For years Gujaratis have been mocked for their peculiar eating habits and the need for sugar in each and every dish. Now, research is confirming that all that excess sugar has indeed been consumed and how! Recent reports in the National Health Profile have discovered that Gujarat tops the list of Indian states when it comes to the number of people suffering from diabetes and hypertension. A true blue Gujarati celebrates all festivals with extreme enthusiasm and it shows on the belly of a Gujarati. No one can beat this sweet people in their love for sweet!
Diabetes is essentially a high sugar/glucose content in the blood accompanied by a reduced or absent insulin production. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the pancreas and is released every time one has a meal. Insulin is necessary for blood glucose metabolism and aids absorption and digestion of the glucose in the blood; thereby preventing the blood sugar levels from rising. In a diabetic person, these sugar levels are elevated leading to various symptoms and serious complications if left untreated in the long run.
As per World Diabetes Federation, almost 4 crore people suffer from Diabetes in India, out of which around 8 to 10% are in Gujarat itself. The cases screened for the National Health Profile were of type 1 diabetes (around 10%) and type 2 diabetes (around 90%). Health experts have identified the 3 most important reasons for the same. Traditionally, Gujaratis have known to run businesses making sedentary lifestyle a norm. The resulting lack of exercise is harmful and takes a toll on the metabolism in the long run. Apart from this, there is a tendency to add loads of sugar in each and every dish cooked, be it a curry or sweet meat. These two lead to obesity running in the family. The high sugar intake and fat laden foods add, pun intended, ghee to the fire.
Dr Oza, a diabetes expert, mentions that the major drawback is that people in Gujarat have a very lethargic attitude, and are indolent by nature. They have a tendency to eat rich, high calorie food and then rest or be sedentary. This leads to the obesity and other complications. Eating high calorie food and not exercising is a lethal combination, extremely hazardous to health, especially heart health! Often, diabetes is a hereditary feature and one acquires it at a very young age. Stress is another leading factor that causes diabetes and one should identify and manage stress as far as possible.
However, diabetes can be identified by some common signs and symptoms as follows:
- Increased appetite
- Increased thirst
- Sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain
- Increased desire to pass urine
- Tingling numbness in hands/feet
- Gradual loss of sensation in the arms and the feet
- Diabetic gangrene
- Recurrent urinary infection
- Ulcers or wounds that do not heal
The online national study has brought to forefront the looming problem of a state full of diabetics. The need to identify the iceberg, well beyond its tip, and screen high risk patients is felt. The protocol initiated by the health sector of the government is that they will screen more people for diabetes as catching the disease early and nipping it in the bud is easier than treating after its advanced. Screening young and old people will help to identify type 1 Diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is infrequent comparatively, but has very few treatment options while type 2 Diabetes is extremely preventable and its risk factors can be reduced.
By screening Gujarat state alone, the entire nation stands to benefit. So far 10,000 centres have been started across the state and as many as 12 lakh people have been screened already. Nearly 35 lakh people still need to be screened and might be able to avoid the diabetic stage altogether. There have also been talks which say that there will be 300 Community Health Centres and 308 Urban Health centres to be started for this huge campaign.
Though preventing onset of diabetes is the ideal, managing blood sugars in diabetics is extremely essential to prevent worsening and complications like blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, etc. Here are a few simple tips that can be followed to keep a tab on your blood sugar.
Tips for diabetics
- Diabetics are advised to avoid eating sweet foods and starchy foods like rice, potatoes, dates, papaya, mangoes etc. Other foods which people can eat are low sweetness fruits like apples, most vegetables, raw salads etc.
- Jaggery should be used in food products as a substitute for sugar as jaggery has a slower release of glucose which prevents blood sugars from shooting.
- Along with that, patients must exercise at least 5 days a week e.g. walk for almost 45 minutes. This will burn out all excess calories consumed each day, preventing fat storage, obesity and in turn, diabetes. Keeping the weight in check is a major hurdle as well as necessity in diabetes.
- One must check blood sugars at least one month and take medications regularly.
- Regular follow up with the physician in charge and annual eye checkups are essential to catch complications early and treat them aggressively.
If you are pre-diabetic or already diabetic, meet your consultant at Welling Clinic to know how Welling homeopathy treatment for diabetes can help you live a better & healthier life.