Philippines seen as ‘diabetes hotspot’

WITH an estimated 7.3 million persons with diabetes, the Philippines is now being seen as a diabetes hotspot, according to the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM).

In an interview during the launch of The Diabetes Store (TDS), PSEDM fellow Dr. Ma. Cecille Anonuevo-Cruz said the growing prevalence rate of diabetes in the country makes it a “hotspot.”

“It is alarming because of the fact that we may not be in the Top 10, but we are in the Top 15. We are poised to be in the Top 10 if we don't change the way our diabetes is increasing here in the Philippines,” said Cruz.

She cited the changing lifestyle among Filipinos as among the main reasons for the growing number of people with diabetes.

From having a carbohydrate-based diet, Cruz noted how Filipinos are now fonder of eating processed food.

“Now, we are seeing more and more processed food. That's probably one way of really increasing caloric intake as well. It is because it’s more convenient because of this different lifestyle we are adopting,” said Cruz.

She also pointed at having fewer Filipinos walking on a regular basis while resorting to smoking, drinking, and more eating, especially those working at night.

Aside from the changing lifestyle, the PSEDM fellow also pointed at the threat brought by diabetes being hereditary.

“There are certain ethnicities of origin that would also have an increased risk of having diabetes... We have genetic predisposition for it,” said Cruz.

Records show that there an estimated 7.3 million Filipinos with diabetes, including 3.5 million diagnosed cases, and some 3.8 million that are undiagnosed.

According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is one of the four major non-communicable diseases that cause deaths worldwide, with the others being cancer, heart disease and stroke, and lung diseases.

And with the Philippines being considered as a “diabetes hotspot,” TDS General Manager Ramon Felix said it is important that there is a venue for persons with diabetes to have a one-stop shop for all their needs.

“In managing diabetes, we believe in holistic care, which encompasses both medical and other interventions, such as education, psycho-social support, which increases compliance,” said Felix.

Unlike traditional drug stores, the TDS has trained diabetes educators, who are ready to engage with the patients by guiding them through their disease management.

It also offers a wide array of products suited for people with diabetes, such as medicines, ready-to-eat meals, diabetic socks, testing services, and diabetes education modules.

The TDS is located at 198 J. Elizalde St., BF Homes, Paranaque City with telephone numbers 801-8553 and 806-9267 and website www.thediabetesstore.com.ph. (HDT/Sunnex)

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