"The most easily recognizable symptoms are weight loss, constant urination, and constant thirst. If there are symptoms like that, check it out immediately, whether you are 12 years old or 17 years old," said Dr. Wismandari Wisnu, Sp.PD, KEM, internal medicine specialist from the Division of Metabolic Endocrine and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia (FKUI), during a webinar on diabetes management on Saturday.
Those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes must keep their condition under control, he added.
For example, those with HbA1C (hemoglobin A1c) results above 6.5 are advised to check with a doctor every 3-4 months, he said.
However, patients with blood sugar levels of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more are usually asked to see a doctor every month, he added. .
"If there are symptoms, checkups need to be done every two weeks. So, the more symptoms that appear, you need to have more frequent checkups," he explained.
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Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the body's use of blood sugar or glucose, Wisnu said. The main cause of the disease varies, depending on the type of the disease (Type 1 or 2), he added.
However, regardless of the type, diabetes is generally caused by excess sugar in the blood and it can lead to more serious health problems, one of which is cardiovascular disease, he informed.
Cardiovascular disease is linked to the highest morbidity and mortality in diabetics, he said. Those with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke than someone who does not have the disease, he pointed out.
Cardiovascular diseases that often occur due to complications related to diabetes are coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and peripheral arterial disease (PAP), Wisnu said.
The 2018 Basic Health Research Data (RISKESDAS) has noted that the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, according to the results of blood sugar examinations, increased from 6.9 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent in 2018. This figure shows that only about 25 percent of diabetics are aware that they have diabetes, Wisnu noted.
The prevalence of the disease in the population aged more than 15 years has reached 10.9 percent, or almost doubled in the last 10 years, he added.
According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in Indonesia, accounting for 6 percent of all deaths
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