Sunday, December 01, 2013

Help for diabetics to prevent complications

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will soon kickstart a programme to educate diabetics about their condition to prevent the onset of complications.
Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran said awareness on the complications such as kidney failure, blindness or limb amputation was still low.
“The main reason why many Malaysians suffer from those complications is the lack of awareness on the need to control the disease,” he said during the 2013 Diabetes and Management Workshop yesterday.
Dr Jeyaindran said the team of educators would include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and pharmacists who would send out the same message to patients so they would get the message “loud and clear”.
“Patients need to be educated early on that diabetes is a slow killer,” he said.
He said diabetes cases were increasing at an alarming rate at 11% of the population in 2005 to 15% in 2011 and were likely to be one in four in the near future.
Dr Jeyaindran said the ministry was also working with the Community Development Depart­ment under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry to educate some 500,000 women on providing healthy food for their families.
Asked about a study by a Malaysian endocrinologist in Newcastle University who managed to get patients’ blood sugar levels back to normal through a diet of 600 calories per day for two months, Dr Jeyaindran advised caution.
He said the amount would not provide adequate energy for the day as people needed 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. The diet, over a long term, could lead to starvation and even coma.
Dr Jeyaindran said that those at the pre-diabetic stage could control their condition through diet but once the disease was full blown, it would require diet, medicine and exercise.

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