Teach your children about dangers of diabetes

14 November is the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary and Children’s Day. Also the day is celebrated as the World diabetes Day.

The last one is celebrated all over the world. So readers, take steps to teach diabetes prevention to your children this Children day. Wonder why? Because India is the Diabetes Capital of the world, with more than 8% of the population affected by the pandemic.

This equates to 41 million people. And frighteningly, more than 50% of people with diabetes are unaware of their condition, costing society millions of rupees in treating the many serious complications that arise from undiagnosed or poorly treated diabetes — blindness, kidney failure, nerve diseases, limb amputations and cardiovascular diseases, to name a few. Importantly, in some countries, as many as 80% may not know they have the condition. Diabetes caused 3.8 million deaths globally in 2007, more than 6% of total world mortality and similar in magnitude to that reported for HIV/AIDS in the year 2002. Every 10 seconds, a person dies of a diabetes-related illness, and it is the fourth leading cause of death by disease globally.

Experts have identified some basic reasons behind the growth of the disease. One is the growing obesity among children. In fact, diabetes in a child is often completely overlooked: it is often misdiagnosed as the flu or it is not diagnosed at all. But the fact is that diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases to affect children. It occurs as a result of problems with the production and supply of the hormone insulin in the body. The body needs insulin to use the energy stored in food.

Doctors say type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that cannot be prevented. Globally, it is the most common form of diabetes in children, affecting around 5 lakh children under 15. However, as a result of increasing childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, type 2 diabetes is also increasing fast in children and adolescents. In some countries (for instance, Japan), type 2 diabetes has become the most common form of the disease in children.In words of Dr. Ambrish Mithal, senior consultant, endocrinology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi:

“Type 1 diabetes is a clearly localised genetic defect, while type 2 diabetes has a strong inheritance factor but the defect is not localised. In fact, there’s a strong possibility that obese children of diabetic parents will develop the disease after 10 years of age. The other triggers are environmental factors and physical inactivity. “

Doctors say type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that cannot be prevented. Globally, it is the most common form of diabetes in children, affecting around 5 lakh children under 15. However, as a result of increasing childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles, type 2 diabetes is also increasing fast in children and adolescents. In some countries (for instance, Japan), type 2 diabetes has become the most common form of the disease in children.

In fact, that’s why the World Diabetes Day campaign in 2008 aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of diabetes; encourage initiatives to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis and distribute materials to support these initiatives; and promote healthy lifestyles to help prevent type 2 diabetes in children. Sedentary lifestyle, dietary indiscretion, physical inactivity…are you passing on the perils of modern life to your children as well? Think about it.

Source: ET

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