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KIN DEMOTICA

I CAN HANDLE ITA 17 YEAR OLD DIABETIC

A person dies every ten seconds as a result of diabetes-related health


complications, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As someone who
has diabetes mellitus ever since she was eight, knowing this fact made Audrey
Roque more responsible in battling her disease.
For nine years, the first year architecture student has been suffering from type 1
diabetes, resulting to her blood sugar level spontaneously going up or severely
lowering.
Noong bata pa ko, my body attacked my pancreas. Kaya ngayon, hindi na siya
nagpo-produce ng insulin, Audrey explained on what might have caused her type 1
diabetes. This type accounts for five to 10 percent of all diabetes cases, and can
usually occur during childhood, which is Audreys case.
Thanks to the insulin pump her doctor gave her, Audreys blood sugar does not go
all the way up to fatal levels which can lead to a comatose. However, she has
experienced hypoglycemia six or seven times, a condition where there is little
glucose or sugar in the blood.
Audrey is one of the 3.4 million diabetics in the country. Experts fear that by 2030,
this figure will rise up to 6.16 million. Worldwide, there are 371 million people living
with the disease and another 280 million are at risk, according to WHO, making it a
global health problem.
NOT TOO MUCH, NOT TOO LITTLE
Diabetes Mellitus (DM), usually known as simply diabetes, comprises different kinds
of metabolic diseases characterized by too much blood sugar levels over a long
period of time due to the pancreas not producing sufficient amount of insulin, or the
cells of the body not responding properly to insulin. Currently, there are three types
of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, the one Audrey is diagnosed with, is characterized by deficient
insulin production. It occurs when the bodys defense system, for poorly known
reasons, turns skewed and attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that are
responsible for insulin production. The lack of insulin leads to increased blood and
urine glucose.
Formerly, type 1 was called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, since
it usually occurs in early childhood, and in order for a patient to survive, he or she
must daily administer insulin to regulate blood sugar.
Type 2, on the other hand, usually arises in early adulthood, and accounts for 90 to
95 percent of all cases. Unlike type 1 patients, those diagnosed with type 2 produce
enough insulin. The cells, however, do not respond appropriately to the presence of
insulin. This is known as the cells insulin resistance.

Insulin signals the body cells to absorb the sugar or glucose, from digested food, in
the blood. In type 2 conditions, the cells do not undergo absorption, and the sugar is
just left stagnant in the blood stream until it builds up and causes health
complications. The reason for this is still currently unknown.
Although the symptoms of high blood sugar level for both type 1 and type 2 are
similar, which include frequent urination, frequent thirst and hunger, loss of weight,
blurry vision and fatigue, type 1 develops much more rapidly and progressively than
type 2.
In Audreys case, she has experienced too little blood sugar level, which occurs
more frequently in diabetics. She said that the first time it happened, she was
playing a guessing game with her brother, John. Even when she said that she was
feeling dizzy, John didnt mind it. He told her to guess a letter and she said, I guess
H. He said it was wrong but for some reason, Audrey kept repeating, I guess H,
over and over again until she blacked out. She woke up with paramedics around her.
What happened to Audrey was a seizure episode, a common manifestation of
having a low blood sugar level. Other symptoms include amnesia, slurred speech,
abnormal breathing, moodiness, vomiting, and flashes of light in the field of vision.
The last type is called gestational diabetes. It is characterized by high blood sugar
during pregnancy, which is currently believed to be due to the action of insulin
being blocked by hormones. This type is usually resolved after the baby is delivered.
CONFIDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Everywhere I go, dinadala ko yung treatment supplies ko. Mabuti na yung ready
ka, Audrey said. Although currently, scientists are still working on a cure for
diabetes, it can be treated and the blood sugar levels of patients can be regulated
to a safe level. For type 1 patients, daily intake of insulin is required; for type 2
patients, oral medications and possibly insulin should be taken.
Diabetes being the eighth leading cause of death in the Philippines, the Department
of Health (DOH) wants to prevent Filipinos from developing the disease through
programs and campaigns that will raise awareness for early signs of diabetes, and
promote action for early diagnosis before complications occur.
It is proven that diabetes and its complications are preventable. Depending on the
type and severity of diabetes, the disease can be controlled by diet. Before, Audrey
was only allowed to take sugar-free food. But now, her doctor lets her eat normally
with moderation but only when she uses her insulin pumps. Having a physically fit
body, and a healthy lifestyle are also required for prevention.
When asked if diabetes has affected her life, Audrey said, Hindi naman masyado.
One time her mother decided to educate her peers about her condition when she
was starting high school Eto si Audrey. Meron siyang diabetes, Audrey mimicked
her mother while laughing.
She said that most of her classmates did not mind at all. One classmate of hers,
however, stood up and jokingly asked, Ano pong gagawin ko kapag nahimatay si

Audrey sa daan? Instead of reacting violently, Audrey laughed with her whole class
and simply. Deep down she knows that it will not happen because she knows it is
her responsibility to take care of her own body. I know how to handle it, Audrey
said.