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Diabetes

A genuinely global epidemic

The world currently has 397 million diabetics and this number is expected to increase of 205 million by 20351. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas no longer produces sufficient insulin (type 1 diabetes) or when the insulin produced is not used effectively by the body (type 2 diabetes).

397 M

number of diabetics in the world

179 M

number of people around the world unaware of being diabetic

Three forms of diabetes

Three forms of diabetes affect three different types of people:

  • Type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes is an autoimmune disease seen mainly in children and young adults
  • Type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases2
  • Gestational diabetes is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia in pregnancy, which in most cases disappears once the baby is born

The need for diagnosis

Hyperglycemia or the excessively high blood glucose levels that result from diabetes can result in complications that compromise affect the quality of life and threaten the life expectancy of patients.

179 million people around the world are unaware of the fact that they have diabetes

Estimates suggest that there are currently 179 million people around the world unaware of the fact that they have diabetes3.

Type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases.

Left undiagnosed or incorrectly treated, diabetes can have serious long-term consequences for the body, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease (coronary artery disease, heart attack, cerebrovascular accidents), which is the principal cause of death from diabetes
  • Kidney failure, blindness, lower limb nerve damage, chronic lesions which could lead to amputation

Long-term treatment4-5-6

The recommended treatments to achieve a better glycemic balance are specific to each type of diabetes.
The only treatment for type 1 diabetes is the administration of insulin, either in the form of injections with a syringe or pen, or using an insulin pump; a portable or implantable device that administers insulin continually to avoid the need for multiple injections.

Type 2 and gestational diabetes are treated initially through healthy lifestyle and dietary measures alone. Often associated with excess weight or obesity, diabete develops insidiously and may remain undiagnosed for long periods. For type 2 diabetes, oral anti-diabetic drugs may be prescribed in conjunction with lifestyle changes.

Insulin is administered only to those patients for whom these measures prove insufficient to achieve the required goals and glycemic balance.

For pregnant women, the preferred treatment is insulin, because oral anti-diabetic drugs are inadvisable in most cases.

In addition to taking these specific medications, diabetic patients must adopt lifestyle improvements, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity and zero tobacco.

Our commitment to diabetic patient quality of life

Air Liquide Healthcare contributes to the process of continual improvement in diabetes management, and is involved in the significant steps used in caring for diabetic patients which include the use of insulin pumps, to improve patient quality of life. Central to Air Liquide Healthcare mission is the dedication to monitoring and treatment optimization.

Assisting patients with diabetes

When insulin pump treatment is prescribed by a physician, the home healthcare provider contacts diabetic patients and supports them in their daily lives as they become insulin pump users. A wide range of services is available to these patients:

  • Provision of the insulin pump
  • Training and support in programming and using the pump
  • Personal advice
  • Home visits
  • Support service

To ensure treatment optimization and compliance, the home healthcare provider keeps the prescribing physician regularly updated on its monitoring of insulin pump patients.

References:

  1. IDF. Diabetes: facts and figures. Available at: www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/facts-figures, viewed on 13/11/2014
  2. WHO, Diabetes, Fact sheet, January 2015. Available at: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/, viewed on 14/11/2014
  3. IDF. Diabetes Atlas, 6ème ed. Update 2014. Available at: www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/introduction, viewed on 14/11/2014.
  4. Mac Gibbon a, Richardson C, Hernandez C et al. Pharmacotherapy in Type 1 Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2013; 37:S56-S60.
  5. Harper W, Clement M, Goldenberg R et al. Pharmacologic management of Type 2 Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes 2013; 37:S61-S68
  6. Fédération Française des Diabétiques. Qu’est-ce que le diabète ? Available at: www.afd.asso.fr/diabete, viewed on 11/12/2014.