Experts advise diabetic patients to adopt preventive measures

Health experts on Monday advised diabetic patients to adopt preventive measures to avoid serious health hazards including amputation of limbs posed by diabetes, as treatment is costly.

Talking to APP the experts said that number of persons suffering from Diabetes mellitus was increasing rapidly in country.

Executive Director Polyclinic Dr Zahid stressed on prevention or possible delay in dibetese with rigorous lifestyle intervention or drug therapy, 30 minutes daily exercise, at least 2 monthly dietary advice and early treatment for cholesterol and by controlling Blood Pressure.

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He said “patients with diabetes were at very high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and peripheral vascular diseases. They are at more risk of heart attack and heart failure than normal persons.”

Dr Zahid was of the view that in serious complication due to diabetes patients commonly left with no option but surgery that was costly and risky

He stressed on the need to adopt healthy lifestyle and prevention measures for living a better life. Replying to a querry about the symptoms of diabetes, he said that need to urinate several times, feeling severe thirst, reducing weight and fatigue and weakness are important symptoms of this deadly disease.

He said, “Taking balanced diet, regular exercise, weight control, regular medication and proper test of blood glucose level are a few essential factors that could help to control diabetes and avoid complications.”

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Dr Ahmad Khawaja consultant Endocriniologist and incharge diabetic clinic of polyclinic said that diabetes prevention was more important than treatment.

He said, “diabetic patients should strictly check their lifestyle and dietary habits to avoid serious complications including limbs amputation. They need to pay close daily attention to foot health especially when there is significantly diminished blood flow and nerve damage (neuropathy).”

He added, “such complications did not occur very early but with the passage of time could pose serious threat to patient’s life”

Dr Ahmad said that diabetes was increasing at an alarming rate in Pakistan. Estimated figures showed that the number would increase from 7.1 million to 11.4 million, ranking Pakistan 10th in the world by 2030, he added, “Twelve percent of adults above the age of 25 suffer from this condition; 10 percent of them have an Impaired Glucose

Tolerance (IGT).”

Dr Iftikhar Malik said that every 10 seconds, two people were diagnosed with diabetes, and one person died of diabetes related causes.

Malik said, “seven million people become victim of diabetes every year around the globe and 70,000 children suffer from type-1 diabetes every year. Diabetes could badly affect eyes, brain, heart, kidneys and legs. It was one of the major causes of blindness and kidney failure.”

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New Treatment in Prevention of Vision Loss from Diabetes

This National Diabetes Month, there is some good news for people with eye complications from diabetes. Earlier this month, a network of researchers supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI) found that the drug Lucentis (ranibizumab) can be highly effective for treating proliferative diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that can occur as a complication of diabetes. The researchers, part of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, say this is the first major advance in therapy in 40 years.

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Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among working-age Americans. An advanced stage, called proliferative diabetic retinopathy, occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow near the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. These new vessels can leak blood, which can obscure vision and damage the retina. Lucentis is one of several drugs called VEGF inhibitors that can block this process.

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In the new study, Lucentis was compared to scatter laser therapy (or panretinal photocoagulation), which has been the standard treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy since the 1970s. Although laser therapy is effective in improving central vision, it can cause decreased night and side vision. The study found that Lucentis produced more improvement in central vision and little change in side vision when compared to laser therapy.

An injection into the eye might sound scary, but it’s one of the most common procedures performed by ophthalmologists. VEGF inhibitors have been used for several years to treat diabetic macular edema, a swelling of the retina that can occur as blood leaks around it. The new study suggests that VEGF drugs may even help prevent macular edema. Study participants who were treated with Lucentis were less likely to develop macular edema than those treated with laser therapy.

As better treatments for diabetic retinopathy emerge, it’s important to remember that an early diagnosis is the first step to getting treatment and saving your sight. If you have diabetes, you should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetic retinopathy often has no symptoms in its early stages. But an eye care professional can detect it before symptoms occur. And with early detection and appropriate treatment, the risk of severe vision loss from the disease can be reduced by 95 percent.

“Only about half of all people with diabetes get an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam, which is essential for detecting diabetic eye disease early, when it is most treatable,” said NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.

Keeping diabetes under control is also key to preventing vision loss. If you have diabetes, NEI’s National Eye Health Education Program recommends these important steps to keep your health on TRACK:

  • Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Add physical activity to your daily routine.
  • Control your ABC’s—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Kick the smoking habit.NEI leads the federal government’s research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs to develop sight-saving treatments and address special needs of people with vision loss. For more information, visit
  • The NEI website has more information about diabetic retinopathy, the results of the trial comparing Lucentis to laser therapy, and what a dilated eye exam can reveal. NEI’sNational Eye Health Education Program has materials for health professionals about diabetic retinopathy.
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