World Diabetes Day: UAE doctors highlight rise in cases with atypical symptoms

Awareness of non-traditional symptoms needed, as disease rises in younger patients

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Marking World Diabetes Day observed on November 14, doctors in the UAE have called for awareness about the rising trend in diabetes cases, particularly among young patients, with atypical and disguised symptoms.

While diabetes, a chronic condition that leads to elevated blood sugar levels, is traditionally characterised by symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss, doctors say it is now manifesting in unconventional ways.

Incidental diagnosis

“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been increasing in recent years, and the worldwide prevalence is 10 per cent of the adult population currently. This rise has resulted in the incidental detection of cases. It is worthwhile to use every possible opportunity to screen for diabetes, especially for people with risk factors,” said Dr. Ajith Kumar, consultant endocrinologist, Medeor Hospital, Dubai.

Dr Kumar recalled the case of a 42-year-old patient who was incidentally diagnosed with diabetes when admitted to the hospital with symptoms of headache, insomnia, and acute worsening of positional vertigo with nausea.

The patient, Jameela Hasanabba, who has a family history of type 2 diabetes, said: “I was on follow-up treatment for hypothyroidism and positional vertigo related to ENT issues. Last year, due to a halt in my regular exercise programme coupled with erratic meals and lack of regular sleep, I had started gaining weight. When I was admitted to the hospital with vertigo, the doctors conducted a series of investigations that revealed I had diabetes.”

Dr Kumar gave her Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Education (DSMES), an evidence-based practice for people with diabetes to gain the knowledge and skills to make behavioral changes and better control their condition.

Read More: Gulf News

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