RAK Hospital conducts session on the Holistic Management of Diabetes

RAK Hospital conducts session on the Holistic Management of Diabetes

9 out of 10 people don’t even know they have diabetes

Stress can increase the chances of diabetes progression

Sleep-deprived people were found to eat 300 more calories per day

10 November 2022; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: Living with diabetes can be tricky – the good news is that you have the power to help prevent or delay the onset of Diabetes Mellitus. A few minor adjustments to your daily routine can pay off big time in terms of diabetes management. In their latest ‘Diabeat’ webinar on ‘Diabetes & Lifestyle Management’, organised by RAK Hospital as part of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2022 informative series, Dr Madhurima Deshmukh, Health, Wellness and Fitness Consultant, at Arabian Wellness & ProLife guided the attendees towards a holistic approach for the prevention and management of the disease.

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition associated with abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose which is then used as the source of energy by cells. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells while less insulin production or insulin resistance by cells disrupts this process & leads to diabetes.

537 million adults (1 in 10) were living with diabetes in 2021. This number is expected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045. Additionally, 1 in 6 live births (21 million) is affected by high blood glucose in pregnancy. Moreover, the risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher than those without diabetes.

Speaking about diabetes education, Dr Deshmukh said, “9 out of 10 people don’t know they have diabetes and without appropriate lifestyle management, 15-30% of these people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. That is the reason, it is imperative that there is greater education about this debilitating condition. A holistic lifestyle approach that includes a nutritious balanced diet, regular exercises or physical activity, weight management, avoiding smoking & excess alcohol, reducing stress, having proper sleep, and having regular medical check-ups with frequent  blood sugar level monitoring can make a big difference to the overall situation.”

She also emphasized on being physically active throughout the day and dedicating some time to structured exercises. However, she suggested that diabetics must exercise under expert guidance and get medical clearance before starting exercise, especially since checking blood sugar levels before and after workouts was advised. Talking about the diet she recommended making every meal well balanced with foods low in carbohydrates, increasing fiber intake, controlling portions alongside keeping regular meal timings and having early dinner following the circadian rhythm.

Doctor Deshmukh also highlighted the importance of weight management, stating that in obesity, cells resist letting insulin move glucose into them which is a condition called insulin resistance. This means that the pancreas makes insulin, but the body can’t use it properly. The pancreas tries to compensate by making more insulin, but it eventually wears out, producing less insulin leading to Type 2 Diabetes. Fatty liver makes matters worse, as excess glucose remains in the bloodstream.

Further commenting on the topic, Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director, RAK Hospital said, “Being overweight also raises your risk for heart disease, stroke & high blood pressure, losing weight helps you prevent and manage these conditions. Losing as little as 5% to 10% of your overall body weight can greatly improve Type 2 diabetes.

Talking about stress and diabetes, Doctor Deshmukh specified, “If you’re experiencing stress or feeling threatened, your body reacts. This is called the fight-or-flight response. During this response, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream, and your heart & respiratory rates increase. This can increase blood glucose levels if the body cannot adequately process it. Constant stress can also wear you down mentally and physically. This makes managing your diabetes more difficult.”

Underlining the significance of sleep, she said, research has shown that sleep deprivation and insulin resistance may be linked. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin (satiety hormone)levels and actually increases your body’s desire for fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods. In a recent study, people who didn’t get enough sleep ate about 300 more calories per day than those who got adequate rest.

Finally, she concluded by emphasizing about the value of regular check-ups, which often help find potential health issues before they become a problem.  Early detection gives you the best chance of getting the right treatment quickly and avoiding any complications. Checks for Foot examination including cracks, non-healing wounds; Eyes, high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease are advised, especially for diabetics.”

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