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How well do we know DIABETES?
Dr. Supratik Bhattacharya   2017-01-10 13:40:54   0 Comment

Diabetes has been known since the first century B.C.E., when a Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, named it diabainein, meaning "a siphon," referring to the excessive urination associated with the disease. 

The word diabetes was first recorded in 1425, and in 1675, the Greek mellitus, “like honey,” was added, to reflect the sweet smell and taste of the patient’s urine. 

Main Types of Diabetes

As we all know, diabetes mellitus is mainly of two types: Type 1 Diabetes (or Insulin dependent diabetes and is usually detected in the younger population) and Type 2 Diabetes (or Non-Insulin dependent diabetes which is usually adult onset). Besides these there are other kinds like MODY(Maturity onset Diabetes of the Young), LADA(Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA), Gestational Diabetes mellitus (GDM) and others. The details of which is beyond the scope of the article.

Is India The Diabetes Capital of This World? 

The answer would probably be a yes. The global burden of Diabetes mellitus is close to 400 million at present and the projected likely figure in 2035 is 600 million. India alone in year 2015 contributed 59 million to the Global figure, which gives an idea as to why it is a potential Diabetes capital of the world.

How To Avoid The Onset of Diabetes? 

By the time Diabetes is detected clinically and biochemically, a person has on average lost approximately fifty percent of the number and function of the functioning beta cells that secrete Insulin.

Hence it is recommended that an individual start taking precaution and adopts lifestyle changes right from a pre-diabetes stage. Pre-diabetes is an all-encompassing word which includes biochemical derangements such as Impaired fasting glucose (IFT) and Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

So What Are These Life-style Changes? 



  • If a person has a sedentary life-style which involves very little physical exercise and spending more time at desk in office or at home in front of TV and computers, then he/she has to start brisk walking for atleast 30 minutes every day, five times a week. 
  • Every Institution should ideally have mandatory physical exercise programs incorporated into their curriculum. This is to ensure primordial prevention of obesity starting from childhood.
  • A smoker has to give up smoking completely but there are various helpline numbers, support groups and alternate modes of nicotine replacement. 



A Few Tips On Diet Control for Diabetes

Next in line is counting calories! 

Food and drinks to be avoided or kept to bare minimal are: regular sugary aerated drinks, juices, carbohydrate/starch rich food, fast food including breakfast cereals with high glycemic index. Instead have more of whole fruits like apple (complex carbohydrate), guava, cucumber and green leafy vegetables. Instead of having big meals have small meal sizes but increase the meal frequency. 

The higher waist hip ratio and higher weight will predispose to insulin resistance which is a very common feature of Type 2 diabetes. This Insulin resistance sometimes dramatically improves on starting physical exercise/brisk walking regularly.

The tests have to be done to detect diabetes and follow it up on a regular basis so as to prevent complications that arise from it. These include damage to kidneys, back of the eyes, nerves and heart and blood flow to the limbs.


In Conclusion

The concept now is to attack diabetes aggressively from the very beginning and target as many facets of diabetes as possible based on the pathophysiology of diabetes either by lifestyle alone or with drugs and stay in good health for a long time. Let us join hands in our fight with Diabetes. One for All. All for One. 


Author Bio: 

Supratik Bhattacharyya,

MD, MRCP(UK), FACP(USA), MS(Endocrinology & Diabetes), MRCPE

Consultant Endocrinologist & Diabetologist


Dr. Supratik Bhattacharya is one of the leading endocrinologists of Kolkata and serves as Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist with Suraksha Diagnostics pvt. Ltd. He is seen actively interacting with patients in Suraksha polyclinics and workshops and loves to share his insights on diabetes control through different media channels. 

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