As reported at Medpage – the latest Diabetes estimates were released by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) this week at the EASD (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) as the news was even grimmer than predicted just a few short months ago: Researchers now estimate 366 million people HAVE diabetes worldwide – greatly surpassing all previous estimates – causing 4.6 million deaths every year.
Leading physicians at this year’s conference continued to stress the importance of Early diagnosis and treatment of Diabetes to prevent serious complications (and death). This is something we’ve talked about here at Cartagena Surgery – the need for early diagnosis, prompt treatment and aggressive risk reduction.
Preventing diabetes remains a key element of this strategy, but one which we are failiing miserably. Simple dietary changes such as reducing the consumption of sugar-laden beverages appears to be impossible to implement as we are hopelessly entrenched in American diets (and Indian, Chinese and other nations – as they adopt our fast-food habits).
As many of my face-to-face patients already know, one of the best lines of defense is also one of the oldest in our arsenal of oral anti-glycemics. For all of my patients who have heard my metformin spiel in person, feel free to skip ahead. As we’ve discussed in lectures and presentations – Metformin, that simple drug from the 1970’s (one of my $4 faves) has so many side benefits – and the potential cancer benefits are encouraging.. [what’s not encouraging – is the difficulty getting patients to take their medications regularly – even humble Metformin which is one of the safest, most effective – (clinically proven!) and cheapest diabetes drugs available.]
*as many readers and patients know – this is the one topic where even Cartagena Surgery gets overwhelmed at times.. There is just so much disease/ disability and suffering but it seems like no one is listening or cares enough about themselves to change their habits.** Please – dear readers – prove me wrong, and write me letters to let me know how you are taking control of your diabetes and your health..
Amen! Metformin is one of my most favorite drugs for treatment of hyperglycemia for the post-surgical open heart patient. It is well tolerated and lacks the profound hypoglycemic reactions, such as in Glyburide, etc., and is easy to transition off as exercise and dietary habits are emphasized.