Bruno Pacheco – Cenarium Magazine
MANAUS – Experts from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) disclosed on Saturday, 6, in the 10th edition of the Diabetes Atlas, that the number of adults diagnosed with the disease, worldwide, may reach 643 million in 2030 and 784 million in 2045. Currently, according to the survey, about 537 million people between the ages of 20 and 79 are diabetic, which represents a 16% increase in two years.
According to the survey, the global prevalence of diabetes in adults is 10.5%, i.e., one in ten people has the disease. The study also points out that 240 million people worldwide do not know they have the disease. In addition, 81% of adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries, and the disease is estimated to be responsible for 6.7 million deaths by 2021, one death every five seconds.
“Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by defects in the secretion or action of the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, whose function is to promote the entry of glucose to the body’s cells so that it can be used for the various cellular activities. As a consequence, there is an elevation of the glucose levels in the blood (hyperglycemia)”, explained the supervisor of the Diabetic Foot Program from the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Health Management Association of Amazonas (Segeam), Hanna Beatriz de Souza Carvalho.
According to the specialist, diabetes is also a silent disease, which means to say that, generally, if routine medical exams are not done, the person may not be aware that he or she has this condition. “Although this disease has a strong genetic component and cannot be totally avoided, lifestyle acts as a trigger for its development”, reinforced Hanna Carvalho.
Data from the 2019 National Health Survey (PNS), released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), show that 5.4% of the adult population in Amazonas are diabetic, equivalent to 144,000 people. In 2013, this percentage was 4.3%, or 1.1 percentage point below the current mark. For Amazon specialists, this increase in the number of diabetics is considered worrisome, because it shows that prevention has not been done in the proper way.
“Seeing all this data increasing and the population getting sicker and sicker is very worrying, because this needs to be changed. The number of overweight people in Brazil increases every year, every decade, and so does the number of diabetics. It is the Physical Education professional’s role to prevent and guide society. This data will only be reduced when society exercises and changes its habits urgently”, alerted the specialist in weight loss and Physical Education teacher, Michael Saymon.
To raise awareness of the population about the care that should be taken from early childhood to prevent diabetes, which enters the list of so-called chronic diseases, the Association Segeam, responsible for the Diabetic Foot program, which serves people affected by the change, promotes the campaign “Blue November Diabetes”, in allusion to November 14, the date on which is celebrated the World Diabetes Day.
The president of Segeam, Karina Barros, warns that in Manaus the population has not adopted healthy lifestyle habits, such as having a proper diet and regular exercise, especially in the midst of the fast pace of life. According to her, the month of November arises to reinforce important details of diabetes protection and talk about the importance of having a healthy diet.
A disease considered “treacherous”, diabetes has two most common types: type 1 and type 2. According to nurse Hanna Carvalho, the first is characterized by the low or complete absence of insulin production, and type II is defined as the resistance to this hormone. The specialist also mentions gestational diabetes, which arises during pregnancy and has similar characteristics with type II diabetes.
“The main symptoms of diabetes are excessive hunger and thirst, and the need to urinate several times a day. But it is important to point out that more than half of these people do not have typical symptoms of diabetes. Other symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, mood swings, nausea and vomiting, and fungal infections on the skin and nails; wounds, especially on the lower limbs, that take time to heal are common in diabetic patients”, he said.
The prevention of diabetes, according to specialists, goes from seeing the doctor, doing regular diagnostic tests, as well as adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating vegetables and fruit daily, reducing the consumption of salt, sugar, fats, quitting smoking, and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day.
“Lifestyle is totally linked to our overall health and the development of these multifactorial diseases as well. Diabetes, for example, is a disease that comes from lifestyle, these habits, this routine of physical activity, eating, sleeping, stress, among other issues. The hereditary, genetic factors are related, but not strong enough to make a person have diabetes or high blood pressure, for example, as proven by studies”, pointed out professor Michael Saymon.
To promote health and well-being and combat the risk of early death from sedentary lifestyles, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, on average, the adult population should engage in moderate physical activity for at least 200 minutes per week. For children and adolescents, an average of 60 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per day is recommended.
“That figure has increased to 200 minutes because of everything we’ve been through in the last two years [in the midst of the pandemic]. The previous recommendation was 150 minutes, but that was increased because the population is needing more and more. The benefits will be several, such as hormonal, aesthetic, daily disposition, better brain functioning, blood circulation issues, organ functioning, and inhibition of diseases that come from heredity”, emphasized Michael Saymon.
According to the professor, people with diabetes can and should exercise. “If you go to an appointment, the doctor will tell you that you need to exercise, because this difficulty with insulin. The handling with glucose by the body is made more difficult for people with diabetes, and if you exercise, you have a greater production and a better use of glucose by the body. In other words, this causes the glucose levels to be controlled and reduces the sugar level, besides better producing certain hormones that will help in this maintenance”, adds the educator.