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“Diabetes…pain and hope”

Diabetes is a complex challenge facing societies, economies and health systems worldwide, and is not a disorder of blood sugar levels. It is also a major cause of many serious complications that can lead to disability or death, such as heart and kidney disease, vision loss, and neurological diseases. So it is important to talk about this disease and create awareness about its dangers.

In Saudi Arabia, we face a special challenge, statistics show a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes, which requires everyone – professionals and community members – to join efforts to prevent and control it.

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The Saudi Society of Family and Community Medicine, in collaboration with Pfizer Saudi Arabia, held a press conference titled “Diabetes…Pain and Hope” in conjunction with “World Diabetes Day”.

First, Dr. Hani Al-Hashemi, Managing Director of the Medical Department of Pfizer Saudi Arabia, praised the role of the Saudi family and community medicine community in spreading awareness campaigns to raise awareness about various diseases and introduce the latest methods of prevention. Awareness about the dangers of diabetes and providing latest updates on blood sugar control, on one hand blood, on the other hand latest treatment solutions.

The conference featured awareness lectures in the presence of a number of media experts and journalists representing several Saudi newspapers and magazines, including the Deputy Representative of “Your Health” in the Middle East.

Diabetes…pain and hope

Professor Dr. Saud Al-Safari, consultant in endocrinology and diabetes at the Armed Forces Hospitals in Al-Hada and Taif and vice president of the Saudi Scientific Society for Diabetes, also spoke at the conference. In his lecture “Diabetes.. .pain and hope” the greatest risk of diabetes is that its complications are not limited to the extent of harm it can cause in the short term, but go beyond the long-term risks that can affect the patient’s quality of life. Life and health in general. These complications require ongoing medical care, and may require specialized therapeutic interventions.

The most important complications of diabetes

* Cardiovascular complications: Diabetes increases the risk of coronary heart disease; Angina, heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

* Diabetic Kidney Disease: Long-term high blood sugar can damage the kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

* Diabetic neuropathyDiabetes can damage the nerves in the body, causing numbness, pain, tingling and weakness in the limbs, and problems with digestion, sexual organs and more.

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* Eye and vision problems: Including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.

* Skin problemsDiabetes can lead to skin problems including bacterial and fungal infections.

* Oral healthSuch as gum disease, dry mouth and gingivitis.

* Foot problemsNerve damage or poor circulation in the feet can lead to serious foot complications, from infection to the need for amputation.

* Psychological effects: Including anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

* Complications during pregnancyDiabetes can increase the risk of pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes.

Most important developments

Dr Al-Safari explained that the lifestyle of people with diabetes is affected by many factors, including controlling blood sugar levels, side effects of medications and potential complications of the disease. Therefore, recent discoveries and developments aim to improve these factors, reduce feelings of anxiety associated with daily interventions and continuous monitoring, and significantly reduce human errors, which positively reflects the life of the diabetic patient.

Among the most important developments are:

First: Updates on blood glucose monitoring

In recent years, blood sugar monitoring has seen major technological advances, making it easier than ever to effectively manage diabetes. The most notable of these developments are:

* Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systemsThese devices continuously measure glucose levels in subcutaneous fluids, providing patients with immediate information about their blood sugar levels. It helps predict trends and patterns, which helps avoid high or low blood sugar levels.

* Advanced insulin pumpsModern insulin pumps are integrated with CGM systems, allowing insulin dosage to be automatically adjusted based on blood glucose levels.

* Wireless transmission technologies: Patients can monitor glucose levels through their smart devices or smart watches and share them directly with healthcare providers, helping to improve diabetes control.

* Smart needles and insulin pens: They have features such as accurate measurements and recording the time and amount of doses taken, and some of them can interact with smartphone apps to record and monitor insulin levels.

* Non-puncture glucose measuring devicesAlthough this technology is still in the early stages of development, devices aimed at measuring glucose levels without taking blood samples using traditional methods are under research and development.

* Mobile applications and softwareMany apps help patients monitor blood sugar levels, diet, physical activity, and even manage stress levels, all of which contribute to better diabetes management.

