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» Type 1 Diabetes » Childhood Diabetes
At age 7, Guia should be bright and perky. Instead, she often feels faint. She wets her bed in her sleep. And she is always thirsty. Recently she began to lose weight and became really weak. She had to stay in bed most of the time, with no strength even to stand.

As she seemed to be fading away, her parents took her to a doctor. Diagnosis: diabetes.

She needs medication, blood test materials and regular meals, including snacks.

Only a pedicab driver, her father tries to provide for what she needs. The effort requires a lot of sacrifice. He is willing to work for her but wonders how long he can keep it up.

Guia needs help right now. She needs help to keep her going into the near future and for the rest of her life. She will be a diabetic as long as she lives.

Four point one (4.1%) of Filipinos have diabetes mellitus. At the current estimate of the population, this means 2.5 million Filipinos with diabetes, with perhaps an equal number which remain undiagnosed.

Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and of insulin itself. This lead to elevations of the blood sugar, and the appearance of sugar in the urine. When uncontrolled over the long run, diabetes can produce devastating complications. Diabetes mellitus can lead to blindness, kidney failure and gangrene of the extremities. People with diabetes are more prone to develop high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

It is said that one is not born with diabetes mellitus. However, one is born with predisposition to develop it. A predisposed individual is one who may have close relatives who are diabetics or who has a cell type which renders him very susceptible to these triggering factors. Many predisposed individuals may ward off the appearance of the disease.

What are the triggering factors of diabetes? Obesity is a major triggering factor for diabetes mellitus. The increase in body weight reduces the effectivity of insulin in various tissues. Multiple pregnancies make the woman, so predisposed, to develop diabetes, especially after the third pregnancy. Various physical and emotional stresses may trigger the appearance of the disease in the predisposed individuals. Certain hormones, drugs and other medications may act against insulin to render it less effective, and thus also trigger the appearance of the disease. Viruses may attack the beta cells of the pancreas causing destruction of some of them, the destroyed cells then act to incite the formation of anti-bodies which will now destroy the remaining beta cells, - a process of self destruction which leads to the type of diabetes which is insulin dependent. Thus, one who has diabetic relatives should not overeat, and should always exercise to prevent undue weight gain.

Despite these ominous facts, many diabetic patients can live with this dreaded disease and lead full and meaningful lives. But first they must learn all about diabetes. They must receive the proper diabetes education.


The main thrust of the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation is to provide an intensive education program on diabetes.

Though more than 2 million Filipinos are afflicted with diabetes, the vast majority of the population - including many of the victims themselves - know very little or nothing at all about the deadly disease.

Diabetes is so complex and so demanding that proper education becomes an important and integral part of diabetes treatment. All diabetes patients must learn the proper diet, correct exercise, continuous medications, proper care of the teeth and feet, correct usage of blood tests, daily record keeping.

There is quite clearly an urgent need for proper diabetes education.

The Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation aims to provide an intensive education program on diabetes by establishing a Diabetes Center in Metro Manila. The Center is envisioned to one, train trainors who will man the satellite educational clinics of the Foundation; two, create and develop educational materials on diabetes prevention and management; and three, supply all its satellite clinics with these educational materials.

The creation of the Diabetes Center will be the answer to the ever growing need for proper diabetes education.

SPECIAL PROJECTS : Type 1 DM in Childhood & Adolescence

The Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation, Inc. (The Diabetes Center), has always worked for excellence in fulfilling its mission & vision for patients with diabetes.

Recently, the Diabetes Center realigned its program with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Consultative Section on Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes headed by Prof. Martin Silink and Lorna Mellor.

In line with the goal of the PDA and the Diabetes Center to increase and improve research on diabetes mellitus, the Working Group for the Study of Childhood Diabetes was created by the Diabetes Center.

Members of the Working Group:

 1. Dr. Augusto D. Litonjua
 2. Dr. Mary Anne Lim-Abrahan
 3. Dr. Lina Lantion-Ang
 4. Dr. Ma. Carmelita Domingo
 5. Dr. Tommy Ty-Willing
 6. Dr. Elizabeth Paz-Pacheco
 7. Dr. Rosa Allyn G. Sy
 8. Dr. Siok Suan Cua
 9. Dr. Gigi Crisostomo
10. Mrs. Susan Bernal-Trinidad

Supported with a full grant from the Diabetes Center and a partial grant from both the PDA and Novo-Nordisk Phils., the group embarked on its first project study on the prevalance of Type 1 Diabetes in childhood and adolescence aged 0-14 years in Metro Manila. The second phase of this research is intended to cover all other regions in the Philippines.

The first project was the preparation of the educational material for childhood diabetes which was launched in different schools nationwide. The different key people involved in diabetes care discussed the possibility of making the Philippines one of the pilot sites for the IDF Sponsor/ Adopt a Child Program. This particular project was envisioned to address the plight of children and adolescents with diabetes in developing countries. After presentation and deliberation, the IDF board of management officially selected the Philippines as one of the three pilot sites of the program.

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