Globally, one in 11 adults aged between 20-79 years have diabetes, says International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes is a chronic, progressive, and damaging lifelong disease. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body produces insulin but it doesn't respond to it normally. Glucose is unable to enter the cells to supply energy (a problem called insulin resistance).
Dr. Sneha Kothari, Endocrinologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai says: "Type 2 diabetes is no longer an old man's disease. Over the past decades, younger adults and children have been falling prey to this disease. Indians get type 2 diabetes not only at a younger age but also at a lower body mass index. The younger onset predisposes to a greater risk of complications."
Overweight and obesity, previously thought of as conditions of the wealthy, are now increasingly affecting the poor. Around 11-12 percent of kids in the 2-4 age group in India are overweight. There has been a tectonic shift in the lifestyle of families with increased consumption of high-calorie diet, junk food, lesser physical and outdoor activities.
The term 'Diabesity' has been coined to denote the dual epidemic of diabetes and obesity. Also, Type 2 diabetes is a highly heritable condition, with a majority of children and youth affected having a first-or second-degree relative who also has Type 2 diabetes. However, with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, it can be avoided, says the doctor.
Signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, patients can have type 2 diabetes for years and not know it. The common symptoms are:
Type 2 diabetes can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages. Not dealing with diabetes can lead to long term complications like:
Thus, it is the need of the hour to manage it and stay in top shape.
Follow these vital tips to tackle this condition and lead a healthy life:
Choose healthier fats. We all need fat in our diet because it gives us energy. Healthier fats are found in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil. Saturated fats like ghee, butter can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, It's still a good idea to cut down on using oils in general, so try to grill, steam, or bake foods instead.
Cut down on added sugar. Cutting down sugar can be really hard at the beginning. Try to swap sugary drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar.
Be smart with snacks. Choose yogurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables instead of crisps, chips, biscuits, and chocolates. But watch your portions still.
When it comes to exercise, all movement counts! Consider incorporating such an exercise regime in the daily routine to which one can adhere. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends aerobic exercise and strength training for optimal physical fitness.
Aerobic exercise (anything that raises your heart rate) can be achieved through activities such as walking, running, swimming, dancing, tennis, basketball, and more. ADA recommends 150 min per week of moderate-intensity exercise.
It helps to stay away from smoking and alcohol as well. Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent Type 2 diabetes and its complications. In prediabetics, lifestyle changes can slow or stop the progression of diabetes.
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