The high incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents can be considered a public health problem.
Obesity and sedentary lifestyle, factors associated with type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
rates are on diabetes are dangerous in Puerto Rico, a study by the Abarth Health Laboratory, in conjunction with the Puerto Rican Association of diabetes in which it was found that almost half of the population (48%) have or may have diabetes on the island.
Specifically, studies report that 20% of the population suffer from the disease and the remaining 28% are prediabetic patients, with a higher incidence in child and adolescent populations.
In an exclusive interview for Revista de Medicina Y public healthWe spoke with Dr. Margarita Ramirez Vic, director of the department endocrine University Hospital for Adults of the Medical Sciences Campus about this fact and assured that “we are seeing a lot of obesity and sedentary lifestyles in children.”
a generational problem
Experts assure that: “The problem is being seen that these children who start diabetes development of complications of type 2, in childhood or early adolescence diabetes long ago (…) those bodies are not mature enough to deal with a diabetes Type 2,” he says.
These complications are on the rise and Martinez points out that they directly affect the following generations: “We’re going to have a whole generation of young people who aren’t going to reach age 50, or they’re going to be on dialysis with amputations.” The ones are (. ..) It is very sad. It is very serious and the parents do not realize the magnitude of the problem, and the coming children will be disabled, which is the worst, they will not be able to lead a normal active life. Or won’t be able to be productive”, he affirmed.
This can be directly seen as a problem public health On which the administration and common people should pay attention.
Why is the incidence observed in the child population?
Doctor. Martinez points out, those have to do with cultural changes, ensuring that earlier populations were more active and now, evidence shows that child and adolescent populations are exposed to mobile devices and social networks and are limiting how active they are. We do.
“In our time, one was always on the street, mothers had to shout three times at five o’clock in the afternoon to come to eat. It is not something we see these days… children through cell phones now Do everything, through handheld games, no physical activity, apart from the diet we’re currently following, we know it’s terrible,” says Martinez.
Data from the American Association of diabetesIt is estimated that about 600 thousand people suffer from one type. diabetes in Puerto Rico, and more than a third of these patients diabetes Type 2.
“Unfortunately parents, you see how they’re taking them to Burger King after school drop off, so it makes those kids more prone to obesity, which makes them diabetes Type 2″, emphasizes Martinez.
Now, it is important to mention that diabetes Type 2 was not evident in children who presented with type 1 in the majority of them. Dr. Martinez comments that this has marked a marked change in pediatricians’ case care: “Pediatricians have to learn to manage diabetes type 2 because they had never seen it”, he says, adding that this incidence and incidence in the said population, “have been seen for about 15 years”.
Complications of Diabetes: Heart
Much has been said about the complications and effects of treatment in diabetic patients. we know that diabetes This brings with it effects on the heart, nervous, renal and nervous systems. A lack of sugar or a malfunction of the body is decisive in the production and regulation of insulin.
However, according to Dr. Martinez, the biggest complication in patients with diabetes is clearly in the cardiovascular system: “The biggest mortality is not in kidney complications, but in cardiac complications because at this time a person can die from a heart attack.” In kidney problems, dialysis can usually prolong a patient’s life, but a person can die early from cardiac causes”, he says.
Martinez points out that in the case of patients with diabetes, “it’s no different than any other patient with heart disease,” he adds that: “They already have a higher risk, so it’s important that every patient, including Prediabetes also includes a regular checkup with a cardiologist, as one is not necessarily feeling the same as a non-diabetic patient”, he assures.
For his part, he explains that the non-diabetic patient: “Usually when he starts to suffer from the heart condition known as angina pectoris, he tires more easily, he gets tired. In diabetic patients it does not necessarily give normal chest pain and becomes atypical. Especially if the patient has diabetic neuropathy, he is not going to feel chest pain like a patient without diabetes, So it can fall to the ground without prior warning,” says the expert.
Complications of Diabetes: Neuropathy
In the case of neuropathy, it is clear to explain that some people may present with discomfort in the feet and loss of sensation in the lower extremities, loss of balance and falls frequently and without prior warning:” Neuropathy can occur at the level of the heart where you will not feel chest pain,” says Martinez.
Therefore, it is important not only to have good control diabetesBut controlling blood pressure as well as cholesterol and making lifestyle changes: exercising, taking care of diet: “People don’t understand the importance of at least 20 minutes of walking a day and it can prevent falling into these Can” processes “, he explains.
Now, it’s important to mention that at a check-up, the first thing a specialist will look for is a change in glucose: “When our glucose is too high, the person will feel like their legs are sleeping, have a runny nose, or as if they were stuck with pins, and may improve once he’s under control diabetesSo for normal sugars, one should not have neuropathy, unless the patient has been uncontrolled for so many years that they already have neurological damage that is irreversible, and even if that patient is controlled, they may still have neuropathy. “, he clarified.
As if this were not enough, one of the characteristics of neuropathy is the development of diabetic foot, a fairly common derivation of the disease with doctor’s guess. “60% of the time it can happen and it will be related to a lack of control of sugar. That’s why an uncontrolled patient will usually have a problem with this sensation”, he says.
Complications of Diabetes: Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main causes of blindness and visual impairment in Puerto Rico and many parts of the world. “The diabetic patient needs multidisciplinary and team treatment and supervision,” says Martinez: “The problem of retinopathy, which affects most of the eye area in diabetics, starts from the prediabetes stage.”
This is how endocrinologists usually recommend that “patients, since they are diagnosed with prediabetes, go to an ophthalmologist annually,” emphasizes the expert. He says that “it is somewhat progressive, and it is a condition that if one is well controlled (sugar) from the beginning, it should not happen; or if it does, it Happens much later,” he concluded.
Watch the full interview here: