A person can live with diabetes for many years without getting diagnosed as its symptoms are easy to miss. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million people have Type 2 diabetes while seven million remain undiagnosed.
Diabetes is the 6th top leading cause of death in the world and it can sneak up on anyone, from any walk of life. The best way to mitigate its effects is to be aware of the risk and timely pay heed to the red flags.
This is only possible when people all around the globe know that the underlying causes of diabetes vary by types. Therefore, every year on November 14, World Diabetes Day is celebrated with a specific theme to promote the importance of taking coordinated actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.
Consequently, this year the World Diabetes Day theme was Family and Diabetes that particularly focused on:
Promoting the family's role in the management, care, prevention and education of Type 2 Diabetes.
Raising the awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes, also known as non insulin dependent and adult onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. It is a condition where the body is unable to metabolize glucose due to the ineffective use of insulin by the body's cells. This leads to high blood glucose that eventually damages the organs.
According to the World Health Organization's Report, approximately 90% of diabetes patients around the world have Type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes
It was observed in the past that middle aged adults over the age of 40 are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, thus named as adult onset diabetes. But in recent years, young adults, children and teens have also been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes indicating specific risk factors that increase the chances of developing this condition. Some of the risk factors are listed below:
Obesity and being overweight
Family history of Type 2 diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Unhealthy and poor diet
Impaired glucose tolerance
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Although the symptoms for this condition are not noticeable in the beginning, therefore, most of us overlook the warning signs. It is advisable to visit the doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
Unexplained weight loss
Slow healing sores
Pain in calf muscles
Is Type 2 Diabetes Preventable?
Yes, despite the complications, Type 2 diabetes is preventable. As a matter of fact, healthy diet and regular physical activity help keep blood glucose levels under control. If you have a high chance of developing this condition then you can do a lot to reduce the risk. The best way of prevention is to make lifestyle changes that can work in the long term.
Lose weight: Diabetes can be prevented by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.
Physical activity: At least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise 5 days a week can help reduce the high blood glucose level. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about activities that can help. Start slowly to build up to your goal.
Eat healthy foods: Eat smaller portions to reduce the number of calories you eat each day and lose weight. Select food with less fat to reduce calories. Drink water instead of sweetened beverages.
Mental Health: Anxiety management is one of the other ways to prevent the disease as depression and anxiety are significant risk factors in developing Type 2 diabetes. It is appropriate to meditate, yoga and learn the ways to distress yourself in order to stabilize your diabetes.
Undoubtedly, Type 2 diabetes is a silent killer but relevant education gives you the power to control it. Severe complications can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with routine checkups.
Source: Pro Pakistani