Diabetes is mainly caused by excessive intake of fatty food and lack of exercise. Now that large numbers of people do sedentary work and have no or very little time for physical exercise and, at the same time, eat starchy and food containing carbohydrates beyond their bodies’ tolerance level, they are being increasingly exposed to diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation’s figures for 2021, about 537 million adults are suffering from the disease across the world, indicating a jump of 16% over the past two years. However in Pakistan, the rise in the incidence of diabetes has touched an alarming level. At present, the number of those living with the disease in the country is as high as 33 million. The prevalence rate has been recorded at a whopping 70% since 2019. Time to give serious thought to the issue and take preventive measures.
Diabetes can be managed with oral medication and insulin jabs, but it cannot be reversed. Once a diabetic, always a diabetic. Since the disease might remain dormant for years, people tend to ignore the warning signals and avoid consulting physicians. Timely diagnosis of the condition can stop it at the glucose intolerance stage, not leading to diabetes. In countries like Pakistan, this seldom happens due to people’s fatalist attitude. Experts are of the view that diabetes can be avoided and managed by avoiding carbohydrates, especially sugar, as well as salt and fat to the maximum possible. Contrary to this, Pakistanis in general do the opposite. This shows up in the ever-increasing number of people falling prey to diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. The money spent on treatment of the rising number of diabetics eats up a considerable proportion of family income. This also affects national productivity.
Experts say that the human body needs very little carbohydrate, so they recommend no-carbs or a significant cut in the consumption of carbs for both the normal people and those with diabetes. The best way to prevent and control the disease is to change lifestyle and switch to non-fatty food.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2022.