Connector November 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 38 CONNECTOR.AE 39 Health and Wellness Health and Wellness heart disease, and stroke. However, by making lifestyle changes, you can manage and control it. What Causes Diabetes Diabetes occurs when there is an excess of glucose in your blood, regardless of the specific type. Major factors contributing to diabetes include insulin resistance, autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalances, unhealthy lifestyle choices, excess abdominal fat, and genetic mutations. Symptoms “Diabetes symptoms are fairly wellknown. Those include dry mouth, frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, recurrent tingling, blurring of vision and un-intentional weight loss. For the general population, diabetes -type 2- screening by blood tests should start at 35. However, for higher risk patients, screening starts earlier. Earlier screening is advocated for overweight, obese or sedentary patients or those with high blood pressure, polycystic ovaries, abnormal cholesterol profile and more, explains Dr Ahmed Shehata from Mediclinic Middle East. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to monitor yourself and promptly seek medical attention without delay. Talking more about the symptoms, Dr Juliana Korth, Internal Medicine Specialist at Allied Medical Centre said, “Diabetes can give you no symptoms, almost no symptoms or many symptoms. It all depends on the age and comorbidities (associated illnesses) that one has. It can range from fatigue, poor wound healing to problems in the eyes, kidneys, heart, brain and extremities (arms and legs). Hence, anyone with symptoms or increased risk factors (overweight or obesity, high blood pressure, should get tested, and all pregnant women should get tested for diabetes regardless of risk factors or symptoms.” Dr Juliana Korth at Allied Medical Centre also added, “According to the American Diabetes Association, all patients should be screened for diabetes at a three-year interval beginning at the age of 45 regardless of symptoms and risk factors.” Prevention Type 1 diabetes is typically not preventable as it results from immune system issues. However, for Type 2 diabetes, there are lifestyle adjustments you can make to prevent and manage it. 1. Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercises like walking, running, dancing, or cycling each week if five times a week workout is not feasible. 2. Adopt a balanced diet. Occasional indulgence in junk food is okay, but avoid making it a habit. Incorporate more fibre, vegetables, nuts, and protein into your meals, and stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates. 3. Pay attention to portion sizes. Eat smaller, well-controlled portions every two hours. 4. If you’re overweight or obese, consult a nutritionist and work towards achieving a healthy weight. Diabetes patients should also seek guidance from a nutritionist to create a tailored diet plan based on their daily calorie requirements. To ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle despite having diabetes, you must adhere to the triad heathy diet, exercises and medication. To this, Dr Juliana Korth at Allied Medical Centre adds, “You should also have a glucometer at home and check your blood sugars (HbA1C) at least every 3 months to make the necessary adjustments. It is estimated that at least 50% of all patients living with diabetes do not achieve adequate glycemic control, and that is what leads to blindness, amputations, strokes, kidney failure and heart attacks.” Lifestyle Alternations Dr Ahmed Shehata from Mediclinic Middle East said, “Diabetes Mellitus type 2 is a result of a genetic predisposition, unhealthy habits and environmental factors. Intensive lifestyle intervention could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60% over 3 years. Moderate exercise (like brisk walking) at least 150 minutes weekly has a positive impact on sugar control as well as weight loss of approximately 7% (through a wellbalanced calorie restricted diet). “ Speaking more about food habits, Dr Ahmed Shehata from Mediclinic Middle East, added, “Habits as simple as breaking prolonged sitting time are associated with lower sugar excursions post meals. Besides, emphasis should be on increasing whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables and reducing/cutting down refined and processed foods.” A healthy lifestyle with good nutrition can help you lead a good life and control you sugar levels. On this, Dr Shipra Patil of Dubai London Hospital added, “Nutrition plays an important role in the management of diabetes. Both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet are associated with significant reductions in diabetes incidence and risk. The Mediterranean diet consists of fish, sea food, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes, with moderate alcohol consumption.”