Most diabetic patients don’t control their diet [Archives:2007/1070/Health]
Most Yemeni diabetic patients lead a difficult life, as they are unable to control one of the most serious chronic diseases worldwide, according to a recent study undertaken by Sana'a University medical graduates.
The study, which aimed to determine the level of blood-sugar control among patients admitted to Al-Thawra Hospital in Sana'a, revealed that 63 percent of the target patients have a blood sugar imbalance, 33 percent have acceptable control of the disease and only four percent have highly effective control of the disease. The study attributes the high rate of patients who lack control of the disease to several factors, the most paramount of which is lack of health education, which can raise awareness among patients about serious complications that result from increased blood-sugar. In addition, lack of commitment to diet and late diagnosis of diabetes aggravates the problem and endangers patients' lives, especially given that such a disease cannot be eliminated, only regulated.
According to the study, high illiteracy rates, difficult access to health services and lack of free medication play an important role in hindering progress in controlling the disease, increasing the risk potential of patients. Patients with more than five years carrying the disease suffer more than those recently infected. This is undoubtedly due to the absence of continuous medical follow-up, non-adherence to doctors' dietary instructions as well as late diagnosis of the disease.
The study further confirmed that hypertension is the most prevalent complication faced by patients who do not stick to medical tips with regard to the disease including diet and physical exercise.
Dr. Yousif Abdul Rub Al-Faqeeh, diabetes specialist, commented that the problem sometimes stems from the way the doctor educates the patient about the disease. “If the doctor explains to the patient the food that should be avoided and prescribes the proper medication, then the patient can get better conditioning that he follows the doctor's advice,” Al-Faqeeh said, maintaining that diet is the first-line treatment of diabetes followed by medicine.
Al-Faqeeh revealed that the key to a long-term decrease in complications of the disease (over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves) is cooperation between the Ministry of Public Health and diabetic specialists in order to raise awareness among diabetics and provide the required health care. “The Ministry of Health is the only authority concerned with education. So, unless the ministry takes over its role, progress can't be made in this regard,\” Al-Faqeeh confirmed