Saudi Gazette – The Kingdom has the second highest rate of diabetes in the Middle East, according to a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report. The country also ranked seventh in the world with highest rate of diabetes.

Many Saudis and Arab residents families in the Kingdom are taking care of their kin — especially children and young adults — who have ‘Type 1’ diabetes.

Dr. Ghada Abdalla, pediatric endocrinology consultant at the International Diabetes Care Center (IDCC), said there were two categories under ‘Type 1’ diabetes.

The first category that children could suffer from is the diabetes that is caused by a complete lack of insulin secretion. The pancreas does not produce insulin. In this condition because the child’s genetic composition, the youth has diabetes gene, so he could suffer from the disease. The only treatment is getting the required amount of insulin.

“The second category appears when the body is resistant to insulin and does not benefit from it, yet the body can produce insulin. There are reasons behind such an action such as, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle and no workouts to burn calories. It could be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle,” she added.

Noura Alzahrani, a Saudi teacher, discovered that her daughter, Joud, has diabetes at the age of four. Without knowing the symptoms of diabetes, she was worried since Joud would go to the bathroom many times a day and urine on herself while sleeping and standing.

“The number of times she asks for the bathroom were unbelievable. I started to worry and decided to visit the doctor. I can’t forget that day when we went to the hospital and I found out that her sugar level was 445,” she added.

The doctor informed Noura that her daughter has ‘Type1’ diabetes and the disease was in an early stage. The only solution is the insulin.

“I was shocked. I did not believe that my child is suffering from such a disease. I kept crying. We stayed three days in the hospital until her sugar level stabilized. The doctors also taught me ways to give her the insulin injection,” she added.

Rana Shaath discovered that her child Samaa had ‘Type 1’ diabetes at age five.

Her daughter was lazy and indolent and would go to the bathroom many times a day. She also had acetone smell in her mouth. The mother was worried so she visited the doctor.

“I thought it was some throat problem, but the doctor advised diabetes analysis. I was shocked at the beginning when I came to know about it.

She said she was trying to give her daughter a normal life without putting restrictions on her. “I am closely monitoring her food and giving her food with needed amount of calories. She is taking insulin and counting carbohydrates,” Rana said.


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