Preventing peripheral neuropathy for better living

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Dr. dr. Wismandari, Sp.PD, K-EMD
Dr. dr. Wismandari, Sp.PD, K-EMD (Source: Special)

Jakarta, IO – World Diabetes Day is commemorated every year on 14 November. 

In Indonesia, the number of diabetics continues to increase every year: the 10.7 million sufferers in 2019 became 19.5 million in 2021, and this is expected to increase to 28.6 million by 2045. In fact, we are the only Southeast Asian country to be included in the List of Top 10 Most Diabetic Countries in the world. To heighten the irony, 86% of diabetics are now aware that they suffer from diabetes – in other words, the disease is underdiagnosed and most cases are only found when they are already severe enough to cause complications. 

“To prevent and better treat diabetes, it is most important that everyone gets early screening, especially if you are a member of the higher risk groups: you are 45 years old or older, your body mass index exceeds 23 kg/ m2, you have a family history of diabetes, and/or you are obese. We hope to be able to flip the data in terms of early screening, i.e. 86% of underdiagnosed diabetes cases becoming lower than 20% (by 2045). Diabetics suffer a risk of complications from stroke, coronary heart attacks, peripheral artery damage, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic nephropathy or neuropathy,” declared Dr. dr. Wismandari, Sp.PD, K-EMD, endocrine specialist practicing in Pondok Indah Hospital, Jakarta, in the webinar organized to commemorate World Diabetes Day, at the launch of Neurometer, the web-based app created to independently assess a person’s risk of neuropathy, on Wednesday (09/11/2022). 

Dr. Wismandari reminds everyone that diabetes is still incurable. “I repeat: there is no full cure available. All existing medications can only maintain control of blood sugar levels temporarily. Therefore, the pillars for its treatment include meal and dietary planning, physical activity planning, medication scheduling, independent monitoring and education. It is also crucial that diabetics perform medical control regularly to avoid complications, especially in terms of diabetes’ peripheral neuropathy, which will lower the quality of the patient’s life because they are frequently unaware that they are accidentally injured because of the disease. This is dangerous,” she said.