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Prevention and Management of Diabetes

by Dr. Sushil Patel at 02.Jun.2016 on Diabetes Health

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Prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly throughout the world. According to WHO, in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. This article discusses the prevention and management of diabetes with lifestyle changes.

Diabetes is slow in onset and is an iceberg disease. Most of the time 60% of patients are accidentally diagnosed and only 40% feel the symptoms of the disease. By little awareness of its symptoms, one can detect the disease in early stage.

Symptoms of Diabetes:

Symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, tingling in the feet, fatigue and weakness, delayed healing, diminished vision, itching in the private parts and repeated abortion. Those who have these symptoms along with a family history of diabetes, aged more than 35 years, overweight, suffering from heart attack, blood pressure or TB should undergo a diabetes checkup annually.

Ignorance and False Belief:

In spite of advanced and extensive diagnostic facilities, in most parts of the world, almost 50% people with type 2 diabetes are undiagnosed. A gap of 9 to 12 years exists between the onset of type 2 diabetes and its clinical diagnosis. And those who know that they are suffering from diabetes, because of ignorance, superstition, false belief and carelessness not taking proper treatment. Studies showed that almost 70% of diagnosed patients are having uncontrolled blood sugar according to their HbA1C level.

More than 80% patients do not follow the advice to change their health behavior. Factors like inadequate knowledge, initial non-acceptance (denial) and revolt when diagnosed, no physical discomfort in the early stages, prevent patients from perceiving diabetes as a serious disease. Moreover, myths prevalent in the community about the disease, make the patient non-compliant with diabetes treatment. Instead of asking doctor they take advice from relatives and friends and follow their advice.

Complications of Diabetes:

  1. Up to 50% diabetic patients have complications at the time of diagnosis.
  2. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in young adults.
  3. 10%-21% of all people with diabetes develop severe kidney diseases.
  4. 60%-70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of neuropathy.
  5. There is a 15 to 40 fold increased risk for leg amputation in the diabetic compared to non-diabetic population.
  6. People with diabetes are 2 to 4 fold more likely to have coronary heart disease and stroke.

How to Keep Diabetes Under Control?

People with diabetes should undergo regular physical examination, which includes consultation with a doctor; fundus examination; electrocardiogram, stress test (treadmill test); foot examination for blood circulation, sensation and vibration perception, ulcer prone areas; along with necessary laboratory investigations.

  • 30% of people with type 2 diabetes can control diabetes by proper diet, regular exercise and yoga alone. In other cases medicines and in some cases, insulin may be required.
  • No restriction in diet is required in diabetes. Patients with diabetes should be advised to take a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Sweet substance and fatty foods such as ice cream, sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc., should be avoided.
  • Green vegetables and salads can be taken freely. Meals should be divided 4 to 6 times a day.
  • Eating fruits are beneficial for diabetes patients. More sweet and ripe fruits like mango, sapodilla, custard apple, banana, etc., should not be taken, if your diabetes is not under control.
  • Diabetic patients should make regular exercise and physical activity or yoga as a routine part of their life. Generally, exercise should be done early in the morning. One should keep sweet handy during exercise for any emergency conditions like hypoglycemia.
  • Patient education program and counseling is a must for every person with diabetes for total management of diabetes. It helps the patient to comply with drugs and lifestyle modification more effectively.

The clinical management of diabetes now has significantly more options than ever before and every year new molecule and technologies are coming in the market for better diabetes management. But, everything will fail if the lifestyle is not adhered. With proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment, one can live long, healthy and cheerful life without developing diabetes complications.

To gather more tips to control diabetes, consult a diabetologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/diabetologist

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