GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center estimates 75% of cases are poorly controlled
More than 24,000 children living in the United Arab Emirates are currently living with type 1 diabetes, which is a chronic autoimmune disease, requiring insulin to survive and for which there is no cure. The youngest patient diagnosed was recorded at just two years old, and the current healthcare system is designed only to manage the disease at a very basic level, as opposed to minimizing long-term damage to vital bodily functions to help these children survive. live in good health. and normal life. Although it can be diagnosed at any age, it usually appears during childhood or adolescence and typically peaks in diagnosis are between children aged four to seven and those aged 10 to 14.
About 75% of all diabetes cases in the UAE are considered poorly controlled, which can lead to life-changing complications, such as nerve damage, heart and vascular disease, as well as kidney damage, eyes and feet. In an already stressful time for parents of newly diagnosed children, the additional challenges presented by substandard medical care add even more distress to many families. The American Diabetes Association says most healthcare facilities do not have all of the support needed to effectively manage the disease, including nurse educators, dietitians, and pediatric endocrinologists.
To add to this, most health insurance companies do not pay for essential services such as nurse educators, dietitians, or the medical devices needed to provide a good lifestyle for young people with type 1 diabetes. current approach to type 1 health care in the region, Ali Hashemi, co-founder and president of GluCare, said: “The approach to type 1 care, here and in many parts of the world, is fundamentally flawed and leads to many complications for patients that could easily be avoided. People with diabetes are currently offered blood tests every three months to assess their control of the disease. The results then show what changes need to be made to their diet and insulin ratios, and are rechecked three months later. The time between visits is essentially a “black hole” as healthcare providers have no way of collecting data or managing patients remotely, which usually results in very little improvement in their blood sugar and almost makes impossible to improve their management.
Hachemi continues; “We provide 24/7 care and follow-up to our patients, so we can make changes with them on a daily basis! We monitor their blood sugar, insulin and nutrition in real time and are able to guide them continuously, in particular by supporting them in their lifestyle choices and their mental health. Diabetes is not only a disease that affects you physically, it is extremely stressful mentally, especially in children and their parents. We are able to work with them to create real-time solutions, every day, which means they can live happier, healthier lives without living in constant fear of dangerous future complications. Selina Jorinde, a relative who experienced the medical benefit of type 1 diabetes at GluCare for her 10 year old daughter, said: “With type 1 diabetes, there is no break even. if you’re having a good day you know a bad day might follow, that’s why i always say it’s like walking a tightrope, and that’s what parents and kids should do face 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Before joining GluCare, I would take my daughter back to our hospital in Amsterdam every three or four months because we couldn’t find the same level of care in Dubai. However, with the coronavirus pandemic and all the restrictions, we couldn’t do it anymore and they urged us to find a good hospital in Dubai. After a few bad experiences with other hospitals I didn’t think there was a reliable place for kids with type 1 diabetes, but we really fell into good hands with GluCare. The technology and support they offer is fantastic, especially compared to other places in Dubai. It’s great to have the support of the doctors and the whole team through the app. GluCare calls for increased awareness nationwide of the signs of type 1 diabetes in children as many schools and even hospitals do not know how to spot symptoms. This causes a delay in diagnosis and ultimately results in the children being admitted to intensive care, which could be stopped if people know how to spot the signs. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children include:
■ Increased thirst
■ Unintentional and dramatic weight loss
■ Frequent urination
■ Behavior changes Parents who notice these symptoms in their children are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible.
These parents, as well as parents with a child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, are encouraged to call the GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center to book a consultation on +971 (0) 4 220 1570 or visit the clinic on Al Wasl Road.