With the increased urbanization and economic advancement, the graph for lifestyle disorders has also shown linear increment.
Diabetes is one such metabolic disorder whose prevalence rate is increasing at an alarming rate. This Diabetes Day, its time to be aware and spread awareness for healthy you and healthy family.
Table of Contents
- Risk factors
- Diabetes: a concern for every family
- Role of family in diabetes management
- General guidelines
As per the records provided by the International Diabetes Federation, over 425 million people aging between 20-79 years, around the world, are suffering from diabetes. If the same conditions prevail, this rate is expected to rise to 629 million by 2045.
That is not all. Coming to the national level, India is the diabetes capital of the world, with over 72 million cases of full-fledged occurrence and manifestation. And if the conditions persist, it can increase to double-fold to 134 million by 2025.
While these numbers might seem scary, it is essential to know about the disorder for better understanding and management, when needed.
Definition of Diabetes
According to the World Health Organisation, “diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces”.
- Type I diabetes– This category of diabetes is caused due to deficiency of insulin production in the body. Its time of onset is generally at the juvenile stage which requires daily administration of insulin.
- Type II diabetes– This condition arises due to improper functioning of insulin in the body. In this case, the body produces insulin but cells don’t respond efficiently to this hormone leading to impaired glucose metabolism.
- Gestational diabetes– This condition prevails during pregnancy with high blood sugar level and reduced insulin sensitivity. It does not occur in all women and usually resolves after childbirth.
Risk factors of diabetes
The risk factors may vary from manageable to unmodifiable factors. The better understanding of the risk factors helps in effective prevention of the causes and disorder along with its better management.
The risk factors can be categorized as:
Unmodifiable risk factors
- Family history
Such risk factors cannot be controlled and require proper medication and attention.
Modifiable risk factors
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High BMI or obesity
- Medical conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol, PCOS or prediabetes.
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Such risk factors are usually influenced by the environment that can be controlled with efficient and effective measures.
Symptoms of diabetes
The symptoms are specific and its timely diagnosis helps in better management and treatment of the disorder. The symptoms include-
- The Increased thirst (Polydipsia)
- Increased appetite
- Increased urination (Polyuria)
- Numbness of hands and legs
- Lower energy levels
- Blurred vision
- Delayed wound healing
Diabetes: a concern for every family
The diagnosis of this specific metabolic disorder is a stressful event for the diabetic individual as well as the whole family. They have to deal in many fronts like emotional, health, lifestyle and financial aspects.
Being one of the leading non-communicable diseases, diabetes should involve a strategic action, preferably including family, for effective management and outcomes.
A family is one of the significant agents for social support that can impact a diabetic’s progress or demotion. It is due to various reasons like
- More frequent and close contact with the diabetic
- Share the same lifestyle closely
- Cultural similarity
- Better psychological understanding
A study has shown that family’s non-supportive behavior has a negative impact on the diabetic’s adherence to treatment. It also affects their self-care behavior with decreasing motivation.
Whereas, the family’s awareness of disorder and support can help in many ways like
- Better adaptation to illness
- Adherence to treatment
- Efficient diabetes knowledge
- Better stress management
- Patient’s self-efficacy
Role of family in diabetes management
The process of diabetes management becomes easy when a family is involved.
Be it in the context of self-awareness or motivating the concerned individual, the active involvement and participation of family helps in better, healthy and sustainable outcome ahead.
The various aspects that should be considered under such management include
- The family members can play a key role in managing stress through close and friendly involvement.
- They can also help in improving the motivation level of the concerned individual.
- The feelings of anxiety, frustration, and depression reduce a lot when there is healthy involvement in the family.
- Family’s involvement ensures better adherence to treatment with motivation and determination.
- Through enrolment in diabetes education programs, a family can be more educated and aware. This will, in turn, help in better management of the disease.
- Even, the regularity with medications is increased with family involvement.
- With family’s involvement, it has been seen that chances of eating outside reduce, with more preference to home-cooked meals.
- As family members are close to the concerned individual, they are well aware of the time schedule. Therefore, scheduling activities become easy.
- The family gets more actively involved in healthy grocery shopping. Not only for the diabetics but the whole family, buy and eat healthy.
General guidelines for diabetes management
There are few guidelines that should be followed for effective management ahead. You can follow alone or better involve your family as well and you will see that it’s not just healthy but motivating too.
This means that you should prefer home-cooked food rather than eating outside.
- Include fiber-rich foods as present in whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Have more of lean protein in form low-fat dairy products, legumes, eggs, and lean meat.
- Give a special place to micronutrients- minerals and vitamins, from fruits, green leafy vegetables, and fortified food products.
Do not indulge in over-eating. Make sure to have small frequent meals that help in limiting the portion sizes.
Make your meals well-balanced
Have the right, well-balanced plating with the half plate covered with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with protein and quarter with whole grains. Also, include dairy products along with good fats.
Make sure to indulge in one or the other form of physical activity for at least 20 minutes that ensures healthy metabolism with regular energy expenditure.
You can also plan out the schedule for the same, keeping in mind the time availability and flexibility.
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated with a good amount of water and other fluids like buttermilk, coconut water or vegetable juice.
Avoid processed foods, alcohol and smoking
Foods loaded with oil and sugar should be avoided as they have a tendency to accumulate in the body as extra fat. This increases the chances of insulin resistance and ultimately, diabetes.
Regular checkup with the doctor is essential as it helps to keep you on track with regular monitoring. It also guides you in planning out the further strategy, keeping you fit and active.
Take proper sleep and limit stress
These two factors are interrelated that affects the secretion and impact of the stress hormones in the body. These hormones, in turn, disturbs the nutrient metabolism and its distribution in the body.
The magic doesn’t lie in the medication or following any specific path for treatment. But lies in being aware of the disorder, its timely diagnosis, and efficient management.
The real meaning of diabetes management lies in inculcating healthy habits for better curing of the disease along with the health of family and future generations.
So, this diabetes day, be aware of being healthy today and always. Consult our expert Possible Nutritionist for more. The first Health consultation is on us. Click here to avail.