Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Filipino Diabetic Part 1

My dad just got out of the hospital a few days ago. He is a diabetic and also got hypertension which means he occasionally has a high blood pressure. Daddy suffered this condition for more than a year now after his diagnosis.

But what really is diabetes and and how is this disease such a health threat at the same time a health deficit?

Diabetes Mellitus is the condition where there is lack of insulin in the blood steam to help glucose be assimilated in the cells to and be used as energy.

There are two types of DM.
DM 1 means that the pancreas do not secrete insulin. Pancreas are the glands responsible in secreting insulin. Persons who have DM 1 are dependent in injectable insulin and most of them if not all of them, would have to depend on it for their entire life.

DM 2 means that the pancreas secrete only a scanty amount of the hormone. Another hand, it could also mean that the person having DM 2 takes in more glucose than what the body requires and by which their is insufficient supply of insulin produced by the pancreas.

My dad suffers Diabetes Mellitus type 2.

In my dad's case, like most other persons suffering DM2, he has maintenance drugs for diabetes. These drugs have different mechanisms or dynamics on how it works in the body to intervene the illness. One of his drugs stimulate his pancreas to produce more insulin. Another drug slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

Aside from his oral anti-diabetic drugs, my dad also has other maintenance drugs to control his hypertension or high blood pressure.

But drugs are not all good. In fact, if not taken with much care, awareness and safety, it could lead to other complications. The therapeutic effect of a drug might mend only a certain problem, but a lot of people neglect that drugs have side effects and long term effects called adverse effects. More so, they also have dangerous effects when they get to interact with other chemicals, food and other drugs we ingest and that stays in our body. These are factors we cannot easily control especially once they are already absorbed in our body.

Dad suffered a lot of complications of Diabetes
One it caused edema in his legs and feet because of poor blood circulation. Edema is a swelling caused by fluid that leaked out of the blood vessels because his blood vessels couldn't hold them in anymore.

Hypertension also developed because his blood has become viscuous due to the accumulation of glucose in the blood. It makes it sticky and blood cannot circulate well.

This leads to another complication which is poor or slow wound healing. My dad walks everyday and if he cuts himself, especially on his foot, it takes long before it heals. In some cases, for other people, the wound never heals and turns gangrenous, resulting to amputation of the dead tissues.

Another complication that arose was dad's eyesight degeneration. This is a result of the poor circulation as well. His eyes do not get enough good nutrition and oxygenation. To make it short the eyes degenerate resulting to poor eyesight, meaning vision gets blurred and it makes the person strain to see. This causes headache and pain because of the pressure in his eyes. My dad can no longer see clearly and he got bleeding inside his eyes. He had to undergo cataract surgery and retinopathy to intervene this problem. And because he had swelling inside his eyes or on his macula, he had to be injected with a drug that stops the swelling inside. But whatever procedure he underwent, it never restored dad's vision to like before.

Recently, there came another complication discovered. This time, during when he was confined in the hospital. He had a 3rd stage renal disease, which means his kidneys do not function well anymore. We all know that kidneys play an important part in maintaining our blood to be free from impurities. It excretes the waste in our blood stream and important in balancing the chemicals that go in and out our body. Dad's kidneys can no longer perform this function well anymore. This led to more swelling or edema in his legs.

And the more dangerous part of it, because his kidneys can no longer excrete and filter blood well, the by-products of the drugs he takes can no longer be excreted properly thus it remains in the body and continues to toxicate my dad's bloodstream causing many damages all over the body.

One damage it made, which was the primary cause of his hospitalization was the sudden drop of his blood sugar. Yes, my dad is diabetic then wouldn't be a drop of blood sugar a good sign? No, for in this case it dropped really low that he is in the state called hypoglycemia. His body almost collapsed because the body's energy is depleting very fast. In fact being in the state of hypoglycemia for a long time is much dangerous than being in state of hyperglycemia (high glucose in the blood). It can lead to coma.

At that time my dad really was weak and he was sweating cold. He was shaking or what we say as tremors and he feels he can't breathe well because his muscles are weakening. He gets irritable, almost disoriented, uneasy, can't sleep and can't focus. More over, he is having a very high blood pressure. This prompted us to rush to the hospital emergency care, and eventually needs to be confined.

I am sharing this to all of you because we all need to be aware of this certain disease.

This is the first part of my blog post and on Part 2 I will be talking about how this disease has already become rampant amongst us Filipinos and what could be the factors that inclined us to acquire such illness.

I am basing all these thing from facts and real events that happened in my life and I have been a witness to the condition my dad is going through.



  1. great post, madel...

    still praying for kuya jimmy. aja!

  2. oh my. i feel sorry for your dad.

    my family is also diabetic. my lola died but before she died, her foot has to be cut.

    i have a sweet tooth and im addicted to sweets

    but i know one day i have to limit myself :/