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Diabetes management amongst children requires more attention

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Studies indicate that there is an increased prevalence of the chronic illness, yet care is lacking.

Diabetes is a chronic disorder afflicting adults and children, caused by absolute or relative insulin deficiency, with or without insulin resistance.

Childhood Diabetes Mellitus manifests itself in a variety of ways. Children can develop neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM), type 1 diabetes (T1DM), type 2 diabetes (T2DM), Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), autoimmune monogenic, mitochondrial, syndromic, and as-yet-unidentified forms of diabetes. The Middle East has one of the highest rates of multiple forms of diabetes among youngsters, indicates research published in A Systematic Review of Childhood Diabetes Research in the Middle East Region.

Recent trends show that the prevalence of diabetes is quickly growing worldwide, with an increasingly widespread presence in the Middle East, driven by the obesity epidemic among adults and children alike. This tendency is proven and highlighted by a 3 per cent increase in the occurrence of this condition among children, who suffer from it in a variety of severe ways.

According to research published by GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center, 75 per cent of all diabetes cases in the UAE require more attention and need to be supported by technology-aided healthcare. More than 24,000 children in the UAE live with Type 1 Diabetes, with the youngest diagnosed patient recorded at two years old. Current healthcare manages the condition at a basic level, rather than minimising long-term impairment to vital bodily functions to help young patients live a healthy and normal life. Although Diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, it commonly arises during childhood or adolescence, with diagnoses peaking between the ages of four to seven years and ten to fourteen years.

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Ali Hashemi, GluCare Co-Founder and Chairman

The repercussions of poorly controlled cases, which is currently at 75 per cent in the UAE, can result in life-altering complications such as nerve damage, heart, and blood vessel disease, as well as damage to the kidneys, eyes, and feet.

Commenting on the current approach to Type 1 healthcare in the region, Ali Hashemi, GluCare Co-Founder and Chairman said; “The approach to Type 1 care, here and in many parts of the world, is fundamentally flawed, and is leading to many complications for patients that could easily be avoided.  Diabetics are currently offered blood tests every three months to assess their control of the condition. The results then indicate changes that need to be made to their diet and insulin ratios and then are checked again three months later. The time between visits is essentially a "black hole" because healthcare providers have no way to collect data or manage patients remotely, usually resulting in very little improvement in their blood glucose levels and making it almost impossible to improve their management.”

Hashemi emphasises that 24/7 care and monitoring is essential to managing diabetes, key changes can be made, and outcomes are more effective. “When we track a patient’s glucose, insulin, and nutrition in real-time, we can guide them continuously, including supporting them in their lifestyle choices and their mental health. Diabetes is not just a condition that impacts you physically, it is hugely stressful mentally, especially in children and their parents.  We are able to work with them to create real-time solutions, each day, which means they can live happier, healthier lives, without living in constant fear of dangerous future complications.”

 

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