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Friday, November 17, 2006

Health Literacy for Diabetes Prevention and Management

Is it not strange that diabetes incidence should rise even though we know so much about prevention now?

Why must so many people lose their limbs and eyesight, or damage their hearts and kidneys, when it is so easy for doctors to avoid such complications?

Timely and widespread diabetes detection and patient compliance with prescriptions hold golden answers to questions about how diabetes continues to make headway, and to cause grievous losses in this day and age.

Health literacy is the answer. Everyone needs to know the following basics:

- An RBS (Random Blood Sugar) reading can mislead

- A blood glucose test older than a year may not be relevant

- Diabetes may rear its head during pregnancy and harm the fetus, even though a woman may have normal glucose metabolism before and after pregnancy.

- Carbohydrates affect blood glucose, so it is not enough to stay away from sugar alone

- Most processed foods contain sugar and trans fats, which may not be labeled

This kind of information is most important for:

- children

- the elderly and uneducated amongst poor ethnic communities

- people who travel frequently, and who find it hard to lead orderly lives

Please do what you can to

- Promote regular GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) and HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) testing

- Make people aware of the terrible complications of untreated diabetes for eyes, feet, heart, and kidneys

Please leave a post here, or send me an email if you would like to know more


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