which the person will be asked to ingest a sugary juice, measuring how well the person’s body is using the sugar. The other test is the hemoglobin A1C test, a simple blood test that measures the person’s blood sugar levels for the past three months.

Garcia said diabetes, if left untreated, leads to complications that can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney problems and even amputation of body parts due to excessive blood sugar levels that hinders the body’s ability to heal.

“Hopefully by having Diabetes Awareness Week, our program can help or advise our diabetic patients to go see their doctor so they can be advised on the right medicine, the right food to eat, so that they are far from complications,” she said.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by high blood glucose or low blood sugar that over time leads to severe damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, according to the report. ‘World Health Organization.

The WHO added that there are around 422 million people with diabetes worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where around 1.5 million deaths related to the disease are recorded each year. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed deaths from diabetes mellitus ranked fourth in 2020 with 37,265 in total, after heart disease with 99,680 deaths, cancer with 62,289 deaths and cerebrovascular with 59,736 deaths.

Diabetes Philippines, officially the Philippine Diabetics Association, is a national group of doctors and experts in the field of diabetes control. The group, founded in 1958, has 31 chapter provinces, aiming to become the main driving force in identifying patients at risk of diabetes and also to help prevent or slow the increase in the number of people with the disease.

“Our advocacy is to hopefully help people who don’t yet have diabetes, because we can prevent disease or at least delay complications for those who already have diabetes,” Dr. Garcia said.