Understanding diabetes, health tips to manage it

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterised by increased blood sugar levels. Doctor reveals all you need to know

Updated on May 26, 2022 01:35 PM IST 8 Photos

The burden of diabetes is increasing rapidly worldwide with the second largest number of people with diabetes living in India. As per the latest data by International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), there are more than 74.2 million adults living with diabetes in India and almost 53.1% of diabetic people are still not aware of their condition, decreasing their of treatment and increasing their risk of complications. The prevalence of diabetes is high in urban areas especially large metropolitan cities as compared to rural areas. Since diabetes is a lifelong disease with no permanent cure, the best way to deal with it is to prevent or manage the disease to stay healthy. (Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay )

What is Diabetes? In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ashutosh Goyal, Senior Consultant- Endocrinology at Gurugram's Paras Hospitals, explained, “Diabetes is a chronic disease that is characterized by increased blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin or the body doesn’t respond well to insulin There are 3 main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the major type of diabetes in children and occurs when the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. The onset is sudden and cannot be prevented through diet or lifestyle, though they are helpful in managing the condition. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and accounts for 90% of the diabetes. Though people with type 2 diabetes do produce insulin but either their bodies are resistant to it or the insulin is not produced in sufficient amount. Gestational diabetes is commonly triggered by pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect insulin's ability to work properly. The condition occurs in up to 9% of all pregnancies.” (Getty Images)

Living with diabetes can be challenging, however, with certain lifestyle modifications, the disease can be managed effectively. Dr Ashutosh Goyal listed some of the ways to manage diabetes (Representative image)

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1. Healthy Eating - Healthy eating forms the base of healthy living – with or without diabetes. For those with diabetes, it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet with the right mix of vegetables, fruits, starches, fats and proteins. Some carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for diabetics than others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and have fibre that helps keep the blood sugar levels more stable. (Shutterstock)

2. Exercise - As per the American Diabetes Association, every person should engage in 150 minutes/week of exercise. This is applicable to people with diabetes as well as those who don't have the disease. Including strength training in the workout regimen is important to increase insulin sensitivity. Progressive and structured strength training improves how the body uses insulin and allows glucose to get around the body better. (Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash)

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