Drive out diabetes | Daily News

Drive out diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder in which blood levels of sugar are abnormally high because the body does not release or use insulin adequately. Doctors often use the full name Diabetes Mellitus, rather than diabetes alone, to distinguish this disorder from Diabetes Insipidus, a relatively rare disease.

Blood sugar levels vary throughout the day, rising after a meal and returning to normal within two hours.

Normal levels tend to increase slightly but progressively after a certain age, especially in people who are sedentary. Insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas, is the primary substance responsible for maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels. Insulin allows glucose to be transported into cells so that they can produce energy or store the glucose until it is needed. The rise in blood sugar levels after eating or drinking stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin preventing a greater rise in blood sugar levels and causing them to fall gradually. As muscles use glucose for energy, blood sugar levels can also fall during physical activity.Excess sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems.

Long standing (Chronic) diabetes conditions include Type 1 diabetes Mellitus and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

These types of diabetes cannot be cured or reversed.

However the above types of diabetes could be managed and its complications could be prevented with your doctor’s advice and treatment, if you properly adhere to those advice.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

(Insulin – dependent diabetes)

This occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin – producing beta cells of the pancreas.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

(non – Insulin – dependent diabetes)

This is a lifelong disease that prevents your body from using insulin the right way. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance. It is the most common type of diabetes. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild you do not notice them.

Pre-Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. This means if you have Pre-Diabetes over time it may lead to Diabetes or else with preventive measures you may be a normal person. You have to exercise and eat healthy food in other words you have to change or modify your life style which may prevent you becoming diabetes from Pre-Diabetes Stage.

Gestational diabetes – This occurs during pregnancy but may resolve after the baby is delivered.

According to Eminent Endocrinologist and President of the South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES), Dr. Noel Somasundaram, as per the recent study conducted on the prevalence of Diabetes in Colombo, it was approximately 27.1 per cent and the Pre-Diabetes in Colombo was approximately 30 per cent. He further stated that 6 to 7 years ago the prevalence of Diabetes in Colombo was approximately 18 per cent.

Dr. Noel Somasundaram also said the prevalence Gestational Diabetes is about 13 per cent while the lowest age group of children who are affected with Type 2 Diabetes was eight years old.

In spite of the tremendous efforts by the government, the prevalence of Diabetes has risen to alarming levels. Awareness and screening programmes have to be carried out at school, office, institution and community levels regularly and extensively. More focus should be made on educating the public on reducing and managing weight, healthy eating habits, exercise, stress management and other life style modifications.

The authorities should consider whether to open the local and International Fried / Processed food chain outlets only on weekends since children get addicted to eating junk food and it has been found out that the children at the age of eight are also identified as having diabetes. Work places should make arrangements and give permission for the staff to do exercise for at least half an hour in the morning.

Drawing up a dynamic plan for the “Primary Prevention”, “Secondary Prevention” and “Tertiary Prevention” of Diabetes in Sri Lanka will help create a healthy society.

That would assist to have 0 (zero) death rate due to complications of diabetes and 0( zero) amputation due to diabetes, preventing diabetes , reducing the rate of prevalence besides managing diabetes effectively and efficiently in Sri Lanka. Further the government should focus on creating regular awareness programmes on Diabetes.

Colombo has to be covered comprehensively for creating awareness and screening for diabetes. Generally we have publicity in the media only once a year during the commemoration of the “World Diabetes Day”. This should improve and the government should conduct diabetic awareness and screening programmes at least once a month for all across the Country with the help of the media. The messages on “World Diabetes Day” should reach the entire citizens in the country in a more creative, innovative and meaningful manner. Authorities should also focus on “Childhood Obesity Prevention Programmes” and set up more Diabetes Research Centres in the country.

Further, the non government organizations and institutions, associations and clubs who help the public in humanitarian ways should also consider contributing to create awareness on Diabetes.

(The writer was the Media Coordinator for the Ceylon College of Physicians, Annual Academic sessions in 2010 and was involved with the media publicity of the recently concluded International Diabetes Congress – ‘SLENDO 2019 Congress’ and was the Editor and Treasurer of Pharma Promoters Association and is a Strategist, Motivational and Life Education and Management Coach)


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