Addressing rising diabetes on this World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day

14th November is dedicated to World Diabetes Day. However, this 14th November is quite unique as it is followed by Friday the 13th. This suggest us a silver lining after a bad day. Now how can a day dedicated to diabetes be good? It can be if we obtain a positive outlook. This 14th November an awareness is created about diabetes among people. As more and more communities are aware of diabetes, they can unite and fight to at least keep it in check. Standing beside someone who is suffering from it can encourage them to fight with it.
Diabetes is a chronic and life style disease affecting millions over the world. India is second after China affected by this condition. This indicate that 1 in 10 people are living with diabetes. It is pretty common these days, more so than we think.
With the changes in life style and food consumption habit, there is a growing concern about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is “The Nurse and Diabetes”. The campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes.
Diabetes can be either Type1 diabetes, where the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to able to regulate blood glucose level or Type2 diabetes, where the insulin produced in the body is unable to be utilized by the organs. While, there is currently no known cure for cardiovascular disease (CVD) or Type1 diabetes, 80 percent of individual cases with Type2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas – 1 in 2 people live with Type2 diabetes undiagnosed and over 425 million people are affected by Type2 diabetes. The World Health Organization notes that global prevalence of diabetes (standardized for age) has nearly doubled since 1980 and now constitutes more than 8.5 percent of the adult population. What’s more, the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to 522 million by 2030.
The scale and severity of this global health issue is compounded by the fact that diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to serious disease affecting the heart; therefore, maintaining blood glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol at or close to normal can help delay or reduce the risk of diabetes. All this can be maintained through a proper and healthy balanced diet.

The Role of Food

Nowadays people eat more junk and fast-food items which makes them vulnerable as far as the diabetes are concerned. Is this really the reason that needs to be focused? Carbohydrates have a big impact on blood sugar – more so than fats and proteins. Almost 90 percent of our food beverages contain carbohydrates. But it does not mean that a person should avoid intake of carbs. Low-carb diets restrict healthy food choices. This can lead to metabolic changes, which may be dangerous for diabetic person. There is a recent study which shows the actual mortality rate increases if we give up the carbohydrates totally. So, it is necessary to know that what type of carbs a diabetic or pre-diabetic person should take. Avoid simple carbs like refined sugars, soft drinks, etc. and focus on high-fiber complex carbs also known as slow-release carbohydrates like cereals, brown rice, vegetables, etc.

World Diabetes Day

Fig. shows the temperament of increasing the blood sugar level

Glucose + Fructose + Galactose = Carbohydrates
We need to understand that our diet needs to be balanced as far as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We require all three items in our food to lead a healthy life.
Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk for Type2 diabetes. People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease and are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression. Losing just 5% to 10% of total weight can help them in lowering blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Calories obtained from fructose found in sugary beverages are more likely to add weight. On the other hand, cutting back on sugary foods can lower risk of diabetes.
Now the question arises do we really need to do a lot of exercises and avoid our favorite foods? It is encouraging to know that we only need to lose 7% of our body weight to cut our risk of diabetes in half. And we don’t have to obsessively count calories or starve ourself to do it.
Having diabetes does not mean that one cannot lead a prosperous life. One cannot control a mishappening but should never remain unhappy during good times. This might affect their loved ones. Diabetes can keep us on check but cannot prevent us from leading a prosperous and healthy life.