Every year, World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who discovered the insulin hormone along with Charles Herbert Best in 1922.
Like others in this part of the globe, Jammu and Kashmir has been experiencing a steadily progressing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes.
More importantly in contrast to the West, where obesity is more often associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, in this part of the world non-obese individuals are also affected by this condition in large numbers.
According to experts, an estimated 463 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, with Type-2 diabetes that needs to be treated with insulin sensitisers making up about 90 per cent of the cases.
Professionals estimate that the figures will continue to rise, and considering the fact that diabetes at least doubles a person’s risk of early death, the need to raise awareness about the metabolic disorder and tips on maintaining blood sugar levels are at an all-time high.
In 2018, a survey conducted by GMC Srinagar showed that one out of every ten residents of Srinagar aged over 20 years has insulin dependent diabetes.
Diabetics are known to have a weaker immune system and, thus, higher susceptibility to infections.
Experts stress that eating foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content can lead to increased blood sugar levels which may eventually cause diabetes over time. Instead of refined carbohydrates, it is better to choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oatmeal and vegetables.
It is important to stay physically active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. One should try to engage in physical activities like walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, etc. for at least 30 minutes every day. However, one should refrain from outdoor activities if there’s too much smog or pollution outside.
Getting plenty of fibre in the diet is good for weight management and gut health. A sufficient amount of fibre in the diet can prevent spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels.
Learning about the diabetes mellitus disease and actively participating in its treatment are important since complications are far less common and less severe in people who have well-managed blood sugar levels.
A greater effort should be made to screen the population for diabetes much before complications arise. While it would be a very critical tool in being prepared against any future epidemics, the people also need to be guarded and should take all measures to be guarded.