Sugary affair

Nepal Diabetes Association (NDA) experts have warned against the increasing number of diabetic patients, especially the youths. According to the findings of its recent study, the Kathmandu Valley’s 25 per cent population above 20 is already suffering from diabetes. Apart from the hereditary factor, unhealthy habits of consuming canned food and lack of exercise have been identified as the main causes. In diabetes, the body either fails to produce or properly use the hormone called insulin, which converts sugar, starch and other foods into energy. Whenever people feel excessive thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue and blurred vision, they should take these as likely symptoms of diabetes and go for an immediate check-up.

While the diabetic condition itself poses various problems for the patient, it is even more dangerous for the effects it produces on the body system, leading to serious diseases, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, or amputation of legs. However, regular exercise and proper care in matters such as food can minimise the risk of becoming a diabetic. As of now, there is no cure for it in medical science; however, it is manageable through proper medication, diet and exercise.

But prevention is always better than cure. This year’s Diabetes Day slogan emphasises preventing amputation, which, according to WHO, occurs in 70 per cent of diabetics. It is also said that around 80 per cent of foot amputation cases can be prevented by taking basic but affordable care. Regular foot tests, keeping feet clean, not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable footwear, along with taking skin care are some of the ways of avoiding this expensive but disabling amputation. There is also a need to spread public awareness about diabetes, its effects, and how to prevent and manage it. And for those who have this disease, the need for proper medical facilities cannot at any rate be underestimated.