Second, weekly insulin updates:

* Improvement in treatment adherenceWeekly insulin reduces the number of injections needed, which helps patients better adhere to the treatment plan.

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* Controls sugar levels better: Thanks to its long-term effect, it helps reduce fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which improves diabetes control.

* Ensuring patient comfort: This reduces the need to remember daily injections or the need to carry insulin supplies, which provides greater comfort to patients, especially those who have difficulty managing daily injections.

* Fewer side effectsSome studies indicate that weekly insulin may have fewer side effects compared to daily insulin, particularly hypoglycemia.

Third: Updates like glucagon

Glucagon-like peptide type 1 (GLP-1 RAs) are a class of drugs that mimic the action of natural hormones in the body that are secreted in response to food intake. These drugs are used to treat type 2 diabetes and have seen important advances in recent years, including:

* Improved creation and distribution: New formulations of GLP-1 RAs have been developed that allow for less frequent administration of the drug, such as weekly formulations, improving adherence.

* Improved performanceNewer generations of GLP-1 RAs are more effective in lowering blood sugar levels and supporting weight loss, contributing to better disease control.

* Many positive effectsStudies have shown that GLP-1 RAs have a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors and may be used to improve cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diabetes.

The most important pillars of diabetes care

Dr Fahad Al-Saban, Consultant and Director of the Diabetes and Endocrine Center at the Defense Force Hospital in Riyadh, spoke at the conference. He touched upon the basic principles in his lecture on “The most important pillars of diabetes care”. With advances in diabetes treatment, and science and technology, methods of managing diabetes have evolved significantly, giving patients and professionals more options to manage the disease more effectively.

* Use of digital technologies: Analyzing health data using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to provide predictive insights will help in personalized and early disease control. He also emphasized the importance of using digital platforms to provide ongoing education and support to patients including mobile applications, healthcare. Games and online support communities.

* Drug Development: With recent advances in diabetes treatment, new concepts have emerged to facilitate insulin administration. One of the most important of these innovations was the development of long-acting insulin that was delivered once a week. As well as the use of modern drugs such as “peptides” such as “glucagon type 1”, which mimics the action of natural hormones secreted by the body in response to eating and is used to treat type 2 diabetes.

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* Diet: Dr. emphasizes the importance of focusing on individualized diet, especially low-carbohydrate diets, and regular physical activity. Al-Saban emphasized that because diabetes plays an important role in controlling the disease, and using apps to help patients monitor blood sugar levels. Diet, physical activity and controlling stress levels contribute to better diabetes management.

* Avoid infection: He also emphasized the need to educate diabetics that they are more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections, including respiratory infections such as pneumococcus, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus. Fortunately, they can protect themselves by taking the recommended vaccinations as per the Ministry of Health guidelines, and diabetics can visit any primary health clinic to get the vaccinations.

Since people with diabetes are considered to be at risk of developing serious complications if they contract “Covid-19”, it is important to take the following steps to protect themselves: Know, Plan, Start. Find out if you or someone in your community has a chronic disease like diabetes. If you have any of the symptoms of “Covid-19”, it is better to plan quickly to take the necessary measures and get yourself tested for knowledge. If you are infected with “Covid-19”, start spreading awareness and consult a doctor, you should start following “Covid-19” treatment… Guidelines of Ministry of Health.

10 Ways to Avoid Diabetes Complications

– Commitment to diabetes care.

– Avoid smoking to reduce complications including heart disease, stroke, eye disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, poor circulation in the legs and feet, and early death.

– Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

– Scheduling medical examinations and vision tests on a regular basis.

– Updating vaccines following the latest data, as regular vaccination helps prevent many types of infections, including respiratory infections such as pneumococcus, “Covid-19,” and respiratory syncytial virus. An influenza vaccine every year protects against serious complications of the flu. He gets a pneumonia vaccine every five years, hepatitis B vaccine, tetanus every 10 years, and “covid” vaccines.

– Take care of your teeth.

– Foot care.

– Take aspirin as advised by your doctor if you have diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease.

– Avoid drinking alcohol.

– Manage physical and psychological stress and get enough sleep.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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