Can diabetes be prevented?

Yes. Type 2 diabetes, by far the most frequent form of this disease, could be prevented in the great majority of cases.

Why should we prevent diabetes?

We should try to prevent diabetes-

  • To reduce human sufferings
  • To alleviate the economic burden
    • The annual direct healthcare costs of diabetes worldwide, is estimated to be at least 153 billion international dollars.
    • It is estimated that diabetes accounts for between 5% and 10% of total healthcare spending in most countries and up to 25% in some
  • To prevent morbidity and mortality from diabetes, because in every 24 hours...
    • 3,600 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed.
    • 580 people die of diabetes-related complications.
    • 225 people have a diabetes-related amputation.
    • 120 people with diabetes progress to end-stage renal disease.
    • 55 people with diabetes become blind.

Why, then, the rate of diabetes is increasing rapidly worldwide?

Diabetes is increasing because of

  • Aging of the population.
  • Increased urbanization especially in developing countries.
  • More sedentary lifestyle
  • Food consumption patterns, more food with high fat content and more refined carbohydrates.
  • Increase prevalence of obesity.

What are the factors associated with diabetes?

It is well known that the tendency to develop diabetes is inherited. However, for the disease to manifest itself in predisposed individuals, other conditions are also required; the most significant are abdominal adiposity and sedentary habits.
In fact, even individuals with a strong inherited predisposition will never develop diabetes if they stay slim and fit. Some factors can be modified and some cannot.

Modifiable Non Modifiable
Behavioral and lifestyle-related such as obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy dietary habit, stress and drugs etc. Genetic factors such as family history
Previously identified glucose intolerance (IGT and/or IFG) Demographic determinant such as age, gender and ethnicity
Metabolic syndrome History of gestational diabetes
Intrauterine environment Polycystic ovary syndrome

What are the levels of prevention?

3 levels of prevention. These are-
Primary prevention refers to avoiding the onset of the disease.
Secondary prevention means early detection of diabetes and prompt initiation of treatment to prevent/delay the complications.
Tertiary prevention aims to prevent/delay more advanced complications.

Tell some simple ways of diabetes prevention and also its future complications?

One should follow these recommendations ---

……….healthy eating
……….daily physical activity
……….all things in moderation

TIP: Everyone needs to do these things, whether they obese, overweight, or normal weight.

Based on the findings of lifestyle prevention studies, international bodies like the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) recommends that:

  • Everyone is encouraged to engage in at least 30 min of moderately intense (e.g. brisk walking) most days of the week.
  • Everyone should be encouraged to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Adults with BMI > 25 kg/m2 in Europids and > 23 kg/m2 in Asians should be encouraged to attain and maintain a healthy weight and/or 5–10% weight reduction.
  • Children should be encouraged to attain and maintain weight for height in the normal range.

What are the obstacles and barriers for diabetes prevention?

Economic problems: unavailability of needed resources.
Socio-cultural problems like-

  • Obesity is not considered negatively.
  • No value given to physical exercise.
  • Changing diet is very difficult.
  • No time is granted to do physical exercise at work.
  • Fatalism.
  • Lack of data, knowledge and skills.