Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November, experts from Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) and Mubadala Health’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICDLC) are encouraging members of the community to take charge of their health and avoid or delay developing type 2 diabetes by changing their lifestyle habits.
While the awareness message is focused on prevention, the experts stress that even if a person has already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is never too late to take up exercising and healthy eating habits as these steps can potentially reverse or at least help to manage the condition.
HE Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of Community Health Sector in Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, explains that diabetes type 2 is the most common form of diabetes by far, and unlike the autoimmune type-1 diabetes, type 2 is classified as a lifestyle disease.“In type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin – a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells – or it doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. There are many factors that can increase your chances of developing the disease, but the good news is that there are multiple easy and affordable measures you can take to delay or avoid developing diabetes type 2,” she says.
Dr Emad George, a consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist who is Medical Director of ICLDC, says:“While we recognize that being overweight or inactive are in themselves independent risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are also very important in preventing or delaying the development of diabetes in those who are at greater risk of developing this condition, such as those with a family history of type 2 diabetes, women with a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes or women known to have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).”
According to the two experts, following the tips for avoiding or lowering the risk of type-2 diabetes is crucial for long-term health. HE Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, says:“Although long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually, they can eventually be disabling or even life-threatening. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include heart and blood vessel disease; sleep apnoea; nerve damage and slow healing that can eventually require amputation of limbs; and damage to the kidneys, eyesight and hearing. It is, therefore, very important to do our best to avoid developing diabetes and, if it does develop, then monitoring and managing the condition very carefully.”
Dr George adds that centres such as ICLDC are able to screen patients for type-2 diabetes and that if patients have reason to believe they might have high blood sugar or diabetes, they should not hesitate to consult a doctor.“Some of the most common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores and frequent infections. However, the problem is that the symptoms often develop slowly and people could have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. This is why we advise specific groups to undergo testing in our top 10 tips,” he says.
The experts agree that the advice given in their tips can also be beneficial to those already diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, as it can help to manage the condition.
Dr George adds:“At ICLDC, we have a diabetes remission clinic that focuses on using dietary strategies and weight loss to help patients send their diabetes into remission. Remission, here, is defined as a state where the patient will not have type 2 diabetes, will not need diabetes medications, and will have normal results on the HBA1c test that measures the average level of blood sugar over the past two to three months. The more recently the patient was diagnosed, the better the results will be. We do not yet know how long a remission of type 2 diabetes will last, but the key is maintaining the weight loss, and possibly losing more weight at a later stage,”
Top 10 tips to prevent type 2 diabetes
About Mubadala Health :
Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established in 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages, and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), Amana Healthcare, National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC), Danat Al Emarat, HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, HealthPlus Family Clinics, HealthPlus Fertility, HealthPlus Women’s Health Center, Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, and a stake in Al Meswak Dental Clinics Group. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the UAE and regional healthcare industry through its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers who strive to put patients first across its continuum of care. Innovation, research, and education are the foundational pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the further development of a sustainable healthcare sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.
Mubadala Health is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn with the handle: @mubadalahealth.
About Imperial College London Diabetes Centre:
Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), a Mubadala Health partner, is a state-of-the-art outpatient facility that specialises in diabetes treatment, research, training and public health awareness. In just over a decade, the Centre has gained international renown for its holistic approach to the treatment of diabetes and related complications that enables patients to receive the full spectrum of care they need in one place.
With more than 80 diabetes professionals and endocrinologists under one roof, ICLDC offers best-in-class medical attention from first diagnosis to disease management across 11 specialist practice areas including adult and paediatric endocrinology, treatment of metabolic and electrolyte disorders, pre- and post-bariatric surgery care, heart disease prevention, nutritional advice, diabetes education services, ophthalmology, nephrology and podiatry.
ICLDC was established in 2006 in Abu Dhabi by Mubadala in partnership with the UK’s Imperial College London to address the growing demand for diabetes care in the UAE. The centre now operates three branches across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, touching the lives of more than one million people through patient-centric programmes and public health initiatives. In 2007, ICLDC launched Diabetes. Knowledge. Action, now the longest running public health awareness campaign in the country. The initiative promotes an active lifestyle through an ongoing calendar of events for the whole community – Major activations include an annual walkathon that coincides with the World Diabetes Day in November.
ICLDC holds the Joint Commission International (JCI) Clinical Care Program Certification in Outpatient Diabetes Management and JCI Accreditation for Ambulatory Care.
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