Saturday, 14 November 2009

Diabetes - Myths & Facts

Diabetes is a condition where in the body does not produce enough insulin or produces ineffective insulin leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.

What do the recent statistics say?

India, China, US in the order is the top three countries having the largest number of Diabetic population. India has been termed as the 'DIABETIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD'. Statistics reveal that there are approximately 33 million adults with diabetes in India. This number is likely to increase to 57.2 million by the year 2025. People dread this disorder and some have the trouble of accepting that they have diabetes and making the required modification in their lifestyle. These problems arise if you do not know the facts about Diabetes.  Here are some of the FAQ which will help to bust certain myths and make you aware of the facts.

How do I know if I have Diabetes?

The early stages of diabetes have very few symptoms, so you may not know you have the disease. Symptoms of diabetes may include the following:

  • Extreme thirst

  • Extreme hunger

  • Frequent urination

  • Sores or bruises that heal slowly

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Blurry vision

  • Unusual tiredness or drowsiness

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • Frequent or recurring skin, gum, bladder or vaginal yeast infections

Screening is usually done with a blood test.  Blood test during fasting as well as after having meals (post prandial) would be a good indicator to find out whether a person is diabetic or not.  Fasting blood sugar for a normal person should be between 80-125mg/dl.

Some of you may say, "I am just 30+ yrs old; I will not get Diabetes, so why should I worry about it now?"

More and more young people between the ages of 30-45 are becoming prone to Diabetes.  It is no longer a disease for the aged!  The main reason being changes in lifestyle pattern i.e. major deviations in diet; decreased physical activity due to improved transportation and availability of energy-saving devices; a high level of mental stress associated with modernization. So if you have any two of the risk factors like a family history of Diabetes, overweight, a sedentary lifestyle accompanied by stress then you are more likely to end up having high blood sugar levels.  So keep a tab on the risk factors and get yearly health check up done.

Some of you may say, "My parents are Diabetic; I will get the disease anyway, so in what way I can prevent this by taking precautions?"

If you follow a healthy lifestyle like having a well balanced diet with good amount of exercise every day, try to maintain your body weight in the normal range and also know how to handle stress then chances are that you might end up not having Diabetes at all or at least delay the onset of the disease.

Some may ask a question, "I am taking medications for Diabetes; my sugar levels are well controlled, I avoid sugar wherever possible; then what should I do more on diet/exercise?"

Managing Diabetes most effectively involves a three prong approach!, Diet, exercise and medications.  This goes a long way in preventing fluctuations in blood sugar levels and also in preventing the complications.  Good news for recently diagnosed diabetics! You can maintain blood sugar levels without popping any pills! This is possible by following a healthy and well balanced diet along with some exercises.  Those who are not careful about their diet may end up taking more and more drugs or taking more units of insulin which is a huge strain not only on your purse but also on your overall health.  Consulting a team of professionals would help you to manage Diabetes in a controlled manner, minimizing its complications.

Let me tell you now, "What precautions should you take to prevent Diabetes?"

The main risk factors for the onset of Diabetes can be divided into two parts - modifiable and non-modifiable.

  • Non-modifiable include high racial susceptibility to Diabetes and family history of Diabetes

  • Modifiable include unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, overweight and central obesity, high stress levels

Modifiable risk factors are in your hands! You need to take precautions against them and ensure that you can delay/prevent the onset of this disorder.

So are you motivated enough to do what it takes to prevent Diabetes?

Do you want to know the best way to prevent Diabetes?

Do you want to know how to take the first step towards the prevention?

Are you worried about the health of your family and want to safe guard it?

The slogan of World Diabetes Day 2009 is "Understand Diabetes and Take Control"

Prevention is lot more economical than the cost of recovery!

So what are you waiting for?  Act now. If you want Health Managers to help manage your Risk!.Contact us to take the first step towards good health!

From the desk of your Health Manager,

Rohini Prasad - Head Nutrition

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