Diabetes, A Stealthy Killer In Costa Rica

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    Over 50,000 ticos suffer from this ailment; the CCSS will be stepping up the assistance systems to reduce the high diabetes incidence rate.

    Two out of the 10 Costa Ricans are unaware of their metabolic condition.

    In the country, there are more than 350 diabetic sufferers, 50,000 of whom have not been diagnosed yet, because they are unwilling to go to the doctor while others can’t recognize the symptoms.

    CCSS is concerned with the rising percentage of undiagnosed people. In 2010, the percentage was 1,3%, in 2015 2,8% of the total over-19-year old population.

    Roy Wong, a member of the Social Security Healthcare Monitoring Department, explained that when a person is not timely diagnosed, the likelihood of complications rises.

    According to Jose Miguel Angulo, Coordinator of the Chronic Diseases Department, there are three key symptoms to suspect a person is suffering from diabetes: urinate frequently, being thirsty and hungry all the time. A medical check is useful to clear up all doubts.

    On the increase

    The incidence of diabetes rates is on the increase. Due to the Diabetes Day, the report issued by the Social Security Fund showed that the number of diabetics in Costa Rica rose 2%. 15,000 people are yearly diagnosed with diabetes. The institution also reported that the diabetes incidence in women was higher as 8.4% of men are diabetic in the country.

    Additionally, overweight and obesity are the main factors associated with the diabetes rate rise since the percentage of overweight patients doubled in quantity of fit people.

    Some of the complications linked to diabetes are going blind, kidney failure and amputations.

    Diabetes takes a person’s life while other patients undergo amputations on a daily basis in the country.

    Healthcare centers register 1214 daily medical consultations for diabetics and approximately 104 patients are attended for complications in the emergency rooms.

    CCSS president, Maria del Rocío Saenz, pointed out that 7% of the best-selling medicines in drugstores are anti-diabetic.

    The majority of patients suffer from type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise.

    Another factor besides obesity is heredity since type 2 diabetes can cut across generations.

    Regarding type 1 diabetes, it is caused by a special condition in the immune system and it is frequently diagnosed during the childhood and before the age of 30. It can’t be prevented.

    Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by a high level of glucose in blood when the insulin production is low. People with diabetes are unable to process carbs, proteins, and fats properly.

    Strategies to attack the problem

    María Saenz emphasized that the Social Security Fund will be applying some changes in order to address the problem more efficiently in all the hospitals and healthcare centers. She stated that other countries around the world have made the same decision due to the fact that the number of diabetics is dramatically going up.

    These changes aim to encourage diabetics to do physical exercise, take all the medications, and keep to the diet to shed pounds.

    Similarly, the new strategy looks to include the participation of pharma specialists, dietitians, nurses, psychologists, and physicians, who will be creating a special therapeutic plan.

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