Diabetes. Management and Treatment Improve Thanks to Innovation. Interview with Dr. Claudio Ventura.

Diabetes. A pathology that affects almost 4 million Italians, over 6% of the adult population, but it is estimated that the "submerged", the number of undiagnosed cases, reaches much higher numbers, so much so that the SID, Italian Society of Diabetology, believes that half of the people living with diabetes do not know they have it. It seems that continuing at this pace, by 2045, there will be over 700 million people with diabetes in the world.

The increase in cases of overweight and obesity, incorrect lifestyles, wrong diet, sedentary lifestyle, excess alcohol, smoking, are among the factors that in industrialized countries contribute to the growth of diabetes both among adults and among the youngest. Risk factors now known, as are also the familiarity for the pathology and the risk, for example, for pregnant women of gestational diabetes. All elements that lead to the same conclusion: the importance of prevention, of periodic checks that allow you to monitor your state of health, particularly important also for the over 45s. Characteristic of the pathology is the possibility of being present asymptomatically, going to feed the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

Today, however, 100 years after the discovery of insulin, we come to the news. Let's talk about what has changed in the detection and management of diabetes. We ask our expert diabetologist, Dr. Claudio Ventura, specialist in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital.

Dr. Ventura, are there any news for those suffering from diabetes?

Fortunately yes, fortunately because many are affected, many, one in three, even without knowing it. We know that diabetes causes very serious damage to the eyes, kidneys, peripheral nerves and arteries of the brain of the heart and limbs. Fortunately, however, medical-scientific research has brought important news and this on two fronts, diagnostic-management and treatment.

We've said that detecting diabetes early, as well as learning to keep it under control, can make a big difference. What innovation in the diagnostic field can we talk about, Dr. Ventura?

First of all, let's talk about the possibility of controlling blood sugar without continuous punctures on the finger continuously, minute by minute. Today we have new devices that allow us to identify, and correct, errors, both in therapy and in unsuspected habits. Instruments also equipped with small alarms, useful to the patient in signaling if blood sugar rises or falls excessively.

Dr. Ventura, what has changed, instead, in the ways of treating diabetes?

In the treatment, the novelties concern the drugs for type 2 diabetes, that of the adult to be clear, once also called food. These new drugs have the advantage of not inducing hypoglycemia, acting intelligently, reducing blood sugar only if it is too high and not if normal. They are drugs that act on several fronts: they allow you to reduce body weight, always necessary in those suffering from this disease, reduce blood pressure and, above all, are functional to the normalization of blood sugar. They prevent or reduce, therefore, the serious complications of diabetes, including heart failure, renal failure, atherosclerosis with its devastating outcomes such as stroke and heart attack.

How much difference, in the management of diabetes, can make a constant check as well as a periodic consultation with your trusted diabetologist?

It can make a big difference. The specialist monitors the patient's status and also his lifestyle, step by step, adapting the treatment to the various steps of the disease and facing the path together with the patient, accompanying him in the management of the pathology to be evaluated in a multidisciplinary and constant way. Management can be challenging and complex but today much easier than in the past, thanks also to the innovations available.