[Answered]“India is home to 77 million diabetics, second highest in the world.” In light of this discuss various causes and preventive measures required against diabetes.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual Introduction.

Body. Primary cause of diabetes. Preventive measures for the same.

Conclusion. Way forward.

Diabetes is a kind of metabolic ailment in which the body is incapable of producing insulin, leading to high blood glucose in the body leading cardio vascular diseases, kidney ailments, eye problems etc. India’s economic development has brought higher incomes, improved health and social conditions over the past several decades; but it also brought a new health ailment known as diabetes.

What are the primary causes for diabetes ?

  1. Lack of exercise: Exercise of any kind, enables muscle cells to use insulin and glucose more efficiently, thus lowering diabetes risk. Lack of exercise can cause muscle cells to lose their sensitivity to insulin, which controls levels of sugar in the blood. According to a survey by an insurance firm, around 30% of Indians aged between 18-47 years do not have any form of physical exercise particularly in urban areas.
  2. Hereditary factors: The epidemic increase in diabetes in India backed by many studies on migrant and native Indian show that Indians have an increased predilection to diabetes and the main reason genetic factor. Genetic susceptibility appears to play an important role in the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Sedentary life style:Studies have proved that socio-economic development over the last four decades have brought tremendous change in the lifestyle leading to the reduction of physical activities due to technological advancement, affluence leading to consumption of diets rich in sugar, fat and calories and a high mental stress. This has led to obesity and a sedentary life style, which ultimately disturbed insulin production and caused diabetes.
  4. Obesity and diabetes: Being overweight increases the chances of getting diabetes. According to a recent study in North India, there was a high prevalence of abdominal obesity and generalized obesity as determined by presence of body fat. Another study showed that overweight (obesity) significantly associated with diabetes. Obesity among the children played a causative role in the escalating prevalence of diabetes in the young.

Preventive measures required against diabetes:

  1. There is urgency to develop and implement multi-sectoral strategies to combat the growing epidemic. Diabetes, being a lifestyle disorder with multidimensional causative factors, definitely needs a multidimensional approach.
  2. India needs a more effective national diabetes prevention programme which will require cooperation from several quarters, including medical education, health awareness in schools, and urban planning.
  3. In addition to people with diabetes, the country also has a huge burden of pre-diabetics. If we target them with information on the right lifestyle options to help keep blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure under control, we can prevent at least a third of people from developing diabetes.
  4. The country should also be ready to offer treatment options, at least basic care for all who are living with diabetes, and provide for the treatment of various complications, and that is likely to be a massive challenge in future.
  5. Diabetes requires daily personal diet care and if there is a complication, it can have a significant impact on quality of life and can even reduce life expectancy. Though there is no cure for diabetes, one can live a comfortable and enjoyable life by adapting and learning about the conditions and effectively managing it.

The increase in the diabetic population in the country is mainly due to strong genetic factors tied with rapid urbanization and lifestyle modification. Since Indians have appear to be generally more insulin resistant, it would be prudent to advise a healthy lifestyle across the different geographic regions with regard to age groups, proper diet schedule (rich in fibres), follow an exercise (yoga or any other physical activities). Such efforts are urgently needed to tackle the sudden increase in diabetes and lower the burden of the Indian social and economic conditions.

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