Diabetes, leading cause of death in Mexico.
Although in these days we have easier access
to information on how to maintain a healthy life and to not get a disease, it is still hard to create new habits that help us achieve that. Besides, people who already have a certain health condition have to learn how to cope with it if this has no cure.
One of those diseases that we all probably don’t want to get is diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, which is a long term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.
This kind of diabetes has no cure. People who get diabetes has to live with it and try to keep it under control with the help of medication and a healthy diet high in vegetables and low in sugar and fats.
Unfortunately, “Diabetes is the leading cause of death in Mexico” according to the World Health Organization.
“The disease claims nearly 80,000 lives each year, and forecasters say the health problem is expected to get worse in the decades to come.
In the U.S., diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death, with heart disease and cancer claiming 10 times more Americans each year than diabetes” (Beaubien, Jason).
“I’ve never gotten used to this disease. A person who has to work 8 or 10 hours has to eat what's at hand, what's available. It's difficult to follow a diabetic diet. The truth is it's very difficult”, says Mario Alberto Maciel Tinajero, a 68 year-old man in Mexico City who has this condition. Since Maciel works in a market, it is difficult for him not to be tempted by them. He says that he has 50% of his Diabetes under control although he has it since 20 years ago.
Mexico City has a great amount of hot street food spots around. There are tacos, quesadillas, fat sandwiches called tortas, tamales, bambazos (made with bread), gorditas, sopes (made with tortillas),
etc. available at any time of the day. Mexican food although delicious should be consumed in moderation as well as sodas like Coke that is the national drink most consumed by Mexico and it has contributed to the increment of Diabetes in the country these last years.
Even though studies have not shown what the exact factors that create this condition in our bodies are, this disease is always linked to people who suffer from obesity; though not all who have it are overweight. “Mexico has seen a rapid increase in obesity, with the number of people categorized as overweight and obese tripling over the last four decades” (Beaubien, Jason). Another factor for this condition is that people might have a genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes.
So, it is really helpful to know if some of our relatives have had this condition so we can take action and try to prevent it with time.
In Mexico, Diabetes is costing billions of dollars to the health system. Furthermore, Mexicans can’t afford the medications all the time, they’re expensive. Diabetes has become the first cause of death, disability and early retirement in Mexico. It is a huge burden for the government and it’s not easy to control since people have
habits which are very difficult to change.
It’s concerning that things do not seem to be improving in Mexico regarding this issue. The only thing we can do is to support those who have this disease and take care of ourselves so we do not have to live with this health condition the rest of our lives. It is better to prevent than to complain about it later. Prevention is key.
By Josselyn Delgado - San Francisco, CA.