Halt The Diabetes Epidemic

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WHY ALL THE HUE AND CRY?

The prevalence of diabetes and obesity is increasing at an epidemic proportion throughout the world. India with a population more than 1200 million has a significant number of patients with diabetes. According to a recent data released by IDF (International Diabetes Federation), there are around 415 million adults having diabetes around the world and it is expected to increase to around 642 million. India, with 69 million people suffering from diabetes is estimated to be second highest contributor to the global load. It is well known that diabetes develops at an early age in Asians compared to western population because of the various risk factors including inheritance pattern, socio-cultural factors, rapid urbanization etc. Along with this, lack of awareness of diabetes and accessibility to healthcare also has lead to the current situation India is facing.  This means that there would be a significant number of people going through various morbidities and premature mortality.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

There are a number of risk factors for development of diabetes. Of these, there are a few un-modifiable risk factors that nobody can change like family history of diabetes, increasing age and previous history of diabetes during pregnancy. But there are a number of other potential risk factors like over-weight and obesity, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits and previous history of abnormal blood glucose levels (impaired glucose tolerance) that are modifiable.

 A lot can be done to prevent and control diabetes. There is a dire need to increase awareness about diabetes and the measures that can be taken to prevent it. Every single person should take the initiative and help fight diabetes!

Take the right steps!

  1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day – it reduces the risk of diabetes by 40%
  2. Lead a healthier lifestyle.
  3. Reduce your weight. Obesity is a big risk factor to develop diabetes.
  4. Eat the right food. Always think what the food that you eat, does to the rest of your body, after  you have relished it with your tongue!
  1. Reduce the intake of soft drinks and other high calorie foods.
  2. Quit smoking and alcohol consumption
  3. Do not let your children become obese. Encourage children to adopt outdoor activities like jogging, playing various games, skipping, swimming etc

WHY TAKE THESE MEASURES?

Diabetes is often ignored as it doesn’t cause any pain and significant discomfort. But once it causes damage, most of the time, the changes are irreversible. High blood sugars can cause a myriad of problems which can be life threatening as well.  It can damage the kidneys permanently, requiring dialysis. It can lead to blindness by damaging the retina. Foot infections can lead to amputations. Strokes and heart attacks are also common.  All of these can be prevented to some extent by having a good control of diabetes.

WHAT DO WE DO AT NARAYANA HEALTH?

We have a multi-disciplinary team including Endocrinologists, diabetologists, Diabetic educators, diabetic nurse co-ordinator, vascular surgeons, podiatrists, bariatric surgeons, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and psychiatrists. As a team, we work hard towards controlling diabetes and preventing the complications of diabetes to a large extent.

Each patient is counseled regarding the diet that needs to be followed, exercises to be done and medications to be taken. Individually, each person is guided through the complex aspects of diabetes care. Certified clinical Dieticians give a detailed meal plan regarding what, when and how much to eat.

People with eating disorders, irregular food habits, various stressors at work and at family are at high risk of developing over-weight and obesity leading to increased risk of developing diabetes and this contributes to poor blood glucose control. Our Psychology and psychiatry team provide family counseling, stress management sessions, cognitive behavioural therapy to help change some of these above risk factors.

Another important cause for diabetes, Obesity, is addressed aggressively. Weight reduction is the most important aspect of diabetes management. Our team provides comprehensive weight reduction program to these patients and if required counsel these patients for bariatric surgery as well. Weight reduction reduces various complications of obesity including diabetes.

Experienced Physiotherapists guide the patients regarding the ways in which they can exercise even if they have limited mobility.

As a whole, our objective is to try to halt this epidemic to the maximum extent possible. What most people consider to be just another disease, is in reality a man-eater! So always be aware and do everything possible to prevent/control this disease.

 

Dr. S Satish Kumar

Senior Consultant & HOD

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Bariatric Medicine

Narayana Health City, Bangalore

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