Diabetic News Briefs: There have always been warnings against smoking when you are pregnant. A new study not only supports that notion, but also indicates that when you smoke while carrying a child you may be unintentionally increasing the likelihood that your child may develop diabetes later in life.
Research spearheaded by Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland show that studies on rats indicates an alteration in the genes of developing embryos.
- The rat embryos whose mother was placed in an environment filled with nicotine gained weight faster than rat embryos in a non-nicotine environment. These rats were less effective at loosing that fat following birth.
- The rat embryos in the nicotine group also had alterations to the way their pancreas cells were formed.
The end result seems to be that smoking can cause a two-fold scenario that may place children at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Exposed rat pups had marked abnormalities in the cells that produce insulin. The research seems to suggest that there may be environmental hazards that contribute to the development of diabetes as a contributor independent from family genetics.
Meanwhile, Dr Francis Ofei, a medical doctor at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital indicates that energy drinks have been found to contribute to diabetes among the people he serves in Ghana.
Information may be less wide spread in this country where many doctors believe a large number of citizens may be undiagnosed diabetics.
The reason Dr. Ofei suggests energy drinks are a contributor to diabetes is the high calories and popularity of the drinks. These drinks also feature high carbs, which may also contribute to the findings.
Finally, a recent report indicates, “Diabetes has reached near-epidemic proportions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with nearly one out of every five individuals suffering from diabetes in the UAE. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence is expected to rise to between 40-50% by 2020.”
The reason for the expected rise is a deficiency in health care. The report states a lack of care may be due to, “systemic deficiencies, regulatory changes and socio-economic factors.”
There are pharmaceutical companies that are working to bring their medicinal offerings to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “In Saudi Arabia, almost one Saudi in four beyond the age of 30 has diabetes mellitus costing the government $800 per month.”
Arabnews.com says, “To do nothing in the face of the emerging crisis, to ignore its seriousness, or to dismiss its impact is foolhardy and irresponsible.”
Further ArabNews.com suggests the following approaches to dealing with the diabetic crisis in the Middle East.
- Increased national awareness of diabetes.
- Greater recognition of the human, social and economic burden of diabetes.
- Recognition of the fact that diabetes is becoming a health priority.
- Implementation of cost-effective strategies to prevent diabetes complications.
- Affordable public-health strategies for the prevention of diabetes itself.
- Recognition of “special needs” groups (diabetes in children, the elderly, diabetes during pregnancy).
These suggestions are something every country has or will have to face in dealing with the growing problem of diabetes.
There seems to be a three-stage phase in dealing with diabetes.
- Recognize it is an issue.
- Make information a first response.
- Develop strategies to cope with current issues and minimize future incidence of the disease.
This report dealt with new findings in medical research as well as diabetic issues facing various countries in our world. The sharing of research and information remains a key to finding better ways to mange this global crisis.