Type 2 diabetes poses a massive public health challenge for India

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Life threatening health complications can hamper living if timely management is not undertaken

New Delhi, 13November 2018: Planned intermittent fasting may help in reversing Type 2 diabetes, indicates recent research. While lifestyle changes are important in managing the condition, some additional measures may be required. Type 2 diabetes normally affects older adults but is being increasingly noticed among younger Indians. They are at a greater risk of life-threatening complications including kidney damage and heart disease as well.

India currently shoulders 49% of the global diabetes burden, representing the ‘lifestyle disease’ as a massive public health obstacle for the second most populated country in the world. The number of people with the condition are bound to increase considering the rise in disposable incomes and living standards and will reach to almost 134 million by 2045.[1]

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “A high-calorie diet rich in processed and junk food, obesity, and inactivity are some of the reasons for the increased number of younger people with diabetes in the country. Not getting checked in a timely manner and not following the doctor’s protocol further complicates matters for them, putting them at a risk of acquiring comorbid conditions at a relatively younger age. There is also a belief that because young people with Type 2 diabetes do not need insulin, it is not as sinister as it seems. However, this is a false notion. This condition requires immediate treatment and management. A young person with Type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. If there are some, these may be usually mild, and in most cases develop gradually and include thirst and frequent urination.”

The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes develop slowly, over a period of time. Some of them include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow healing of infections and wounds, and skin darkening in certain areas.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Small and gradual changes can be made in the family so that no one is left out. This will also be encouraging for youngsters with adults setting examples for a healthy lifestyle. Such changes can help a youngster lose weight (if that is the issue) or help them make better eating choices, thereby lowering the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is truer for those with a genetic susceptibility to the condition. Operating as a team, a family, is much more likely to be successful.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Exercise more Exercise has various benefits including preventing weight gain, controlling blood sugar levels, and other conditions. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day is very beneficial.
  • Eat healthy A diet rich in whole grain, fruits, and vegetables is very good for the body. Fibrous food will ensure that you feel fuller for a longer period and prevent any cravings. Avoid processed and refined food as much as possible.
  • Limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking Too much alcohol leads to weight gain and can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should limit drinks to two per day and women to one per day. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers and therefore, it is a good idea to quit this habit.
  • Understand your risk factors Doing so can help you in taking preventive measures at the earliest and avoid complications.

[1] http://reports.instantatlas.com/report/view/846e76122b5f476fa6ef09471965aedd/IND?clear=true

Excess consumption of sugar can be detrimental in the long term

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

An average Indian consumes about 20 kilos of sugar New Delhi, 02 September 2018: Estimates suggest that an average Indian consumes about 20 kilos of sugar a year! What exacerbates the situation is that most people are unaware why sugar is not good and that it is highly addictive. One of the most common lifestyle ailments, type 2 diabetes, is caused by overconsumption of sugar. In individuals who regularly consume too much sugar, the pancreas produces too much insulin and the body’s cells develop insulin resistance. This means that the glucose cannot easily be stored in the body’s cells, thus causing an excess of sugar in the bloodstream. Globally, India has the second highest number of adults with type 2 diabetes next to China. The number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes in India is likely to double by 2045 from the current around 72 million to 151 million.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “When we eat sugar, the brain produces large amounts of dopamine, or the “feel good” hormone. Most of the processed foods available in the market are spiked with sugar tempting us to consume it in various forms such as ketchup, yogurt, pastries, and the like. Sugar overconsumption causes the brain to release too much of dopamine, making parts of it insensitive. Over time, to feel good, our sugar consumption also increases. However, this good feeling lasts only for about 15 to 40 minutes and is inevitably followed by a crash. It is, therefore, a vicious cycle of intense cravings that a lot of people fight throughout the day. Sugar overconsumption is also related to neurological problems such as depression, anxiety, dementia and even Alzheimer’s. It impairs memory and learning by literally slowing down the brain.” The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines three categories of sugar: Natural (built into food structure such as that in fruits and vegetables); Added (sugars and syrups added to foods and drinks during processing and preparation) and Free (both added sugars and those naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates). Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “White sugar is a slow poison. Refined white sugar is also damaging to the digestive system, particularly for those who have difficulty digesting carbohydrates. It increases the effects of hormonal imbalance in women leading to androgynous manifestations like facial hair and in rare cases, ovarian dysfunction. In ancient times, people in India used to consume either sugarcane juice, jaggery or brown sugar (khand). There is no mention of use of refined white sugar. Both jaggery and brown sugar are safe.” The 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela 2018 to be held between 24th and 28th October will have health checkup camps where people can get their blood sugar levels checked. They will also find some interesting resources to increase their knowledge about how to prevent diabetes. Some tips from HCFI - Avoid high fructose corn syrup. Watch out for this ingredient in labels. - Use natural sweeteners like sugarcane, honey or jaggery. - Eat several small meals a day, rather than three large meals. By eating little portions spread throughout the day, you’ll feel more satiated and be less inclined to consume unhealthy sweets. - Limit alcohol intake as it contains hidden sugar. - Restrict bread and bread products as much as you can, especially those containing wheat. Wheat has a higher glycemic index than table sugar. Avoid white rice and maida as much as possible.

People working in irregular shifts at a higher risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Inculcating healthy eating habits at the outset can help in averting this condition

New Delhi, 15 February 2018: According to a recent study, people working irregular or rotating shifts with usual night shifts were 44% more likely to have Type 2 diabetes. In addition, compared to day workers, all shift workers were more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, except for permanent night shift workers. WHO statistics indicate that the global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. The majority of people with diabetes are affected by Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is typically brought on by poor eating habits, too much weight and too little exercise. In this condition, the cells cannot use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently for energy. This happens when the cells become insensitive to insulin and the blood sugar gradually gets too high.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, it is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. One of the primary reasons for this is the lifestyle people lead today. On-the-go and fast-paced lives mean people skip their breakfast and end up eating unhealthy, quick-fix meals through the remainder of a day. Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity and it’s well–known that maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise reduces the risk of developing the disease. Diet affects diabetes risk independent of a person’s weight.”

Type 2 diabetes is also known as the silent killer. This is because by the time people are diagnosed with the condition, the other health complications of diabetes may already be present.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Foods which reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes such as vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and unsaturated fats need to be more affordable and more widely available. Most of all, it is important to start the day with a healthy breakfast as this can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and effectively manage all other types of this condition as well. This will be an important topic of discussion at the 25th Perfect Health Mela to be held this year by the HCFI.”

Here are some tips to manage Type 2 diabetes in young adults.

  • Maintain a healthy weight by exercising every day and consuming a healthy diet.
  • Get your blood glucose levels monitored at regular intervals.
  • Do not consume refined sugar in any form as this can get absorbed into the blood stream more easily and cause further complications.
  • Reduce stress through activities such as meditation and yoga.

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