World diabetes day: WHO rings blood sugar alarm bell for city slickers

Kathmandu, November 13:

Diabetes is affecting more and more people in the country in general and urban areas in particular. Doctors attribute the surge in diabetes to unhealthy eating habit and lifestyle.

According to an estimate of the World Health Organisation (WHO), 14.5 per cent of urban populations in the country are suffering from diabetes.

Only five per cent of the total rural population of the country is suffering from the disease.

A recent study, which was conducted among 1,508 people in Kathmandu, found that 29 per cent of the surveyed people were found to be suffering from diabetes. The survey was conducted by the Jamal-based Nepal Diabetes Society (NDS) and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Raised blood sugar is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes. Over time, it causes serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

“Diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism, caused due to a combination of genetical disposition and environmental causes,” said Dr Jyoti Bhattarai, an endocrinologist. It is usually linked to obesity, consumption of high trans fatty acids, and lack of exercise and stress. Adequate treatment of diabetes, as well as increased emphasis on blood pressure control and lifestyle factors (such as not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight), may improve the risk profile of most of the chronic complications.

The acute symptoms of diabetes are excessive urine production, resulting in compensatory thirst and increased fluid intake, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, lethargy, and changes in energy metabolism.

Bhagwati Nepal, nutritionist and secretary of the NDS, said prevention is essential.

She said limited amount of glucose should be taken, avoiding excess intake of junk food.