Diabetes and I: Remembering my diabetes at a Sanofi event

I was recently invited to an event of Sanofi. Now Sanofi is a well known multinational company and one of tis key business areas is in pharmaceuticals and of interest to me has always been the treatment and management of diabetes. Now I discovered diabetes the hard way: I was afflicted with diabetec retinopathy — making me legally partly blind. I spent three months in a hospital and one month at home before going back to work.

Both sides of my family have been afflicted with Diabetes Type 2. Factor in my former daily habits and lifestyle it is no surprise that I was hospitalized and treated for diabetic retinopathy. During my hospital stay and a few months after my blood sugar level was monitored twie daily after breakfast and dinner. I also took maintenance drugs twice a day and insuling shots using an insulin pen. At present I still follow the same regime save for the insulin pen.

In other words. I abide. But it does not have to be that way, The Sanofi diabetes event or the sanofi information campaign reminded me how we are all vulneranle to taking the metformin habit — metformine in generic or branded form is one of the staple maintenane medicine a diabetic takes.

In their information campaign, Sanofi made available information about diabetes. One is the latest update or technology they have made in relation to diabetes management and the other information about diabetes and diabetes management. Take note though that although you may be informed you still need to consult an the experts like your endocrinoloist and nutritionist.

Here are the information resources of Sanofi regarding diabetes:

2. Sanofi Healthcare Solutions: Diabetes
3. Press Release from Sanofi

How to manage diabetes

The Philippines is one of the world’s emerging diabetes hotspots. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 4 million Filipinos are suffering from diabetes; making us one of the top 15 in the world for diabetes prevalence – and a worryingly large unknown number who are unaware they have diabetes. The IDF reported as well that in 2015, 3.51 million Filipinos ages 20-79 have been diagnosed with diabetes and 51,127 (adults) have died because of it.

The World Health Organization defines diabetes as a chronic disease which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. It is characterized by the inability of the body to properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin is produced by the pancreas especially during meals and if insulin is not enough or is absent, sugar cannot enter the cells and stays in the blood leading to high blood sugar.

Anyone can get diabetes: young or old, rich or poor, male or female, living in the city or out there in the countryside. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology 8th National Nutrition Survey, diabetes prevalence has risen from 3.4 percent in 2003 to 5.4 percent in 2013. The greatest numbers of Filipinos with diabetes are 50 to 69 years of age and wealthy, and living in urban areas. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), for example, is both a genetic and a lifestyle disease linked to aging, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, obesity and urbanization.

Doctors recommend the use of insulin for prompt treatment and prevention of diabetes. Injections of insulin act as a supplement to the body’s insulin and it also helps control blood glucose levels. Insulin treatment is needed by patients with diabetes of all types and formulation will depend on the balance between insulin secretion and insulin resistance; Type 1 characterized when insulin is absent (T1DM) and Type 2 when there is a defective insulin receptor with insufficient insulin (T2DM). Using insulin may require a certain regimen but it is an effective way of managing diabetes and allows one to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Currently available insulin delivery tools consist of syringes, insulin pens and insulin pumps. The choice of insulin delivery tool is very individualized and should be decided by the individual living with diabetes. Knowing the onset of action, the peak action and duration of action of the insulin(s) that you use to treat one’s diabetes will help optimize blood glucose control and avoid any adverse reaction. For example, blood or urine glucose monitoring is recommended in patients who are at risk of hypoglycemia or who do not recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. The risk for developing hypoglycemia is higher in patients receiving intensive or continuous infusion insulin therapy.

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