Can diabetes be avoided?


Diabetes is a metabolic disease spreading in epidemic proportions throughout the world and more so in developing countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes in 2015. It is a part of the hypermetabolic syndrome.

The trend of diabetes in India is different as it is on the rise more for urban and upper socio-economic strata as compared to developed countries where the rates are decreasing for the upper strata.

The best prevention is the primordial prevention that is, preventing the emergence of risk factors itself. The risk factors for diabetes are: dietary, sedentary lifestyle, stress, obesity, hypermetabolic syndrome, undiagnosed prediabetes and family history.

How to prevent diabetes at a very early level:

Diet: Foods with low glycemic index (whole grains, fibre-rich, non-starchy vegetables) and low in added sugars should be preferred. Saturated fats should be avoided.

Obesity: High fat in the adipose tissues leads to insulin resistance thereby increased levels of blood sugars and diabetes.

Gradual weight reduction by eating correct is the way to reduce obesity. Starving oneself should be avoided as it also increases blood sugar levels.

Hypermetabolic syndrome: Regular monitoring of lipid profiles, blood pressure, blood sugars and timely intervention helps in preventing the progression to a full-blown diabetes.

Detection of prediabetes: Periodic monitoring of blood glucose levels (FBS, PPBS) and HbA1C and urine- routine should be done.

This will help in the detection of prediabetes in a person.

(The author is MD, specialty-internal medicine, Apollo Clinics, Bengaluru)

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