Malayalis should learn to ‘respect’ diabetes: Expert

DR JAYAPRAKASH.jpg.crop_display.jpg

At a time, when the state has become the diabetes capital of the country and the disease is increasing at an alarming rate every year, the negligence and disregard that the Mala­yalis show towards diabetes is only making the situation worse.

According to senior endocrinologist Dr P. Jayaprakash of Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi, the majority of diabetics are not bothered about the consequences and take the illness very lightly.

“Ker­alites should learn to respect the disease,” he said. It isn’t that there is a lack of awareness about the reasons, risk factors and consequences of diabetes in the state. In fact the problem is about a negligent attitude, said the doctor.

“If a healthy lifestyle is followed coupled with proper medication, diabetic patients can regain a good physical quality of life. And if diagnosed in the early stages, the disea­se can be kept under control through medication and lifestyle changes.

How­ever, it is in the pre-diabetes stage that pat­ients are reluctant to go for preventive investigations and me­d­ications,” said Dr. Jaya­prakash. According to stu­dies, long term diabetes pat­ients wh­o follow proper medication and adhere to strict die­tary instructions and exercise have greater lo­ngevity than the general population of non-diabetics.

The rate of diabetes prevalent in the state is on the rise with not less than 20 per cent of the total population in Kerala being diabetic. The doctor added that according to studies, in 2004, six per cent of the total population in the country was diabetic whereas the rate increased to 15 per cent by 2012.

“South Indians, especially Keralites are hi­g­h­ly susceptible to the disease due to certain genetic reasons. Other than hereditary reasons, the other contributing factors are visceral obesity, sedentary lifes­tyles an­d wrong food habits,” he said.

New methodologies have revolutionised the treatment of diabetes. “People above the age of 30 with a high risk rate should go for regular checkups and preventive measures. Tes­ts like HbA1c will help to monitor the variations in blood sugar levels for a period of three months,” he added.

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