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The not so sugary disease

3 November 2014 03:21 pm
Pair of Human Hands Checking the Blood Pressure of a Patient
By Chathushika Wijeyesinghe

History of the World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes day falls on 14th November of every year. The world Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member organization. IDF along with the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the World Diabetes Day for the first time in 1991as there was a rapid increase of diabetes. November 14th is significant as it marks the birthday of Fredrick Banting who discovered Insulin along with Charles Best. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations day in 2007. The world Diabetes Day logo, which is a blue circle symbolises life and health across the cultures. The colour blue reflects the sky that unites all nations and is the colour of the United Nations Flag. The blue circle signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes plague.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience polyuria (frequent urination), they will become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of Diabetes. They are type 1, type 2 and Gestational Diabetes (GDM).  1) Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. People usually develop type 1 diabetes before their 40th year, often in early adulthood or teenage years. Patients with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin injections for the rest of their life. They must also ensure proper blood-glucose levels by carrying out regular blood tests and following a special diet.  2) Type 2 Diabetes The body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by losing weight, following a healthy diet, engage in physical activities, and monitoring blood glucose levels. However, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. It gradually worsens. The patient will probably have to take insulin. Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. People with a lot of visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight/obese causes the body to release chemicals that can destabilize the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Being overweight, physically inactive and eating the wrong food all contribute to our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also greater as we get older. Experts point out that maybe because when people get older their physical activities are lesser. Those with a close relative who had type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing the disease. As IDF points out both types 1 and type 2 Diabetes are serious.  3) Gestational Diabetes This type affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin .Diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made during pregnancy. The majority of gestational diabetes patients can control their diabetes with exercise and diet. Between 10% to 20% of them will need to take some kind of blood-glucose-controlling medications. Undiagnosed or uncontrolled gestational diabetes can raise the risk of complications during childbirth. The baby may be bigger than he/she should be.

Prevention is better than cure

In Diabetic prevention exercise comes first. Regular exercise can prevent one from getting diabetes. Then the weight check is also necessary. With the rat race we are in now people tend to consume fast food which contains a lot of oil. This is an unhealthy practice. It is essential to select healthy fat and protein and the grains. Always maintaining a balanced diet will keep you away from diabetes. Drink plenty of water, which will keep you away from many diseases. 1

Remember, Prevention is always better than cure!

(Images Courtesy Internet)


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