Tackling diabetes in the UAE
Diabetes is a worldwide phenomenon. The disease affects nine percent of the adult population and is responsible for a staggering 1.5 million deaths across the globe each year. Or to put it another way, one person dies from diabetes every seven seconds.
Of the estimated 387 million people with diabetes the world over, 90 to 95 percent of them have Type 2. So to clarify, when we talk about diabetes, we are generally referring to Type 2.
What’s the difference between the two? Type 1 often begins in childhood for reasons that are for the most part unknown – though it is likely a combination of genetic factors and some sort of environmental trigger. It is an autoimmune condition that leads to the immune system wrongly attacking the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, which results in very little or no insulin production.
Type 2 is when the body starts to lose its ability to respond to insulin – known as insulin resistance. In response the body will initially produce more insulin, but eventually the strain can affect your body’s ability to produce insulin and insulin production will decrease.
When insulin is no longer produced or when insulin resistance occurs, the body is not getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Over time this will lead to a host of very serious medical problems, including nerve and organ damage.
In the past, Type 2 used to be an “adult” disease, usually starting after age 30 or even 40. We now know that this is no longer the case – with children developing the disease at a very young age. Why? Our unhealthy diet. Make no mistake about it, Type 2 is almost entirely caused by the lousy foods we are eating.
The situation in the UAE
The stats from the UAE make for even more disheartening reading, with 19 percent of the region’s adult population affected by the disease – and an many more estimated to be undiagnosed sufferers.
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through a healthy diet, and for sufferers of Type 2 much can be done to not only control this disease but reverse it. In fact, many medical professionals are coming to believe that most Type 2 diabetes cases can be completely reversed.
The problem is that treatment for diabetes often tends to be done with medication only. But did you know that living a healthy lifestyle, with good diet and regular physical activity, can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 80 percent?
The diabetes reversal program challenge
And now this is where you come in. Primal MD and Intelligent Health (a preventive medical centre located in Jumeirah, Dubai) is conducting a diabetes reversal study, and will be accepting volunteers within the UAE that meet certain requirements. Over the past 30 years it has treated many diabetics through the program, and many of those who have taken its advice have either reversed their diabetes or brought the condition to very manageable levels of control.
The programme will run for three months, from mid-January to mid-April 2016, and anyone wishing to be involved must be in the country for the duration of that time.
If you wish to take part, you must register your interest before 15 December 2015 with the programme coordinator, Nigora Normatova (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let her know why you think you would be a suitable candidate.
Given that this is a deadly disease that is claiming the lives of adults and children at a ridiculous rate, and is – as I like to repeat over and over – caused almost entirely by that awful Western diet full of sugars and grains and processed foods, it is entirely in our hands to control. So let’s at least show that we can get control.
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Graham Simpson, MD is Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Intelligent Health, a preventive medical centre located in Jumeirah, Dubai. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. As a founding member of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) Dr Simpson is also a licensed homeopath.