Quarter of island’s population has some form of diabetes – doctor
For every two people on the island diagnosed with diabetes, another one is unaware they have the disease, according to a doctor.
Endocrinologist Luka Bilandzic told members of the Hamilton Rotary Club last week that up to a quarter of the population in Bermuda has some form of diabetes.
He added: “The obesity number has risen, we do not walk as much and the quality of our food has changed. All of that has an implication to the rate of diabetes as well.”
He explained: “For every two people who know they have diabetes, there is someone who has it who does not know.”
One of Dr Bilandzic’s main goals is to promote healthier living in his patients, so that the disease can be controlled.
He said: “I try to raise awareness of patients’ physical activity, their diets, what they and their parents or children may eat at home, that is all part of the lifestyle.”
Sara Bosch de Noya, education officer for the Bermuda Diabetes Association, told the Rotary meeting that people’s lifestyle changes are sometimes more effective in controlling the disease than medications.
She said: “Patients come to me on five or six diabetes medications; that is a zoo in the pharma industry.
“The first thing I do is ask them which one can they get rid of, by eliminating or tweaking something in their diet.”
Nephrologist Raphael Loutoby told Rotarians that while many people in Bermuda have changed their lifestyle habits, there is still a lot of work to do.
He said: “More people are interested in getting tested and in doing the right thing, exercising and trying to eat healthy and we also have more medications and more resources.
“But, it seems to me that we still have a long way to go; we have too many leg amputations, too many people are going blind and too much neuropathy.
“Everyone has to pull together to find a solution.”
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