Professor Stephan Martin
Director and Senior Consultant at the West German Diabetes Clinic and Health Centre in the Düsseldorf Catholic Hospital Group
Diabetes and its secondary diseases can be prevented – or at least recognised early to enable optimum treatment – through regular check-ups, remote monitoring by tele-medics and the use of behavioural therapies. At-risk patients stand to benefit most from this.
As well as offering comprehensive treatment to sufferers of diabetes mellitus, the West German Diabetes Clinic and Health Centre (WDGZ) in Düsseldorf, overseen by Professor Stephan Martin, carries out regular checkups, remote monitoring by tele-medics and behavioural therapies for at-risk patients.
Why does it make sense to have a health check-up?
Cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, do not suddenly just occur out of nowhere in healthy people. In most cases, individual risk factors will have built up slowly over the years and resulted in vascular blockages in the heart, the brain and even the legs. Initiating preventive measures in good time can avert cardiovascular disease and keep people healthy.
What risk factors are there for cardiovascular disease?
Chronic obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, raised blood sugar levels (diabetes mellitus) and high blood pressure can all result in cardiovascular disease. The first signs are seemingly harmless little aches and pains – people actually feel relatively OK. The severity of these apparently innocuous complaints often only becomes clear when they have developed into serious complications. Our health check-ups test you for all major risks. Remember: the earlier you are checked, the earlier you will be diagnosed and the more straightforward your treatment will be.
How is early diagnosis achieved?
To test for the main risk factors in cardiovascular disease, we measure blood pressure and certain other blood values. Ultrasound scans and an ECG stress test must also be carried out to identify any calcification or constriction of the blood vessels. If your tests show normal results, then the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease is extremely small. Further tests, including gastrointestinal endoscopy, can establish any other irregularities.
If you already have diabetes mellitus or if it is diagnosed during your medical checkup, the West German Diabetes Clinic and Health Centre is able to offer a long-term programme of care and/or advise you on all issues that may arise. First consideration is always given to non-drug-related treatment. In some cases of type 2 diabetes, early diagnosis of the disease can lead to a regression to the pre-diabetic stage.
For patients who require insulin treatment, we supply all the latest insulin types and an insulin pump. In addition to the usual self measurements, it is also possible to continuously monitor blood sugar levels over a 72-hour period. Tele-medic care via electronic media can also be used to make adjustments to intensified insulin therapy programmes.
Diabetic nerve damage
Diabetic polyneuropathy is one of the more unpleasant complications of diabetes mellitus. This occurs when damaged nerves cause either a sensation of numbness or a burning pain at night in the feet and legs. High-frequency therapy, a special form of electrical muscle stimulation effective in cases of diabetic polyneuropathy, is also offered at the WDGZ.