The billboard in Dubai that had drawn flak for its ‘beat diabetes in 10 days’ message remains a hot topic among doctors and residents – even after it had been taken down.
‘Beat diabetes, arthritis and back pain in only 10 days with no medicines’ was the full advertising statement that angered health experts the most. The billboard was advertising a yoga centre called ‘Sanjeev Krishna Yoga’ and it was promoting one of their programmes, ‘Rhythm of Life’.
Doctors said such “tall claims could lead to life-threatening consequences for patients”.
Dr Venkiteswaran Ramanathan, medical director at Aster Hospitals UAE, said: “Such billboards are misleading, giving false and unscientific hope for people who have these conditions – to the extent that people may stop using regular medications like insulin and other medicines.”
Patients are advised to regularly visit clinicians who practise evidence-based medicine; advise strict adherence to medications; and encourage healthy diet, exercise and getting enough sleep, according to Dr Ramanathan.
Similarly, Dr Marwa Munajid, family medicine consultant at American Hospital Dubai Al Barsha Clinic, said: “Ignoring the necessary treatments that are crucial for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis, can lead to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, nerve damage, among others.
“It is well known that regular practice of yoga can help reduce levels of stress, enhance mobility, lower blood pressure and improve overall wellbeing. But people should not stop their medication and focus only on yoga.”
Out of the health conditions mentioned, diabetes was the one that raised the red flag, a doctor has said.
It is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases across the UAE, and it needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner under close medical supervision. On top of that, it requires consistent management to avoid complications.
Dr Amal Yacoub Ayed Madanat, consultant endocrinologist at RAK Hospital, said: “Many of our patients are unaware of the comprehensive list of tests they need to undergo to ensure that they remain ‘protected’ from the ailments that follow diabetes.”
“For example, foot examination is an essential requirement for a diabetic patient since high blood sugar levels can damage nerve fibers in our body and lead to several complications, such as neuropathy.
“And despite the fact that one in four diabetics can potentially develop a foot condition, it is quite asymptomatic. This is why doctors insist that people with diabetes reach out for clinical intervention early when it comes to managing the disease.”
Diabetics need to have a comprehensive health record as part of their long-term treatment, he said.
In fact, at RAK hospital, a ‘pocket-size diabetes passport’ has been introduced. It clearly illustrates the important checkpoints that a patient must take note of.
Explaining the newly introduced diabetes passport, Dr Amal said: “The passport records a diabetic patient’s blood pressure, body weight, foot examination results, glycated haemoglobin, lipid profile, kidney and liver function, uric acid, and cardiac examination, among other checkpoints.
“The goals of these indicators are defined in the diabetes passport along with how often the patient should perform these tests.”