November 14 every year is observed as World Diabetes Day. This day was first conceived in 1991 to increase awareness about this metabolic disorder. An estimated 346 million people around the world suffer from diabetes and India has more patients than any other. Once exclusive to the urban areas, even rural India is being affected by the disease and there’s a shocking lack of awareness about it. An estimated 85% people in urban areas never get their blood levels checked. Ignorance is very dangerous because it can lead to various complications. For general awareness of common man here is a cut short idea about Diabetes and its management.
About Diabetes :
It is a metabolic disease which is characterised by high blood sugar levels. This is caused either due to the lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because the body’s cells fail to respond to the insulin produced (type 2 diabetes). The hormone insulin is responsible for breaking down glucose and when it fails to do so the body starts using fats. Some of the common symptoms of diabetes are hunger, frequent urination and increased thirst. There’s a third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes and occurs in pregnant women. While type 1 is usually genetic, type 2 is mostly caused due to obesity and other lifestyle factors.
Symptoms of Diabetes :
It has three classic symptoms – frequent urination, increased thirst and increased appetite.
Managing Diabetes :
- Diabetes is not an unmanageable disease. Some basic lifestyle modifications – like diet and exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol and frequently checking your blood glucose levels can go a long way in managing these symptoms.
- Bariatric surgery – a new hope for obese diabetics
- Proper sleep could help maintain diabetes
- Alternative therapies to beat diabetes
Diet for diabetics :
There’s a general consensus that avoiding sweets and other sugary food items is enough for diabetics. That is not the case. Patients will need to address their entire eating habits. Ideally, they should eat at least five meals a day and put more complex carbs on their plate.
- Wheat, flour and rice-less diet to beat diabetes
- Almond can help beat diabetes
- Fish a day can beat diabetes
- Keep diabetes at bay by cutting down on red meat
Complications of diabetes :
If left unchecked diabetes can lead to a variety of complications. It can affect your immune system, kidneys, eyes, heart, skin and even erectile dysfunction!
- Eye complications like glaucoma and cataracts
- Diabetes leading cause of erectile dysfunction
- Diabetics likelier to develop tuberculosis
Diabetes in Indians :
In recent years diabetes has emerged as one of the biggest healthcare problems faced by India as a nation. Increased urbanisation, a more westernised lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, general unawareness, increased cases of smoking and drinking and a sedentary lifestyle has made Indians extremely vulnerable to diabetes. Some estimates suggest that as many as one out of every six Indian might be diabetic.
85% never get their blood glucose checked
One in the three Indians overweight
Lifestyle diseases on the rise in India
Need to chalk out strategy to counter diabetes – Experts :
If unchecked diabetes could become the next global epidemic, some would argue it already is. By 2030, it could be the seventh leading cause of death in the world. Of all the diabetics in the world, 90% are type 2; their ailment is caused by obesity or other related lifestyle choices. In many cases, these conditions aren’t genetic. Let us all take a vow this World Diabetes Day to keep this advancing menace at bay.
Source : Health India.com