Awareness On Diabetes

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.

World Diabetes Day was established by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1991 as a response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by the ailment.

Diabetes undoubtedly is a lifestyle problem. Poor food choices, lack of awareness, little need for self control, obesity and reducing need for physical activities for daily living remains key factors which drive it.

In fact, it is one of the major concerns across the world. Over 463 million adults are affected by diabetes and it has nearly quadrupled in the past two decades, growing from 4.7% to 8.5%.

As per the experts, diabetes itself adds to the risk of coronary artery disease and ischaemic stroke, independently of the other risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

During a study, the doctors screened 5,080 people diagnosed with diabetes between 2017 and 2020 at 928 medical centres in 121 cities across India and found that 4,192 (82.5 per cent) of them had at least one abnormal cholesterol reading.

The most prevalent abnormal cholesterol level was low high-density lipoprotein, or low “good” cholesterol, in 55 per cent of the patients, followed by high triglycerides (51 per cent), high total cholesterol (27 per cent) and high low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol (26 per cent).

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.

Persistent uncontrolled high blood sugar levels in diabetes patients can cause damage to other organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes, or blood vessels.  Among others, raising awareness about diabetes can minimize risk of complications. People can surely benefit from the education on disease and treatment, dietary changes, and exercise.

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