Dr. Tasaduk Hussain Itoo
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), World Diabetes Day, which has been celebrated every year on November 14 since 2007, provides an opportunity to address and raise awareness of diabetes as a global public health problem and the forms and strategies to be adopted collectively. and individually for better prevention, diagnosis and management of the condition.
The Day also comes at a time when the world continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a high proportion of people with diabetes among hospitalized patients with severe manifestations of COVID-19, in addition to causing serious disruption in diabetes care and services.
The number of people with diabetes increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, according to a report by the World Health Organization. In 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death with approximately 1.5 million deaths directly caused by diabetes. Furthermore, prevalence has been found to be increasing more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries.
According to a report published in the Lancet in 2014, India is home to more than 61 million diabetics and the forecast is that there will be 100 million diabetics by 2030. China is the diabetes capital of the world with India in second place. More than 70 percent of middle-aged Indians will suffer from non-insulin dependent diabetes in their lifetime. India contributes almost one sixth of the global burden of disease of 422 million.
Although diabetes is caused by a complex interplay of genetic and lifestyle factors, the most obvious reason for this rise is rising levels of obesity due to frenzied lifestyle changes among Indians. According to the same article in the Lancet, the number of obese men in India increased from 0.4 million in 1975 to 9.8 million in 2014; and from 0.8 million to 20 million women during the same period. Furthermore, in 2014 there were 3.7 million severely obese women in the country.
Diabetes is one of the diseases that affects the endocrine system. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. In type 2 diabetes, insulin is still produced, but the body becomes resistant to it. Almost every organ in the body can be adversely affected by the onset of diabetes. But with regular screenings, early intervention, and care, the disease can be kept under control.
Initial symptoms may be excessive thirst, excessive appetite, and excessive urination and swelling of the feet. Other symptoms may include delayed wound healing, frequent infections, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
Although diabetes damages almost all tissues and organs, the kidney is one of them. If neglected, a person could develop diabetic nephropathy. Serum proteins such as albumin in the urine, blood urea and creatinine levels should be checked every 3 months. Also, diabetics should limit pain relievers. They need to watch out for swelling of the feet, extreme fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
A diabetic must take special care with his feet. Watch out for numbness, foot ulcers, and carefully examine the spaces between the toes and the soles of the feet. Socks should be washed regularly and footwear should be worn, preferably with ankle support. Nails should not be cut too short and sharp edges should be filed. It has been seen that a high percentage of amputations are performed in neuropathic feet with secondary infection, potentially preventable.
The eyes of a diabetic also need special care and attention. The retina may be affected and the blood vessels in the eye may leak blood and cause decreased vision with other symptoms, including diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also causes early cataracts and, in extreme cases, the patient can lose sight. Therefore, regular eye checkups are a must.
There is also a link between depression and diabetes. Research studies have also shown that the chances of developing diabetes were higher among people with current depressive and / or anxiety disorders. Some of the newer drugs used to treat mental disorders can increase blood sugar levels. It is now important to monitor all patients taking these medications to determine their blood sugar levels.
Diabetics are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Diabetes causes a generalized micro and macro vascular disease that affects multiple organs. Due to the increased production of cholesterol and triglyceride levels as a result of insulin resistance in diabetes, there is a greater chance of developing atherosclerosis and narrowing of the arteries of the heart.
World diabetes day
What’s more, diabetes leads to an increased tendency for blood to clot, resulting in heart attacks. There is poor structure and function of the heart cells, leading to an enlarged heart and reduced pumping function of the heart, a condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, the condition that can eventually lead to heart failure.
A comprehensive attempt to identify prediabetics and intervene to reverse the metabolic abnormality will prevent a further increase in the prevalence of diabetes. Preventive health checks and year-round health and wellness management tailored to one’s health profile and community screenings are absolutely essential. Diabetes care and services must be increased at all levels of health care, to ensure basic access to services for all people in society.
Consistent efforts should be aimed at preventing and delaying the onset of the disease by conducting mass awareness programs and education in society. Additionally, adopting healthy lifestyle changes, including physical activity and dietary approach, in addition to working on the various modifiable risk factors for diabetes, could be beneficial in preventing diabetes.
SPECIAL TIPS TO BEAT DIABETES
* CUT SUGAR AND REFINED CARBOHYDRATES FROM THE DIET: Eating foods rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar raises blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes over time. Avoiding these foods can help reduce your risk.
* REGULAR TRAINING Regular physical activity can increase insulin secretion and sensitivity, which can help prevent the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.
* DRINKING WATER AS MAIN DRINK : Drinking water instead of other beverages can help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
* WEIGHT LOSS IF YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE : Carrying excess weight, especially in the abdominal area, increases the probability of developing diabetes. Losing weight can significantly reduce your risk of diabetes.
* GIVE UP SMOKING : Smoking is closely related to the risk of diabetes, especially in heavy smokers. Quitting smoking has been shown to reduce this risk over time.
* FOLLOWING A VERY LOW CARBOHYDRATE DIET : Following a ketogenic or very low-carb diet can help keep insulin and blood sugar levels in check, which can protect against diabetes.
* AVOID LARGE PORTION SIZES : Avoiding large portions can help lower blood sugar levels and lower the risk of diabetes.
* AVOID SEDENTARY BEHAVIORS: Avoiding sedentary behaviors, such as excessive sitting, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
* EAT A HIGH FIBER DIET : Eating a good source of fiber with every meal can help prevent spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels, which can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
* OPTIMIZING VITAMIN D LEVELS : Eating foods high in vitamin D or taking supplements can help optimize vitamin D levels in your blood, which can reduce the risk of diabetes.
* MINIMIZING THE INGESTION OF PROCESSED FOODS: Minimizing processed foods and focusing on whole foods with protective health effects can help lower your risk of diabetes.
* DRINK COFFEE OR TEA : Drinking coffee or tea can help lower blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
* TAKE NATURAL HERBS: Herbs like cur cumin increase insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and can help prevent diabetes.