Dr. Silvia Ganeva, endocrinologist at ‘Heart and Brain’: Regular self-monitoring reduces diabetes complications by 35%

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Every 10 seconds, two people get diabetes and one person dies from the disease. In Bulgaria, according to statistics, about 500,000 people suffer from diabetes, and 40 per cent of them do not know and are diagnosed too late. Regular self-monitoring is what reduces the complications of diabetes by 35%. That is why it is especially important to have preventive checkups with an endocrinologist, and for patients diagnosed with the disease – periodic checkups with a specialist – endocrinologist are imperative at least once every 6 months and even more often”, advises Dr. Silvia Ganeva, Head of the Endocrinology Department at ‘Heart and Brain’, Pleven. The high-tech hospital is celebrating World Diabetes Day, November 14, with a Diabetes School “How to live with diabetes mellitus”.

“For four weeks, diabetics and their loved ones had the opportunity to meet and talk with the hospital’s endocrinologists. The educational lectures and hands-on activities covered several main topics: ‘What is diabetes’, ‘How diabetes works, chronic complications’, ‘Diet or just healthy eating combined with an active lifestyle’ and ‘Modern treatment options for diabetes mellitus’. The aim is to be useful to people with the knowledge and experience we have, as well as with tips for a healthy lifestyle, prevention and early diagnosis of the disease,” says Dr Ganeva. She points out that there is a genetic predisposition to develop diabetes mellitus in many families, but the main risk factors are excess body weight, low physical activity, overnutrition and chronic stress. In the presence of first-degree relatives with diabetes mellitus, prevention, early diagnosis of the disease and timely treatment are very important to avoid the development of chronic complications. It is the chronic complications such as stroke, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease and chronic thrombosis of the lower limb arteries that cause earlier and higher mortality among diabetic patients compared to other population groups.

“Today, health professionals, patient and community organizations are making a concerted effort in developing strategies for screening, prevention, early treatment and control of those with diabetes mellitus. The main goal is to improve the medical and social care of people suffering from this chronic disease and to reduce the societal costs of treating the clinically manifest complications”, said the Heart and Brain, Pleven.

Every year, the World Health Community marks 14 November as a day to fight diabetes, a chronic disease that occurs with elevated blood glucose levels. It has been identified as socially significant due to the high frequency with which it occurs. The day was first celebrated in 1991 under the auspices of the WHO, and in 2007, by a special resolution, 14 November was officially recognised by the United Nations. The choice of date is linked to the birthday of Frederick Bunting, who together with Charles Best made the epoch-making discovery in the treatment of diabetes mellitus – insulin.

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