September 19th marks the first day of the UN meeting on noncommunicable disease. Gathering in New York are representatives from around the world concerned by the growing epidemic of preventable disease like diabetes. Reuters reports that worldwide every seven seconds someone in the world dies of complications from diabetes.
Every seven seconds.
This meeting is a sign of hope for the millions of people who suffer from diabetes. Yet it’s a sign of despair too. Peliminary reports indicate that heavy lobbying by tobacco, alcohol, food and drug companies may slow or skew the adoption of action.
Let’s face it diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are big money. Managing chronic conditions are growth markets for drug companies. Tobacco, food and alcohol have a stake in keeping their global market growing, too. A marriage between drugs and consumables virtually guarantees their businesses will boom in years to come while people in developing countries and people right here in our own country continue to die.
Praise belongs to the UN for tackling the issue. This is only the second UN meeting on health in history. The first one was in 2001 on Aids. Talks are starting. The problem will be acknowledged as a problem. Solutions will be proposed. Solutions that revolve around increasing healthcare, tracking statistics to compile better data, monitoring outcomes, strengthening communication etc are all necessary and welcome changes.
Education and research for alternative methods to control and reverse diabetes are paramount. Realistic guidelines need to be adopted. At Whole Health we see patients whose doctors have told them that a blood glucose reading of 140 is what they should shoot for. Some say 180. In reality anything above a 100 still leaves the patient at risk for complications due to diabetes.
We are having success with patients lowering their glucose levels to a safe number (under 100). Studies are surfacing that show products that have beneficial effects in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol. PHatea is one of them.
With a world focus on noncommunicable disease, those of us in the US who have been involved in this issue need to advise: We can’t just do what we’ve been doing and expect that anything will change. Adopting the action items listed in the meeting brochure is a start, but the epidemic requires more than that. Stop the big money from controlling the disease. Look for alternatives. Educate everyone. Fund studies for alternative sources and above all, acknowledge that it is possible to reverse the condition.