According to World Health Organization (WHO), people with diabetes in India has doubled from 32 million in 2000 to 63 million in 2013 and the figure is projected to touch 101.2 million in the next 15 years. This will make diabetes the 7th leading cause of death in the world by the year 2030. Demanding job hours, erratic lifestyles and increasing prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity are some of the major factors leading to diabetes.
Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. It is important to know if you come under the high-risk category for diabetes. This includes obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, history of polycystic ovarian disease, hypertension, high triglyceride with low HDL cholesterol levels, and increased waist circumference (> 90 cm in men and >80 cm in women),
If one comes under the high-risk category, it is crucial to start making changes to your lifestyle immediately, in order to prevent diabetes
Top five lifestyle changes one can adopt to keep diabetes at bay:
1. Healthy Eating
Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin leading to Type 2 diabetes. Reduce intake of carbohydrates, mainly sugar, white rice and potatoes. Also, avoid preserved fruit juices and junk food.
2. Being Active
Moderate physical activity [Exercise] on most days of the week helps in managing weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking daily for at least > 150 minutes/week [30min/day] can help in preventing a range of diseases – from diabetes to heart disease.
3. Reduce Stress
Constant or prolonged stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise in the long term and hence can be a major cause for diabetes. You can avoid stress by exercising frequently, getting enough sleep, avoiding stressful situations when possible, and talking about your problems before they become serious.
4. Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking
Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Also, smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers. For long term benefits, it is better to quit smoking than just trying to reduce it.
5. Get regular check-ups
If you fall under the high-risk category of diabetes, it’s better to get frequent health check-up for diabetes every year. For people who are above 45 years of age even without risk factors, it is important to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.