According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 1 in 11 adults suffers from diabetes. According to IDF, 32% of adults between the ages of 20 to 79 in the UAE might have diabetes in the next decade if they do not change their lifestyle. If you have diabetes, it means that your body cannot make enough insulin or it cannot effectively assimilate the insulin it makes. When high blood sugar from diabetes is not treated, it can damage your eyes, nerves, kidneys, etc.
It is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes. You should seek medical attention if you experience frequent urination, increased thirst, and hunger, blurred vision, weight loss, increased fatigue, etc.
There are 3 types of diabetes type 1, 2, and gestational. Type 1 diabetes was previously known as childhood-onset, juvenile, or insulin-dependent. It is characterized by inadequate insulin production and requires daily insulin intake.
Type 2 diabetes previously known as adult-onset, or non-insulin-dependent occurs when the body does not utilize insulin effectively. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type is commonly caused by a lack of physical activities and excessive weight.
Gestational diabetes, on the other hand, is hyperglycemic. It’s associated with pregnancy and goes away after pregnancy. This type of diabetes increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life for the woman and child involved.
How the UAE is Fighting Diabetes
The UAE is among the top nations with high numbers of diabetes patients that is why it is on the frontline to enlighten its residents about diabetes. The government has put in place various measures to fight diabetes. These are;
Dubai Diabetes Center
The number of diabetes cases in Dubai is among the highest in the world; that’s why the Dubai Health Authority developed a fully-equipped facility to help people with diabetes. This center provides extensive diabetes care with world-class standards.
The center has a team of endocrinologists, dietician educators, nurses, mental health counselors, podiatrists, and exercise physiologists. The facility also performs retinal photography and lab evaluations. There is a pediatric endocrine clinic to cater to young patients with diabetes; it has a child-friendly environment. The center is large enough to accommodate more patients and for specialists to work extended hours. The team works with patients to provide an individualized treatment plan.
National Diabetes Registry
The Dubai Health Authority developed a diabetes registry to convey real-time data of diabetic patients. Did you know that many diabetes cases that go undiagnosed can cause problems later in life? Several experts can identify diabetes; for instance, your cardiologist in Dubai can identify whether your heart problems are associated with diabetes.
The Diabetes Registry provides an accurate number of patients living with diabetes in the emirates. The authorities can get yearly statistics to understand whether they are winning or losing against diabetes. It also helps to make appropriate prevention campaigns. An endocrinologist can understand the diabetes history of patients and predict whether they will develop complications.
The best thing about visiting a medical center in Dubai is that the doctor can conduct the necessary tests to identify if you have diabetes. The Dubai Health Authority’s hospital introduced joint clinics for diabetes patients with complications. These clinics provide multidisciplinary care for the patient’s convenience. They also provide an opportunity for patients to consult multiple healthcare professionals at the same time instead of making several appointments or visiting on different days.
The DHA opened 2 joint clinics in Dubai hospital. The first joint clinic has endocrinologists and nephrologists to deal with diabetes patients with kidney complications. This clinic happens monthly. The second is a weekly thyroid clinic; endocrinologists examine patients. The endocrine team performs biopsies and thyroid ultrasound when necessary. They also refer patients to surgeons.
Prevention is better than cure; that’s why the government is at the forefront to educate its citizens on ways to prevent diabetes. The endocrine department at DHA focuses on educating healthcare professionals across the UAE and region. This will enlighten them on ways to better manage patients with diabetes. Healthcare experts will gain more knowledge and skills.
The Dubai Healthcare Authority also raises public awareness of the importance of early diabetes diagnosis and management. It leads the citizens on various awareness campaigns throughout the year to spearhead the fight against diabetes. They also hold campaigns in universities, schools, and labor campaigns to create awareness among patients with diabetes, their families, and the community. They enlighten the masses on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle; eating healthily, exercising, and regular screening.
The UAE has one of the highest numbers of patients with diabetes. Obesity which is caused by unhealthy lifestyles and lack of exercise contributes to the high numbers. The government is involved in the war against diabetes; it encourages screening and treatment, keeps track of all patients, and trains health professionals on various ways of managing diabetes.