Bittersweet: Life with Diabetes can be Sweet After All

By Dr. Carlo Rodrigo S. Carreon

Every 10 seconds, a person dies due to diabetes-related complications. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in our country mainly because of our Westernized diet as well as progressive lack of physical activity. Diabetes has now become the biggest single cause of amputation, stroke, blindness and end-stage kidney failure. More than half of all deaths from diabetes result from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Despite the availability of severeal new medications, the majority of diabetic patients still have poor sugar control. Part of the reason is that it is often a disease which has no symptoms, particularly in the first few years. Patients think that if their wounds heal quickly or if they are not feeling sick, then that means that their sugar is well controlled. This kind of thinking leads to lapses in their medications as well as lack diet control.

Nevertheless, don’t let diabetes get to you. This is the battle cry of doctors from The Medical City Clark and its Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management Services Center. The TMCC DNWMS Center brings together competent and compassionate endocrinologists, nutritionists, diabetes nurse educators, foot care specialists, exercise physiologists, ophthalmologists (retinal specialists), nephrologists, neurologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists and surgeons, dedicated to provide comprehensive management of diabetes and its complications as well as prevent diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease through education.

The goal of diabetes control is not only to make patients feel comfortable in the short – term but mainly to prevent its long-term complications. Diabetes in the most common reason why patients need dialysis. In a recent lecture on managing diabetes, TMC endocrinologists said these complications could either be short term or long term and could sometimes prove to be fatal. Short term complications include hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis and infections. Hypoglycemia occurs when there is an abnormally low concentration of glucose in the blood. This leads to nervousness, shakiness, weakness or sweatiness, headaches, blurred vision, extreme hunger and unconsciousness.

Diabetes can be controlled and people with the disease can look forward to a long and healthy life if they take measures to avoid complications associated with diabetes. The TMCC DNWMS Center is committed to provide the highest quality of diabetes care, increase awareness of the community on the burdens of lifestyle-related endocrine diseases such as diabetes, obesity and dyslipidemia (metabolic syndrome), and engage in clinical and molecular research to help improve the public’s health.

Diabetes control shouldn’t be viewed as a burden. It is not something that people must do, or have to do. It should be something that they should enjoy doing. Let them find something that they would really appreciate or enjoy regularly.

To help educate diabetic patients and their families on how to enjoy life with these complications which can be avoided or at least minimized provided one’s diabetes is properly managed. Patients may visit The Medical City Clark’s Diabetes, Nutrition, and Weight Management Services Center at Room 209 from 4PM to 6 PM on wedsnesday and 2PM to 4PM on saturdays. For appointment assistance, please call 045-300-8888 or 09164488046.

Carlo Rodrigo S. Carreon M.D., FPCP, FPSEDM
Dr. Carlo Carreon is an Endocrinologist at The Medical City Clark. He is a fellow of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Philippine College of Physicians. He is an associate of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology. In 2006, Dr. Carreon was inducted as a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist. He graduated as Cum Laude from Fatima College of Medicine and completed his Residency Training at the Angeles University Foundation Medical Center and his Fellowship Training in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the Department of Medicine, University of the Philippines General Hospital.