Phnom Penh, June 28 (Phnom Penh Post/ANN): More than 430,000 people in Cambodia between the ages of 20 and 79 have diabetes, while the number of deaths from the disease has risen to 3,362, or about 3.75 percent of the total annual deaths. . According to data released in 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body converts food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar, called glucose, and released into your bloodstream. When the blood sugar level rises, it indicates that the pancreas is secreting insulin. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adults whose bodies are resistant to insulin or do not produce enough insulin.
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone necessary to allow glucose to enter cells for energy production.
For people with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is essential to their survival. “We must all act to keep the growth rate of diabetes at zero by 2025,” said the WHO’s Global Compact on Diabetes, which focuses on controlling the global spread of diabetes.
However, the global trend of those developing diabetes has continued to rise alarmingly in recent decades, as Covid-19 has caused more negative effects for diabetic patients.
According to World Life Expectancy, about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, most of them residing in low- and middle-income countries, with 1.5 million people dying of the disease each year. In Cambodia, as of June 22, the death rate from diabetes has risen to 8,325.
The International Diabetes Federation has estimated that Cambodians spend about $103 million annually on diabetes treatment.
It also estimated that if they did not change their eating habits by 2030, the cost of treating Cambodians for diabetes could be more than US$145 million.
There are three types of diabetes, Dr. Som Sata, a urologist and endocrinologist at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh and a member of the American College of Endocrinology, told The Post.
Type 1 affects children whose pancreas cannot produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs in adults and the elderly because the pancreas is weak and unable to produce enough insulin.
Type 3 diabetes has occurred to some pregnant women because hormonal changes can affect the function of the pancreas.
“Because the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or does not respond to changes in hormones, glucose cannot leak into tissues when patients eat sugary foods. It is absorbed into the blood vessels. Some patients experience double vision, joint pain, fainting, or even heart attacks.” Hormonal changes in pregnant women may go away after giving birth, although they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life,” he said.
He added that patients who do not receive proper treatment are at serious risk, and are more likely to develop heart and kidney disease.
Dr. Min Singh Lip, a cardiologist at Calmette Hospital, said 50 per cent of diabetics already had symptoms of heart disease, but these were sometimes overlooked.
“If we fail to diagnose it in time, patients with this problem could suffer life-changing heart attacks if sugar clogs the blood vessels of the heart,” she said.
Dr. Nev Rathverick, a urologist at the same hospital, said 30 percent of diabetics have kidney problems.
“Some patients may reach the point where regular dialysis is required,” she said.
To control the problem, he advised that patients undergo treatment and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and blood pressure. They should get into the habit of doing this as soon as they realize they have had diabetes, and not wait for it to cause serious damage.
Dr. Som Ra, a specialist in general diseases, said that in order to improve their health, diabetics must change their lifestyles. They should make sure that they are taking the medication that their specialist recommends and they should make sure to refrain from foods that are high in sugar or calories.
People with diabetes can lead completely normal lives. They just need to make sure they make healthy choices and take their medication,” he said.
He also recommended patients make sure they get 30 minutes of exercise a day and eat plenty of green vegetables and fish. Doing so can significantly reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
Yuong Sarath, who has had diabetes for 25 years, said that sometimes when his blood sugar levels are too high, it causes him so much pain that he can’t stand it.
He added that his diabetes had advanced two years ago, and doctors had to amputate one of his legs to blow the knee. Now, he was unable to walk and could only sit in a wheelchair or lie in bed.
“When the sugar levels in the blood vessels rise, it causes severe joint pain. Not only did I feel stiff in my legs, I felt itchy and sore. The ulcers wouldn’t heal like normal sores, and eventually I lost my leg.” Phnom Penh Post / ANN