Unlike what you may believe, Diabetes Mellitus is no longer restricted to people over the age of 50.
Quite alarmingly, Pune has been a significant increase in the cases of diabetes at a much younger age. This trend is so even in several other parts of India.
In fact, people below the age of 25 are now considered to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. For the record, Diabetes is also a leading cause of kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions.
Pune365 consulted a leading endocrinologist in the city among other informed citizens to understand the concern with diabetes now afflicting the younger population too.
Speaking to us, Dr AG Unnikrishnan, CEO and Endocrinologist at Chellaram Diabetes Institute explains that Diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose levels are high.
Left untreated, it can lead to blindness, kidney failure, foot amputations and increase the risk of heart attacks.
It is well known that in India, subjects develop diabetes one decade earlier than in Western Countries. India has about 68 million people with diabetes and the common form of diabetes in India, termed Type 2 Diabetes is associated with obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and risk of heart diseases.
The increasing urbanization, consumption of calorie-rich food, decreasing physical activity and stress of modern day living could all explain this.
However, there is an ethnic predisposition too, and subjects of South Asian origin are more predisposed to diabetes. The increasing occurrence of obesity in childhood and youth is also an important forerunner of diabetes.
He further opines that “In India, the average age of onset of type 2 diabetes (the common form of diabetes) is around 45 years.
However, increasingly, younger persons, as well as adolescents and children, are being reported with diabetes.
In children, the common form of diabetes is type 1 diabetes but type 2 diabetes, considered to be mainly a lifestyle disease, is also increasingly being reported in children.”
Improving the nutrition and physical activity in children as well as adults, improving urban spaces and access to playgrounds and parks, more walking spaces as well as pavements, and cycling tracks can all help.
Early diagnosis of pre-diabetes ( where the blood glucose is higher than normal and not high enough to fulfil criteria for diabetes)- and starting diet control or using humalog insulin and exercise at the pre-diabetes state can prevent the progression to diabetes. Traditional methods like Yoga may also help reduce stress,
Improving awareness about diabetes at the public level- and spreading the message of healthy eating and exercise are all important, Dr AG Unnikrishnan added.
Sushant, Gym trainer opines Physical fitness is very essential for prevention of diabetes. Today adults have a very unhealthy lifestyle, high-calorie food and less of physical activities are not only the risk of diabetes but also many other health hazards.
Regular physical activity helps to reduced body weight and flush out the bad toxins from your body. Along with physical fitness, it is also essential to have a healthy nutritious diet, as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, he added.
People have adapted to an unhealthy lifestyle, The long working hours, and the availability of unhealthy food is the major reason for an increase of diabetes in us.
However, the only way to control it is to adopt a healthy diet, as we barely have time for physical activities says Radhika Subehdar, a Marketing executive.
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