The most significant step for treating diabetes is patient awareness, said Sherif Hafez, Professor at the Qasr Al-Eini School of Medicine, during a conference held by Novo Nordisk Company aiming to raise the awareness for diabetes, Tuesday.
The conference took place alongside the 10th annual conference of the Arabic Association for the Study of Diabetes and Metabolism (AASD), a member of the International Diabetes Federation, (IDF).
The number of diabetes patients worldwide currently records 382 millions, while this number is expected to increase to around 502 million patients by 2035, Hafez noted.
In Egypt, 7.5 million citizens suffer from diabetes, while this number is expected to reach around 13 million by 2035, Hafez highlighted.
Most of these patients are suffering from type 2 diabetes, which is caused by the failure of insulin to form naturally in the body, Hafez added.
Whereas type 1 diabetes, caused by the damage of the pancreas, is usually diagnosed in younger patients, and must be treated by taking insulin once it has been diagnosed, Hafez said.
Further, Amr Al-Saadany, diabetes specialist and professor at Qasr Al-Eini school of medicine, said a new type of treatment has been revealed recently, which is considered the next generation of insulin.
He added that the manufacturing technique for this new insulin allows it to be taken one time per day, and it can be effective for up to 42 hours, which can reduce the bouts of low blood glucose.
Currently, a number of studies are being undertaken for the use of stem cells in treating the disease, but these studies are not yet approved and cannot be used yet, said AASD president Inas Shaltout.
“Meanwhile, a number of TV shows and doctors say that if patients have gastric bypass surgery, the diabetes will be cured. This is a huge misunderstanding of the disease and the surgery,” Shaltout added.
She further noted that patient must be aware that surgery might only be effective if the patient’s body mass index exceeds 35; otherwise it damages the health and is highly risky.