Leading a healthy lifestyle is harm reduction for people susceptible to Type 2 diabetes

India is set to become the diabetes capital of the world

New Delhi, March 2, 2019: Taking vitamin C supplements can help diabetics by lowering elevated blood sugar levels throughout the day, a study has found. The research also found that vitamin C lowered blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, suggesting benefits for heart health too. While physical activity, good nutrition and current diabetes medications are standard care and very important for managing type 2 diabetes, some people can find it tough to manage their blood glucose levels even with medication.

It is alarming to note that one in every four (25.3%) people under 25 with diabetes in India has adult-onset type-2 diabetes. This condition should ideally strike only older adults with a family history of diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diets and inactivity.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “In a person with Type 2 diabetes, the body does not utilize insulin properly and this condition is called as insulin resistance. The pancreas first makes extra insulin to make up for this. However, over time, it cannot make enough to keep the blood glucose at normal levels. While the exact trigger for this condition is not known, Type 2 diabetes could be a result of a combination of factors. Some may be genetically predisposed to the condition. People with a family history of obesity are also at an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Those who are obese have added pressure on their body’s ability to use insulin in controlling blood sugar levels. This can lead to Type 2 diabetes. The more fatty tissue a person has, the more resistant their cells become to insulin. Lifestyle factors also have a major role to play.”

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, “A healthy diet is, more expensive than an unhealthy one. The wide availability of cheap energy dense low-nutrient food is contributing to the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes. 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.”

Some harm reduction measures

  • 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.

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