14th November worldwide is marked as World Diabetes Day by WHO, in memory of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered Insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. Diabetes is one of the most rampantly increasing diseases that results in the increases of sugar in the blood stream.
Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are extremely common and affect many people, along with this; Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and Prediabetes also exist. In diabetes insulin (responsible to lower sugar in blood) production, secretion or action is affected. Type 2 diabetes prevalence is increasing which is a result of changing lifestyle. Diabetes cannot be cured but can be controlled by appropriate diet, exercise, sleep, reducing screen time and stress management. Why should it be controlled? Diabetes if not controlled leads to various serious complications affecting heart, kidney, eyes, stomach and sensation. Thus efforts should be taken to prevent rather than controlling it to prevent its silent complications.
Diabetes can be easily curbed and prevented by making some lifestyle modifications as below:-
Sleep or rather lack of it, is one of the most common problems affecting us and results in not only diabetes but a host of other lifestyle diseases as well. On an average an adult needs around 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Lack of sleep affects our circadian rhythm and hormones, affecting production of sugar in our body, the lesser the sleep the more the sugar production in the blood and vice versa. Lack of sleep is also responsible for increasing hormones leading to obesity a major contributory risk factor for diabetes.
Physical Activity is essential for keeping both our mind and body fit. Exercise along with proper diet, helps in lowering the glucose in the blood and helps in managing blood sugar levels. Exercises like walking, swimming, dancing etc can be chosen as per our comfort level and should be done regularly at least 4-5 days a week.
Food and nutrition today has taken a backseat in the world of convenient and processed ready to eat food. These convenient foods are high in salt, fats and calories leading to obesity and also increase our sugar levels and cholesterol. Fast/junk food items are filed with empty calories and no nutrition causing high blood sugar levels. A well balanced diet with adequate nutrients is essential for preventing diabetes.
4. Screen time:
Social media presence in our everyday life has made us more lethargic and turned us into couch potatoes as everything is available at the call of a mobile button. The addiction to TV, laptop, games has now started developing early in life right from childhood. Children spending more than 3 hours of screen time are said to have a higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Mental and Physical stress increases our blood sugar levels and increases the chances of lifestyle diseases including diabetes. It not only affects adults, but even children are subjected to performance related stress. Indulging in calming activities like reading and pursuing hobbies like painting, drawing, music, dancing etc relieves us of our anxieties and tensions and soothes and calms are bodies and mind.
Diabetes can be easily prevented by controlling over mind and body both. Like it is said, prevention is always better than cure. Diabetes has no cure and preventing and controlling your diabetes with lifestyle modifications is the only change to be done to prevent its complications.