In The News
How can the burden of diabetes be reduced?
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. To help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, people should:
achieve and maintain healthy body weight;
be physically active – at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity is required for weight control;
eat a healthy diet of between 3 and 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and reduce sugar and saturated fats intake;
avoid tobacco use – smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Diagnosis and treatment
Early diagnosis can be accomplished through relatively inexpensive blood testing.
Treatment of diabetes involves lowering blood glucose and the levels of other known risk factors that damage blood vessels. Tobacco use cessation is also important to avoid complications.
Interventions that are both cost saving and feasible in developing countries include:
moderate blood glucose control. People with type 1 diabetes require insulin; people with type 2 diabetes can be treated with oral medication, but may also require insulin;
blood pressure control;
Other cost saving interventions include:
screening and treatment for retinopathy (which causes blindness);
blood lipid control (to regulate cholesterol levels);
screening for early signs of diabetes-related kidney disease.
These measures should be supported by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use.