Diabetes continues to be a health challenge worldwide and it’s no different in Cayman as local health providers here try to control the rising number of diabetes cases.
But as Community Health Services’ dietitian Tamara Whorms-Riley explains more younger age groups are being diagnosed with the lifestyle related disease of type two diabetes.
“Groups are staring younger, so you are finding more age groups within the twenties, the thirties and you know it usually starts in the forties and fifties,” she says.
It’s those age groups now racking up increasing numbers of type two diabetes which Mrs Whorms-Riley says is normally recorded as maturity on set of the disease.
But more and more, she says, younger people are turning up with the condition and a lot of it has to do with lifestyle choices.
“How we take care of ourselves, the things we eat the amount of time we sleep. Whether or not we are physically active and those are the things that contribute to people now becoming obese and having diabetes,” she says.
While she says people are more informed about diabetes, when it comes to blindness or losing a limb from the disease, it’s not the same.
“People are taking diabetes itself as serious, but when it comes to the complications people may not be taking those seriously,” she adds.
In order to change this, she says, people must take an active role in their health and early detection is key to fighting diabetes and the complications that come with it.
“Early screening can actually save you, at least your eyesight at least 25 years because when you screen early you know what your blood sugar reading is and by knowing that you can now move into preventative mode,” she says.
Mrs Whorms-Riley says making changes to your lifestyle can reverse the effects of diabetes if caught early enough which is why getting screened is important.
This year’s World Diabetes day theme is Eye on Diabetes and the Health Services Authority is offering free eye screenings on Wednesday at atrium at George Town hospital.