Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes – it IS possible

As is said “ a stitch in time saves nine”, it holds true for lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes mellitus, wherein the prevention of the disease and its complications can save us from a lot of mental and financial burden.  Early detection and timely intervention is the key to preventing diabetes and its complications

Who are at risk of developing diabetes?

It’s a big myth that those who have a sweet tooth, or love sweets develop diabetes. Diabetes is a multifactorial disease, with genetics and persons’ lifestyles playing a major role. 

  • Family member suffering from diabetes (parents/siblings)
  • Sedentary life style
  • Central obesity (waist & hip)
  • Other environmental factors, like stress

Pre-Diabetes vs Diabetes

Pre-Diabetes / impaired fasting glucose are a laboratory diagnosis wherein Hba1c ranges between 5.9 – 6.4%, or fasting blood sugar between 110-126mg/dl. Whereas, the diagnosis of diabetes is established if Hba1c >=6.5%, and /Or random blood glucose > 200 mg/dl Or fasting blood glucose >=126 mg/dl, along with symptoms of hyperglycemia stated below. (as per WHO)

What are the common symptoms of type 2DM?

  1. Polydipsia – Excessive thirst, drying of mouth while talking , waking several times at night to have water.
  2. Polyuria – Excessive urination
  3. Polyphagia – Excess hunger, craving for sweets.
  4. Lethargy – Low energy, getting tired easily
  5. Excessive sleepiness
  6. Weight Gain – especially central body (waist and hips)
  7. Tingling and Numbness in hands and feet – burning sensation in the soles.
  8. Non-healing/delayed healing of wounds – taking more than normal to heal a simple cut etc.
  9. Recurrent urinary or vaginal infections, recurrent folliculitis/pustules.
  10. Poor Concentration.

Apart from the genetic factors, others are in our hands and are called modifiable risk factors. 

Weight reduction- maintain your ideal body weight

Healthy dietary habits- consuming the least amount of refined food products.

Take regular stress-relieving measures

Reduce Smoking and Alcohol consumption, as it reduces the cardiovascular mortality

Lifestyle modification and dietary intervention are crucial components of achieving the ideal body weight and improving lean body mass. Therapeutic lifestyle modification for patients with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes has to be started at the time of diagnosis and continue throughout life, in order to keep complications at bay.

As the leading cause of blindness, end-stage kidney disease, lower limb amputations and as a major contributor to heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, type 2 DM ranks among the leading non-communicable public health challenges of our times. Several worldwide studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in the prevention of type 2 DM and its complications.