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Hundreds of thousands of people are unaware of their diabetes
On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml called for more use to be made of the early detection of this disease. Serious long-term consequences could often be prevented by early diagnosis.
Over seven and a half million Germans have diabetes
A report was recently published showing that around 7.6 million Germans have diabetes. However, many sufferers do not know about their own diabetes. This can have fatal consequences. Because diabetes can be associated with a number of complications. Early detection of the disease could often prevent the serious late effects of diabetes. This is indicated by Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml in a communication.
Many do not know that they have diabetes
“In Bavaria, over a million people suffer from diabetes. However, a significant number of those affected do not know about their illness because there can be no signs of it for years, ”explained Huml.
“It is estimated that there are up to 200,000 people in Bavaria alone who are not aware that they have diabetes. It is very important to recognize this disease as early as possible, ”said the minister, who is a licensed doctor.
"If diabetes remains undetected and untreated for a long period of time, it poses a significant risk to the blood vessels and nerves. The consequences can be cardiovascular diseases, damage to the kidneys and eyes, and dangerous circulatory disorders in the feet and legs," said the politician.
"On the other hand, if diabetes is recognized and treated in good time, the serious late effects can be delayed or often avoided altogether," says Huml.
"If you take suitable measures and, for example, exercise enough and eat a healthy diet, you can positively influence the course of the disease."
New regulations for statutory health insurers
In this connection, the minister referred to the recently revised health examinations for statutory health insurers:
“What is new is that the statutory health insurance companies will once again cover the costs for the health check-up between the ages of 18 and 35. From the age of 35, the legally insured can take the health examination every three years, ”explained Huml.
"With this medical check-up, health risks and burdens are to be recorded and evaluated, and important diseases such as diabetes mellitus are recognized at an early stage," said the Minister of Health.
"Prevention-oriented advice and, if necessary, further diagnostics and therapy are tailored to this."
A healthy lifestyle can protect against the disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus usually only occurs in adulthood and is closely related to lifestyle. In addition to genetic factors, risk factors include a lack of exercise, excessive obesity and a very high-sugar and fatty diet.
"A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise can protect against type 2 diabetes," said the minister, who also wants to ensure that type 1 diabetes is recognized earlier in children than before.
“My goal is to make parents more aware of this diabetes. Because a quick diagnosis and timely treatment also prevent the later development of serious complications such as high blood pressure and circulatory disorders. "
Illness is not curable
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disorder in childhood and adolescence nationwide. It is caused by an autoimmune reaction in which the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the body's own defense processes.
“Type 1 diabetes has not yet been curable. With a timely diagnosis and optimal blood sugar control, the young patients can lead an almost normal life, ”says Huml.
The main symptoms include strong thirst and frequent urination. If suspected, parents should seek medical advice. (ad)