Approximately 34 million children and adults have diabetes. It is a nationwide epidemic and its incidence is rapidly growing across the world. It is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood because of inadequate production and/or action of insulin (hyperlink to Article 1).
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to serious complications such as stroke, heart attack, end-stage kidney disease, and diabetic retinopathy among others. In the Philippines, diabetes is in the top ten leading causes of death among its citizens with about 6% of people dying each year.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the prevalence rate of diabetes in Filipino adults is approximately 6.3%. That means that out of 63 million adults in the country, almost 4 million have diabetes. In a 2016 survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was found that males aged 30-69 have a higher death rate due to diabetes and high blood glucose compared to females. The same WHO report shows that:
• 3% of Filipinos are overweight;
• 4.7% of Filipinos are obese and;
• 7% of Filipinos are physically inactive.
Experts also believe that over 7 million Filipinos will have diabetes by 2030. The increase in diabetes incidences in the Philippines are often attributed to unhealthy eating habits and too much dependence on vices and alcohol.
Factors that increase the risk differ depending on the type of diabetes developed. Risk factors for pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes include:
• Family history (parent or sibling) of pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes;
• Being overweight;
• Having high blood pressure;
• Having a low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and high LDL and triglycerides;
• Being physically inactive;
• Being aged 45 or older;
• Having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds;
• Having or being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS);
• Having a history of heart disease or stroke and;
• Being a smoker.
Other reasons why Filipinos have an increased risk for diabetes include:
• Dependence on electronic gadgets
Although electronic devices bring a lot of information, convenience, and entertainment, they also pose some health risks. Excessive use of gadgets like smartphones and laptops often lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
• Traditional Diet of White Rice
Filipinos will have at least a cup of rice per meal or sometimes indulge in "unli rice". The problem is, some studies have already identified that eating white rice regularly increases diabetes risk by up to 1.5%.
• Challenged Medical Care
Filipinos often have to rely on “out-of-pocket” expenses for their diabetes medical needs, like diagnostic tests and daily medications.
Although diabetes keeps on increasing in prevalence, we shouldn’t give up the fight against the disease. It may be chronic and may not have a definite cure but we should put into mind that this condition can be managed.
• Increase awareness of the disease;
• Incorporate Diabetasol as a meal replacement twice a day to our everyday lives and;
• Continuously follow a healthy lifestyle.
Diabetasol is a meal replacement nutrition powder packed with 11 essential vitamins and 6 minerals. It is recommended for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes, and can also be used by people who want to lose or control weight. It contains Vitadigest, a combination of inulin fiber and slow digesting carbohydrate which helps regulate blood sugar by sustaining the energy release, hence it makes you feel full longer. In addition, the components of vitamin A, C, D, E, and Zinc in Diabetasol can also help enhance your immune system, make you less prone to infection.