Beware of silence-killer diabetes for the global populace


Beware of the insidious threat posed by diabetes, a silent killer that, alongside malaria and HIV/AIDS, stands as one of the most perilous health challenges worldwide. These chronic disease manifests either when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin or when the body cannot effectively utilize the insulin it generates. Insulin, a critical hormone, regulates blood glucose levels.
The International Diabetes Federation issued a report in 2021, stating that approximately 537 million adults are living with diabetes. It predicts that the total number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030. The federation reported 6.7 million deaths worldwide among adults with diabetes as a result of diabetes or its complications in 2021.
The World Health Organization step survey conducted in 2014 mentioned that the prevalence of diabetes in adults is 10.5 per cent. Moreover, one-tenth of the total population in Myanmar is suffering from diabetes. Prevalence of pre-diabetes is 19.7 per cent.
The WHO underscores the gravity of diabetes, citing it as a leading cause of debilitating conditions such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and lower limb amputations. Between 2000 and 2019, diabetes mortality rates saw a concerning three per cent increase across age groups. In 2019 alone, diabetes and related kidney diseases accounted for an estimated two million deaths.
Vigilance is paramount, with regular medical checkups advised for everyone, whether or not symptoms of diabetes manifest. Awareness of diabetes symptoms is crucial, encompassing Type 1 diabetes, characterized by insufficient insulin production, and Type 2 diabetes resulting from the body’s inefficient use of insulin, often linked to excess body weight and physical inactivity. More than 95 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Additionally, Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms may be subtle and take years to surface, including increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss. Seeking prompt medical attention and adhering to physicians’ directives are vital for effective management in receiving medical treatments for diabetes patients.
The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 61/225, designating the 14th of November each year as World Diabetes Day. In accord with the theme of World Diabetes Day 2023: Know your risk, Know your response, this initiative aims to prompt global citizens to prioritize their health and fitness, undergo regular medical checkups, and ensure timely and adequate medical treatment for diabetes, fostering a united front against this pervasive threat to public health.

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