Diabetes Issues in Pakistan: Q and A with Dr. Numan Ijaz

2 min read

Dr. Numan Ijaz is a foreign qualified leading endocrinologist practising in Islamabad. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of endocrinology, specialising particularly in diabetes. In his interview with oladoc, he discusses the various complications resulting from an imbalance in hormones and diabetes issues in Pakistan.

Endocrinology is more commonly known as the “study of hormones” and includes all male and female hormones. One of the most common “hormonally imbalanced” diseases is diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or when your body cannot use insulin effectively (type 2).

Living with Diabetes is challenging. And in this interview, Dr. Ijaz, tell us how we can manage diabetes to live longer and a better quality of life.

Q.1. Why is Diabetes getting so common in Pakistan?

Yes, people ask me all the time about why diabetes is getting so common in Pakistan and believe it or not, it IS becoming an epidemic. By 2025, there will be 6 to 7 times more patients of diabetes. Going back a decade, only people above 40 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the type in which your body doesn’t respond to insulin properly. But there has been a paradigm shift and more and more people are getting diagnosed with diabetes nowadays.

The major cause of diabetes is genetic. If one or both of your parents are diabetic, you are more likely to develop diabetes. Also, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy due to a lack of production of insulin. Additionally, in South West Asian countries including Pakistan, insulin resistance occurs in roughly 90% of the population. So, for a rule of thumb, if your BMI is above 35, you are very likely to have insulin resistance and diabetes.

Q.2. Does Insulin make you gain weight?

Yes, insulin does make you gain weight. Since it disrupts metabolic order, it causes weight gain. There are, however, many medicines that increase your sensitivity to insulin. There are also many weight neutral insulins that are available on the market.

Q. Is Diabetes Curable?

Hahaha, no, unfortunately, diabetes is not curable but it is controllable. The only way it could be curable is if we could manage to clone insulin-producing pancreas. But one need to worry, with analogue or lab-grown insulin that comes in the form of pens and injections is similar to having a pancreas, one that just works outside of your body.

Q.3. How do children get type 1 diabetes?

They are mostly caused by genetic factors. In such cases, the child has to go on insulin since the body doesn’t produce it. I would also recommend those parents with a diabetic lineage to get their children tested since it is vital for the child’s health.

Q.4. Please suggest some lifestyle modifications for diabetes

Well, I believe that you shouldn’t be scared of diabetes. We can control diabetes with some lifestyle modifications. And let me be honest about one thing!  Eating burgers, sweets, pizzas, fatty curries are universally unhealthy foods and should be avoided altogether. So, there is no such thing as a “diabetic diet” rather, a healthy diet must be adopted by everyone whether you are diabetic or not.

You can watch more of his interview below. You can also book an appointment with him through oladoc.com or book an appointment with other top endocrinologists or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.