World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on the 14th of November. This day was first observed by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 1991 and it became an official United Nation’s Day in 2006.
This year, the theme of World Diabetes Day is “Eyes on Diabetes” with the objective of making people aware about the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
As we have all heard “Prevention is better than cure”, it is very important to get yourself screened routinely to reduce the risk and avoid complications in future. But it doesn’t end there. What’s more important is to be mindful of the factors which can help prevent or manage diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the first steps towards prevention. It is very vital to eat right & work out regularly. Excessive weight is one of the main contributing factors of Type 2 Diabetes, so shedding those extra kilos is now important more than ever. Otherwise also, it is important to be active as this helps in improving the ability of your muscles to use insulin & absorb glucose – thus putting less stress on your insulin making cells.
Blood pressure is another aspect that contributes towards diabetes, it is vital to keep it in check. If you have any bad habits like consuming alcohol or smoking, cut back on it while you still have things under your control. Even if one can’t kick the habit completely, reducing the intake can be of much help.
It is quite alarming to know that one in two adults living with diabetes is undiagnosed. This makes them susceptible to the varied complications of this condition like kidney failure, blindness, cardiovascular disease & lower limb amputation. According to the IDF, of the 415 million adults living with diabetes in 2015– over one third will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy- a complication of diabetes that can lead to vision impairment & blindness. Early detection and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy can prevent vision loss and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, their careers and society.
I have been working in the field of medicine for over two decades. Realizing the urgent need for preventive healthcare rather than curative care, I began my journey in 2006 to promote the same amongst people by way of spreading awareness and importance of following a healthy lifestyle and the steps one should take to prevent the early onset of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, PCOS, cancer & auto immune diseases. I currently work as a leading Wellness consultant in Chennai & work on various problems faced by people like counseling on the need of preventing chronic diseases, obesity, preventing addictions, counseling with regards to peer pressure and stress amongst students & young adults.
To deal with spreading awareness amongst the people, I address forums & conduct events where these can be addressed. Recently, I spearheaded a one of its kind WELLNESS Conclave in Chennai over the course of two days. The objective of the conclave was the need for immediate corrective preventive measures against lifestyle diseases. In the future, I see a lot of scope of creating awareness especially amongst the urban populations in need of a holistic approach towards health.
This article was written by Dr. Renuka David, a leading health and wellness consultant in India. You can reach her at http://www.drrenukadavid.com/ask-renu/