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Diabetes Day: Healthy lifestyle for a bright future

Dalu Jose, DH Web Desk, Bengaluru, Nov 14 2017, 14:09 IST
The Indian council of Medical Research- India Diabetes

The Indian council of Medical Research- India Diabetes

ICMR- INDIAB (The Indian Council of Medical Research- India Diabetes) is observing The World diabetes day on November 14. This year the theme is 'The Women and Diabetes'. It is found that more and more women are being diagnosed with diabetes in the country. Though cases of men with diabetes are reported more; women are in the forefront in the death rate due to diabetes.


Diabetes during pregnancy is becoming common and there are cases where babies are born with diabetes. The study says 25% percent of women in South East Asia are affected by diabetes. Even the newborn has the chance of getting diabetes from its mother if proper check up and treatment are not conducted during pregnancy. So, not just the present but the future is also at high risk. This is why the theme is very relevant to keep our future generation on a safer side.

Bengaluru being a metro politic city is also known as ' The capital city of diabetes'. Bengaluru has the higher density of higher working population. Like men women also are in big number in the employment sector. Being an IT hub, Bangalore is home for working women as well as female students. The tourist attraction adds extra need of Fast Moving Consumer Goods for the requirement of people. The city known for its mixed food culture has a role in creating a diabetic population.

People hailing from urban and rural areas of the country are exposed to different food habits in the city. We may find south Indian food, north Indian food and western food in every corner of the city. Adding to this, the busy schedule of the majority of working population brings the fast food culture.

After all, mostly affected aged group still continue to be the middle-aged group because of the density of diabetes increase as you age. Today, diabetes is found even in young patients including children which were never seen before. Whether man or woman, its one's lifestyle that makes him or her diabetic, nothing else.

One of the major reasons for the type 2 diabetes is that lack of physical activity. Very often, The food intake not matched with the amount of physical activity. We consume more food but burning the food in the body is not balanced with it. Shift culture and sleep deprivation in workplaces also cause diabetes. Diabetes can further cause blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney failure, eyesight loss, heart diseases, obesity etc

The happy news is that in recent days our option for medication is more and better results are achieved. Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are new diabetic medication prescribed by physicians. This insulin which is presently available does not lead to weight gain and no major side effects like previous medicines.

Today both rural and urban people are the victims of diabetes. In spite of fresh and healthy food and a better environment in rural areas, the people suffer from the disease. the reason is that the use of scientific use of GM crops (Genetically Modified), Fertilizers, pesticides that used in the process of cultivation produce an unnatural food product which again kills the insulin and creates higher glucose content in the body.

Make a note of it, its the quantity of food that causes diabetes. The best way is to tackle diabetes is to know the Dietary lifestyle of different culture, such as North Indian, South Indian, Western. Depends on the dietary lifestyle certain foods should be cut down from the daily food consumption, especially its better to avoid food that contains plain glucose such as jaggery, honey, sugar etc. Fast food and fried food items must be avoided.

Normally, diabetes patients can add fruits and vegetables to their diet. Imagine meal as a whole, not just one item. For example, take a plate and divide it into 4 portions. One portion should have major carbohydrate content which can be rice or chapattis or ragi. The rest of the portions should have the vegetable, fish or meat, dal, fruits etc. So, the idea is that meal should not be just one item but a mixture of many things. So, the glucose level in blood will be controlled.

Primary and pronominal prevention will help to not to get diabetes in the future. It includes regular check-up of sugar, daily exercise and choosing a healthy food habit. Always, Prevention is better than cure. If your parents have diabetes, you have 50% chance of getting diabetes. You may look normal but not free from the clutches of diabetes. It will take years to show the signs by the time you will be at the end of the cliff. So, it's wise to make yearly check-up for diabetes.

Today children who are more exposed to mobiles, TV, internet games and Junk food are more vulnerable since they do not get healthy food and hardly get involved in any physical activity. As a consequence, the child obesity becomes the forerunner of diabetes in children. The best place to bring awareness about this is the school. Teaching the good habit of diet and lifestyle will help them to be safe from diabetes. After all, Diabetes is a lifestyle disease.

The future does not seem to be easier since more and more people are getting diagnosed with diabetes starting from very young age. As we have seen even the pregnant women and newborn are not spared. We need to bring awareness to our society, the family, of course, starting from our own plate. The women and children are the most vulnerable today. On this day as the world observe diabetes day, let's hope our future is safe by choosing a healthy lifestyle away from diabetes.

(Inputs from Dr Chitra S, Asst Prof Department of Endocrinology, Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru )

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