Letter to the Editor: Jim Pattison: Dec. 15, 2012

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I saw Adam Mazurkewich's letter in the paper recently and wanted to make a reply to it.

The need to raise awareness of diabetes is an important job to be done worldwide.

There is a need for people to take diabetes seriously when diagnosed.  I have seen a number of patients with complications who wished they took it seriously when they were diagnosed 20 years before!

There is clear evidence that proper control and care is the best way to avoid the complications that can result.  MOST of these complications can be avoided.

The first thing to say is that we do not presently have a cure for diabetes. A cure is something you take and you don't have to take anything else again.  What insulin and the pills do is treat it.

Second, there are organizations that provide support for diabetes that you speak of. The health region has a risk management group that deals with diabetes education. A person needs to be referred there by a doctor. The Diabetes Association sponsors or co-sponsors activities in the province as well. Doctors, diabetes educators and allied professionals like Pedorthists have a role to play in education. Band offices have people that do this work as well.

There is no question that type 2 diabetes is RAPIDLY on the increase in North America. Diet and exercise are key factors in the prevention!  This is the most important area where education needs to be done world wide.

I say "worldwide" above because I am working to help provide education on conservative foot care in Mexico. The incidence of diabetes in Saskatchewan and Mexico are similar, but the reported rates of hospitalization due to complications is 40 times higher in Mexico.

Canada has had a major role in the treatment of diabetes and complications. While we have made progress, there is much yet to do! Adam, your help in educating people is needed.

 

Jim Pattison

Canadian Certified Pedorthist

Prince Albert

Organizations: Diabetes Association, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Mexico, North America, Saskatchewan Canada

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