Take Control of Diabetes

World wide, over 250 million people live with diabetes and number is projected to increase dramatically in the next 20 years.

Unlike the proactive sufferers of the other diseases, people with diabetes are responsible for 98 per cent of their own care.

Preventing Diabetes:

At present, Type-1 diabetes cannot be prevented. However Type-2 diabetes can be prevented in some cases by maintaining healthy weight and being physically active. International Diabetes Federation recommends at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling or dancing to prevent diabetes. Regular walking for at least 30 minutes per day, for instance, reduces the risk of Type-2 diabetes by 35-40 per cent.

Prevention efforts should target those at risk of Type-2 diabetes. Once identified, people at high risk of diabetes should have their plasma glucose levels measured by a health professional to ascertain whether they have diabetes. The test can also indicate the presence of impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance, both of these indicate an increased risk of Type-2 diabetes.

Getting Familiar With The Risk Factors:

There are many risk factors for Type-2 diabetes. They include:

  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Previously identified glucose intolerance
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Old age
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • A family history of diabetes
  • A history of gestational diabetes

The Warning Signs:

People who believe they are at risk should recognize the warning signs of diabetes. They are:

  • Tiredness
  • Lack of interest and concentration
  • A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands  or feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst

Managing Diabetes:

Diabetes is difficult. It imposes life long demand on people and their families, who have to make a multitude of decisions related to managing diabetes. What’s most important in managing diabetes is understanding the limitations and the areas that can be worked upon. When it comes to diabetes, there are some things you can’t change like:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Age
  • Belonging to a certain ethnic group

But fortunately, there are things that you can change like:

  • Lose weight if you are over-weight
  • Increase your levels of physical activity
  • Quit smoking
  • Take your medicines as prescribed
  • Know optimum levels for blood glucose and blood pressure and ask what to do if they go haywire
  • Ask your doctor to monitor your HbA1c (a modified form of haemoglobin) every few months.
  • Check your eyes, kidney function, blood fats, feet and heart frequently, if you are at risk.
  • Make regular visit to diabetes doctor

Diabetes education is a critical factor in meeting the challenges of Type-2 diabetes. Without it, people are less prepared to take informed decisions, make behavioural changes and address the psychosocial issues presented by diabetes.

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