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Controlling diabetes in Pakistan

May 16, 2013

PAKISTAN is the seventh highest population suffering from diabetes and if the trend continues, we would become the fourth largest nation in the world within 20 years.

Diabetes is the challenging public health problem and leading cause for morbidity and mortality. If diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as blindness, heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and neuropathy.

Sign and symptoms of diabetes include increase thirst, extreme hunger, frequent urination, unusual weight loss, presence of ketones in urine, fatigue, blurred vision, frequent infections, high blood pressure and slow healing sores. Onset of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right food, increasing the level of physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can dramatically reduce the progression of type 2 diabetes.

Preventing diabetes is worth much more than a pound of cure. People with risk factors for diabetes should be screened regularly with glucose tests. Early detection and treatment can avert many diabetic complications. Those who already have diabetes can help prevent complications such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy by maintaining control over their glucose.

DR SHIREEN NAZIR Karachi