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Signs, prevention, cure of Diabetes

DiabetesMay 15, 10

That is one way to keep Diabetes at bay. Zeenia F Baria speaks to the experts.

The number of diabetics is increasing at an alarming level all of the globe. And one of the topmost reasons for this increase in numbers is the lifestyle that people have adopted in recent years.

Obesity and Bariatric surgeon, Dr Mufazzal Lakdawala says that Diabetes can be described as a disease in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not utilise the produced insulin properly leading to a high blood glucose level. “There are two types of diabetes — Type 1 diabetes, in which there is no generation of insulin in the body and Type 2 diabetes, in which the cells in the body become resistant to insulin.

Diabetes tends to run in families and it is possible to inherit a tendency for the disease. Hereditary causes of diabetes constitute a very small percentage. Most of the times factors that lead to diabetes are a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, obesity, consumption of high calorie foods and stress,” says Dr Lakdawala.

Type 1 diabetes usually tends to affect children and people below the age of 40. Type 2 diabetes tends to affect people above the age of 40 years. In the recent times a change in this trend has been observed. Type 2 diabetes is now often seen to affect a lot of children and youngsters as well. “This is very worrying because the younger, one becomes diabetic, the longer they suffer and more are the chances of developing complications like high blood pressure, heart attacks and kidney failure,” says Endocrinologist Dr. Shehla Sheikh.

“Diabetes usually presents with the classic triad of Polydipsia (excessive thirst), Poluphagia (excessive appetite) and Polyuria (excessive urination). Nausea, vomiting, weight loss, irritability, repeated infections and delayed wound healing can be other symptoms. Long standing, uncontrolled diabetes can affect almost every part of the body and cause damage to the nerves, blood vessels, heart, eyes, kidneys and can also lead to gangrene in some cases.

Prevention of diabetes mainly requires lifestyle modification. Moderate degree of exercise and keeping the excess weight away can keep the disease at bay. Regular consumption of very high calorie foods must be avoided. Children must be detracted from having too much unhealthy junk food.

Healthy eating and exercise form the mainstay of therapy. Type 1 diabetes is the insulin dependent diabetes and hence patients need to be on insulin lifelong. Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a combination of diet modification, oral medication and insulin.

Conventionally, the text book treatment says that diabetes can only be controlled and cannot be cured. Weight loss surgery is now a proven cure for obese diabetics. Even the newer sleeve gastrectomy has been seen to give very good results in diabetics. Whether the surgery will work in not so obese people is yet to be seen,” says Dr Lakdawala.

According to consultant laparoscopic and obesity surgeon, Dr Shashank Shah, diabetes is not only a disease of the over-weight. One must learn to recognise, prevent and cure the disease that is known to affect almost 171 million people worldwide.

“The most dangerous fact about it is that it’s painless and hence is hard to detect. Even a slight increase in fat content can cause insulin resistance. One should be checked by a physician and a glucose tolerance test is a must. It checks the response of the body to 100 grams of glucose, studied at a gap of every 30 minutes. Insulin levels should be checked against the blood sugar levels. If the insulin levels are more, it means the body has to produce more insulin to turn glucose into energy,” he says.

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