Diabetes Mellitus – Tips to prevention
Dr. Indira Kedlaya, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Diabetes Mellitus is a disease that is endemic in India. What was previously a disease of the developed world has made its way through small towns and villages of our country. This can be attributed to improved standards of living, access to food coupled with changes in lifestyle in terms choice of food/physical activities as we have become more developed.
Diabetes Mellitus is defined as a fasting glucose level of ≥126 mg/dl, random glucose of ≥200mg/dl or hba1c of ≥6.5. Prediabetes is defined as fasting glucose 100-125mg/dl or hba1c of 5.7 to 6.4. The constant presence of high glucose levels leads to inflammation and thus induces changes in blood vessels both large and microscopic ones. This predisposes to heart attacks, strokes, circulatory problems in legs, kidney, neuropathy and retinal complications. These complications of diabetes start at prediabetic stage. It is hence important to prevent diabetes by identification of prediabetes also and start aggressive lifestyle changes. Hence, the diagnosis of prediabetes is a very important one, although it is ignored by patients/medical practitioners alike. Women with gestational diabetes and PCOS are at increased risk of developing diabetes. We Indians have abdominal obesity more than generalized obesity, Hence BMI is a poor marker for cardiovascular risk, instead abdominal girth is better measure of the risk.
What should I do to prevent diabetes mellitus?
What should I do once I have diabetes mellitus?