Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in the Philippines, according to the health indicator statistics of the Department of Health.
An estimated four million Filipinos are now afflicted with the disease. Studies show that diabetics worldwide have increased more than twice in the last few decades.
This trend is expected to further increase to 380 million by 2025. There is also an increasing incidence of diabetes development especially among children in the past 10 years.
About 500 new Filipino diabetic patients are identified per day. Determining those who are predisposed to have the disease due to family history, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle is a serious problem.
The low-level awareness of diabetes is a threatening state that may leave Filipino patients suffering from its serious complications, if the disease is not managed properly.
LRI, the endometabolic division of Unilab, launched the WIN Over Diabetes campaign to increase awareness of diabetes and promote lifestyle modification.
As a commitment to this long-term campaign, all LRI employees went through rigorous training sessions to be certified diabetes educators.
???We have to walk the talk, as they say. Before we inform the public, we should be able to fully understand diabetes, its impact to the patients and adopt a lifestyle that is most appropriate to curb the disease,??? said Nomer Garcia, division vice president and general manager of LRI.
???The launch of the WIN Over Diabetes campaign is a program that enjoins partners in the medical industry to step up in encouraging more Filipinos to be vigilant about their health. We are gearing up for a number of activities and communication initiatives to spread the news that diabetes can be prevented and managed for as long as we are willing to follow a healthier lifestyle,??? he added.
???Information is the most powerful weapon that will help Filipino patients in their battle against diabetes. In the Philippines, four to five percent of the population has not yet discovered that they have diabetes and about eight percent are considered pre-diabetics.
If we can prevent that eight percent from adding to the number of diabetics in this country, then we are able to save more lives,??? said Garcia.
At the formal launch of the WIN Over Diabetes campaign, Dr. Sanirose Orbeta, a consulting clinical and sports nutritionist, stressed that nowadays, Filipino lifestyle is based on consumption of too much food but too little activity, which results in chronic imbalance.
To achieve an ideal weight at all times, people should be able to match their calorie intake with the energy that they expend. Calories that are not burned properly become excess body weight.
In fact, exercise regiment may not necessarily require people to hit the gym for a workout regimen. A typical 1,500-calorie intake of food requires one hour of leisure walking.
???Fat bodies are at high risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart ailments, gout and arthritis. Hence, it is important that people should take note of their body mass index and even their weight circumference as health indicators. It should also be noted that certain fad diets may not be appropriate and acceptable to lose weight properly,??? said Orbeta.
Orbeta recommends that Filipinos should become accustomed to a SMART eating plan: S for sensible eating, M for manageable weight, A for action-oriented, R for reward yourself, and T for traceable results.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder due to defective insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar.
If not managed, diabetes may result in stroke, visual impairment, heart disease, kidney disease, bacterial and fungal infections of the skin, sexual dysfunction, sensory impairment, severe hardening of the arteries, ulceration, gangrene, and autonomic neuropathy, among others.
Proper management of the disease involves consumption of balanced low-calorie nutrition, regular physical activity, and frequent consultation with doctors, dietitians and lifestyle coaches.
(The Philippine Star)