Diabetes has become the most imminent threat of the 21st century. There are currently 371 million people living with diabetes, and another 280 million are at high risk of developing the disease. Half a billion people are expected to be living with diabetes by 2030. But what is the generic meaning of Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus (DM), usually referred to as diabetes, is a metabolic disorder in which there is high blood sugar level over a prolonged period. Diabetes is either due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
India has a huge number of diabetes cases and has become infamous for being the diabetic capital of the world. India has a huge challenge to face as nearly 50 million people have diabetes making India the diabetic capital. India has been witnessing an alarming rise in the incidence of diabetes according to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries. Globally, an estimated 422 million adults are living with diabetes mellitus, according to the latest 2016 data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on diabetes, an estimated 3.4 million deaths are caused due to high blood sugar level. The WHO also estimates that 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle-income countries and projects that such deaths will double between 2016 and 2030. WHO further estimates that the global burden of type-2 diabetes will increase to 438 million by 2030 from 285 million people (recorded in 2010). Similarly, for India, this increase is estimated to be 58%, from 51 million people in 2010 to 87 million in 2030.
According to the Indian Heart Association, India is projected to be home to 109 million individuals with diabetes by 2035. A study by the American Diabetes Association reports that India will witness the greatest increase in people diagnosed with diabetes by 2030. The high incidence is attributed to a combination of genetic susceptibility along with adoption of a high-calorie, low-activity lifestyle by India's growing middle class.
The increase in reports from developing countries follows the trend of urbanization and lifestyle changes. These include increasing sedentary lifestyles, less physically demanding work and the global nutrition transition, marked by increased intake of foods that are high energy-dense but poor in nutrient (often high in sugar and saturated fats, sometimes referred to as the Western pattern diet).
Let us now get a medical view of diabetes. Diabetes is a medical condition that arises due to insufficient production and secretion of insulin from the pancreas in case of Type-I diabetes and defective response of insulin in case of Type-2 diabetes. Under normal body circumstances, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin.
When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level. In patients with diabetes, the absence or insufficient production of insulin causes hyperglycemia.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If diabetes is left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.
The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes are weight loss, polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger). Symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 Diabetes mellitus, while they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent in type 2 Diabetes mellitus.\
Several other signs and symptoms can mark the onset of diabetes although they are not peculiar to the disease. In addition to the known ones above, they include blurry vision, headache, fatigue, slow healing of cuts, and itchy skin. Prolonged high blood glucose can cause glucose absorption in the lens of the eye, which leads to changes in its shape, resulting in vision changes. Some skin rashes that can occur in diabetes are collectively known as diabetic dermadromes.
Prevention and treatment involve maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, an average body weight, and avoiding the use of tobacco. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot care is essential for people with the disease. Type 1 diabetes mellitus must be treated with insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may be treated with medications with or without insulin. Insulin and some oral medications can cause low blood sugar. Weight loss surgery in those with obesity is sometimes an effective measure in those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. But allopathy has a lot of disadvantages.
Allopathy which is the most widely followed system uses laboratory synthetic chemical composition as drugs, and hence it carries side effects. Now to cure the side effects, new drugs are prescribed. Total mess! So it's better to avoid any prolonged usage of allopathic medicines.
Whereas alternative medicines like ayurvedic ones are from herbs and they are natural plant extracts (natural chemicals). They are primarily derived from the leaf, flower, fruit, root or bark of the plants. Right dosage for a prescribed time doesn't harm our system. No side effects too!
There are ways in which we can control diabetes at an initial level and tackle the problem wisely:
- Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down.
If you’re insulin resistant, exercise makes your insulin more effective. That is—your insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively.
Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol—and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis.
*What Kinds of Exercise to Do in workplaces or while reaching one?
There are three main kinds of exercise—aerobic, strength training, and flexibility work. You should aim to have a good balance of all three.
Aerobic exercises include:
All of the above can be incorporated while reaching your office, in a break time or over weekends. Following are some of the exercises that can be done in office hours and will help in inculcating a healthy and safe lifestyle.
- Get a move on
Exercise is safe—and highly recommended—for most people with type 2 diabetes, including those with complications. Along with diet and medication, exercise will help you lower blood sugar and lose weight.
- b) Try quick workouts
As long as you're totaling 30 minutes of exercise each day, several short workouts are fine.
c)Focus on overall activity
Increase activity in general—such as walking or climbing stairs—rather than a particular type of exercise.
Working out with friends can be an important motivator, particularly for people over 60, according to Vicki Conn, Phd., the associate dean for research at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., who has studied diabetes and exercise. Having a friend call or setting up an exercise "contract" with a buddy may help.
2) Diabetes to be managed while on job
We all have heavy schedules in the morning. But, doctors say, never skip breakfast, particularly on a working day. "When you have diabetes, and are on medication, skipping breakfast can lead to dangerously low sugar levels." That can affect not only your health but also your safety. Often, it can have an impact on your job performance too.
3) Get enough sleep; it has the next greatest negative impact on your blood sugar. Lack of sleep is the most significant pressure. So make sure you get enough. You will shine in your office as your performance would increase exponentially.
4) Sitting for eight hours in a chair in front of a computer, five days a week can take a toll on your body. Your neck becomes stiff , and legs get swollen. Some table- chair exercises can be helpful by slowly consistently moving your limbs.
5) Deep Breathing
Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Easy, efficient and easy during office hours
6) Feet and Legs( During lunch break)
While seated, lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. You can also do this exercise while standing.
While seated, slowly point your toes forward away from your body until you feel a slight tension. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
While resting your heel on the floor, flex your feet and toes back toward your body. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Slowly rotate your feet clockwise several times and then counterclockwise.
Extend your leg out in front of you and hold for about 20 to 30 seconds, or sooner if your leg starts to quiver. You can do one leg at a time or hold both up together.
Flex your hips – while sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle and hold the position for as long as you are comfortable.
Stand up and march with your feet in place. This will exercise the large muscles in your legs.
While standing, rise on your toes and lower them.
7) Hands and Arms
Stand up and shadow box by taking a couple of jabs in the air.
Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds.
Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders.
Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
Lean on a sturdy piece of furniture, or the wall, and slowly push your body off of it; in effect, a standing push up.
Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
Stretch both of your arms out to the side of your body and then back, as far as you can. Bring them forward until they meet in front of you. Repeat.
Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
Rest your back against a wall and move your feet away from the wall. The wall should be supporting the weight of your back, and your knees should be bent. Hold the position for as long as possible.
Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds.
Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.
9) Butt Squeezes
This is the easiest exercise that you can do at your desk, on the bus, in your car or even standing up. You can even do them when others might be watching. Simply squeeze and release your buttocks muscles several times. This exercise will help prevent “office chair spread” of your hindquarters.
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