“There are more than four hundred million people who are living with Diabetes in the world and half of them are women,” said Dr. Domingo Solimen of the Department of Internal Medicine of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
During the Regular Kapihan sa Baguio held in the Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) Regional Training Center on November 14, Dr. Solimen informed the public about the World Diabetes Day Celebration with this year’s theme and slogan Women and Diabetes – Our Right to a Healthy Future.
Diabetes is a chronic disease wherein the body cannot regulate sufficient insulin, a hormone from the pancreas that allows the use of glucose or blood sugar to provide energy in the performance of a person’s daily activities. Dr. Solimen explained the three types of Diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes, formerly known as insulin-dependent, occurs in children whose pancreas are already damaged. Type 2 Diabetes or non-insulin dependent is one where there is ineffective use of insulin in the body, usually caused by obesity and physical inactivity. This type has the most number of cases around the world and is common in adults. Gestational Diabetes, on the other hand, is the type that temporarily occurs during pregnancy.
The doctor also shared that there is a prediction that in the next twenty years, the number of patients with diabetes will become six hundred forty million. Women will comprise about three hundred thirteen million of the said prediction, which means that diabetes will be the number one cause of death among women.
In the Philippines, one in every seven deliveries are complicated by gestational diabetes. Women who experienced this disease will likely develop Type 2 Diabetes after two to three years from pregnancy. Worst, the disease will be passed on to their children that may probably manifest during their adolescence.
According to Dr. Solimen, aside from pregnancy and family history, the increase in the number of women having diabetes may also be attributed to stress in the work place and in their homes. Women today have their own careers and at the same time, they have families to nurture and prioritize. These responsibilities as mothers and tasks as workers make them unable to take care of themselves.
To prevent the risk factors of gestational diabetes in pregnant women and the further explosion of the disease to their children, Dr. Solimen encouraged pregnant women to take care of themselves by eating healthy food and engage in proper physical activity. Regular consultation with a physician is also important in maintaining their healthy weight before they give birth.
The regular health forum was also attended by Dr. Florence Gomez of the Department of Internal Medicine of BGHMC, Atty. Joseph Frederick Calulut from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR), and Ms. Geenie Anne Austria from the DOH-CAR who discussed the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (OCPD), Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week, and the Cordillera Disease Surveillance Report, respectively.