Healthy lifestyle, balanced diet a must to prevent diabetes, say doctors

  • Out of the total patients seeking treatment for diabetes, 30 per cent are below 30 years

Kathmandu, November 13

As the world is celebrating World Diabetes Day on November 14 this year with the theme ‘Women and Diabetes’ diabetic patients continue to increase in the country.

In an estimated data provided by Bir Hospital, the number of patients seeking services for diabetes has reached to 12,000 per year. The numbers of patients were in the hundreds in the year when the hospital started giving separate OPD services for diabetic patients in 2011. Though nationwide data of diabetic patients is unavailable, the number of patients at Bir Hospital reveals that diabetes is increasing in the country.

“The number of diabetes patients has increased in these years. The reason for increment in the number of cases is the sedentary lifestyle of people. Decreased physical activities, stress, obesity and intake of junk food are some of the reasons,” informed Dr Buddha Bahadur Karki, Consultant Endocrinologist and Associate Professor of Endocrinology, NAMS.

From among the total patients seeking services, 30 per cent are below 30 years. “People have started suffering from diabetes at a very young age. Similarly, migrant workers returning from Dubai, Qatar, Malaysia are also suffering from the disease in their 20s and 30s because of their lifestyle and food habit,” adds Dr Karki.

People migrating from rural to urban areas who undergo change in their lifestyle also become a part of the increasing number of cases.  In addition, awareness programmes about diabetes, compulsory blood sugar test during pregnancy, and availability of services in the rural areas have helped identify the disease according to doctors.

People should be careful from an early age as they are likely to suffer from diabetes even if there is no one suffering from the disease in the family. The doctor therefore advises people to maintain healthy weight, eat balanced diet, be physically active, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and lower limb amputation.

As per the WHO, the number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Similarly, in 2014, 8.5 per cent of adults aged 18 years and above had diabetes. In 2015, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.6 million deaths and in 2012 high blood glucose was the cause of another 2.2 million deaths.