Sunday, 27 November 2011

MALNUTRITION: Malnutrition diabetes worries experts.

Nov 24, 2011 Share3 Type 3 diabetes also called malnutrition diabetes is worrying health experts. The disease is predominant in sub-Saharan Africa, says Dr. Meredith Hawkins, a medicine professor and the global diabetes initiative director at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
“This is a paradox,” she says. “I thought only overweight people suffer from diabetes, but it is prevalent even in skinny poor Ugandans.”
It presents itself like Type 1. Its cause is still unclear, but stress and poverty have been pointed out as factors for its cause. Uganda, DR Congo and Niger hospitals are currently grappling with this new type.
Type 1 diabetes results from destruction of the pancreatic beta cells. Here, insulin is required for survival. Type 2, also called adult-onset that accounts for 90% of diabetes cases, results largely from too much sugars in the body that may accrue from eating fatty foods and less active lifestyles.
Type 3 has raised concern amongst local health gurus considering that 31% of Ugandans or 9.3 million live below the poverty line.This means many secretly suffer from malnutrition and the fact that the bigger percentage of Ugandans comprises young people.

A child being tested for diabetes in Adjumani.

Type 3 results from destruction of the pancreas due to drugs, cancer, HIV/AIDS and trauma. People who have high cassava diet and proteins deficiency are likely to suffer from it as well.
It is because of this emerging scare that Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, is conducting a research on Type 3 with Christian medical college, South India. The pathophysiology study is intended to understand why the disease develops. “We want to know- does Type 3 emerge because the pancreas isn’t well developed or has heavy fat content,” says Hawkins.
In Uganda, 100 doctors and nurses from 20 clinics converged in 2009 to deliberate on the growing diabetes cases, its social and economic impacts, treatment options as well as behavioral changes patients need to undertake.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) chief, Dr. Silver Bahendeka, says diabetes was growing by 93% in 15 years up to 2010.
Diabetes, in simple terms, means a person’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. It is associated with acute complications such as ketoacidosis and hypoglycemia. This vascular disease occurs when small blood vessels leak, affecting the eyes, kidneys, feet, nerves brains and blood vessels, says Uganda Diabetes Association (UDA) chief, Prof. Andrew Otim.
“Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood,” says Otim. “Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth.” It blocks or bursts the large blood vessels, affecting the normal functioning of the brain, heart and legs.
“Left untreated,” Otim says. “Diabetes can lead to loss of sight, amputations, impotence and eventual death.”

Diabetes has taken a sky rise over the years. In 1972, only 254 people were diagnosed. They sought treatment and counselling from the only diabetes clinic at the time at Mulago Hospital.
By 2000, about 80, 000 diabetic people were living in Uganda, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures. This figure rose to 560, 000 by 2006, while an additional 560 000 patients were unaware that they were diabetic.
In 2009, about 1.5 million of Uganda’s 30 million were diabetic. This has seen the number of centres handling diabetic cases countrywide rise from one in 1972 to over 10 presently.
A total of 18 million people, suffer from the disease in Africa, according to WHO. Dr Hawkins, says over 170 million people suffer from it globally.

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