Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 30th 2014 Contents ABOUT THE DISEASE
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The time has come to do a
detailed study to determine if cer-
tain genes are directly linked to
Making the call on Tuesday was
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan who
was speaking at a celebratory sym-
posium for a diabetes outreach
programme. The programme was
a collaboration between the T&T
Health Sciences Initiative (TTHSI)
and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Speaking just before the health
minister, Dr Dyer Narinesingh,
president of the University of T&T
(UTT), said every day four new
cases of diabetes were added to
the country s growing number.
He said it was important that
technology be incorporated into
medicine, especially in the field of
Khan, who echoed Narinesingh s
sentiments, said while it was
known that the East Indian pop-
ulation was more susceptible than
the Africans in acquiring diabetes,
the root cause of the disease has
never been known.
"We know of the symptoms and
we know of the complications. For
years we have had in this country
problems...amputations and all
complications with it. But what
really causes diabetes? I have often
asked myself this," Khan said.
Saying the increasing list of dia-
betics was important in determin-
ing whether the disease only
thrived in particular genes Khan
said with the use of proper tech-
More research needed
on causes of diabetes
Health minister calls for detailed study
Diabetes, often referred to by
doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes
a group of metabolic diseases in
which the person has high blood
glucose (blood sugar), either because
insulin production is inadequate, or
because the body's cells do not
respond properly to insulin, or both.
Patients with high blood sugar will
typically experience polyuria (frequent
urination), they would become
increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and
TYPE 1 DIABETES: The body does
not produce insulin. Some people may
refer to this type as insulin-dependent
diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-
onset diabetes. People usually develop
type 1 diabetes before their 40th year,
often in early adulthood or teenage
years. Type 1 diabetes is nowhere near
as common as type two diabetes.
Approximately ten per cent of all
diabetes cases are type one. Patients
with type one diabetes will need to
take insulin injections for the rest of
their life. They must also ensure
proper blood-glucose levels by
carrying out regular blood tests and
following a special diet.
TYPE 2 DIABETES: The body does
not produce enough insulin for proper
function, or the cells in the body do
not react to insulin (insulin
resistance). Approximately ninety per
cent of all cases of diabetes
worldwide are of this type. Some
people may be able to control their
type two diabetes symptoms by
losing weight, following a healthy diet,
doing plenty of exercise, and
monitoring their blood glucose levels.
However, type 2 diabetes is typically a
progressive disease---it gradually gets
worse---and the patient will probably
end up having to take insulin, usually
in tablet form.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES: This
type affects females during
pregnancy. Some women have very
high levels of glucose in their blood,
and their bodies are unable to produce
enough insulin to transport all of the
glucose into their cells, resulting in
progressively rising levels of glucose.
Source : http://www.healthguru.com
Minister of Health, Dr Fuad Khan, left, and chairman of the board of South West Regional Health Authority, Dr
Lackram Bodoe during the Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences Initiative, Diabetes Outreach Programme
symposium at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Tuesday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
nology it would be helpful to have a
genetic model to assist in the research
It was also important, Khan added,
to tackle lifestyle factors such as poor
eating habits and lack of exercise, as
well as to focus on primary health care.
"This is developing a health care sys-
tem where every person can walk into
a health centre to get simple tests done
and screening without any sort of delay.
"Once a person s diet changes and
the lifestyle is healthier, then this could
result in more bed space at the hospitals,"
He was also hopeful that this would
not be the end of the relationship with
Johns Hopkins, as T&T would want to
continue the partnership.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
In 2008 the health ministry partnered with Johns Hopkins
Medicine International to address T&T's severe problems with
The programme included an intensive two-year study of patients
with diabetes and the personal, social, economic and health system
challenges they faced. The study found that conditions such as
depression, physical inactivity and smoking were major barriers to
self-care among T&T residents with diabetes.
Other initiatives included the launch of a diabetic retinopathy
screening programme at the South West Regional Health Authority
(SWRHA). Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that
could lead to blindness.
Sixteen certified diabetes educators were trained in the public
continue the fight
against diabetes in all
five of the country's
3 TYPES OF DIABETES
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