The prevalence of diabetes continues to grow throughout the world. Worryingly, India is now witnessing an alarming rise in incidence of diabetes, bringing along a spectrum of other serious health implications.
Diabetics are vulnerable to heart attack and stroke
“Indians are ethnically more prone for heart attack a decade earlier than the western population. So a strong emphasis on early identification and treatment of the four major modifiable risk factors – diabetes, mellitus, systemic hypertension, smoking and cholesterol disorders. The cumulative duration of exposure is also important to prevent heart attack. So we have to strongly emphasize lifestyle modification and early screening – ideally at the time of entry into college – to arrest this trend of early heart attacks.” says, Dr D Prabhakar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Mehta’s Hospital.
You can get heart problems despite a healthy lifestyle
Even those who appear healthy, exercise regularly and are particular about their diet still develop heart problems. The biggest reason is that very few are aware about the alarming statistics of diabetes, heart health risks associated with it and how their diet and lifestyle, play a crucial role in the same. Youths, for instance, have misconception that diet and physical activity dictate their blood sugar levels and they don’t need blood sugar check until middle age. If Indian youths are unaware about the heart health risk factors, then it’s very unlikely they will take steps to address them. This shows that there’s a need to raise awareness for cardiovascular risk factors in Indian people.
How people with diabetes can prevent heart disease risk
“A healthcare expert may prescribe diabetic medicines to meet the goals, and you should take them regularly. This is because even if the blood glucose levels are normal, an individual is still at the risk of heart disease. And taking these medicines regularly will prevent heart disease risk and other long term complications of diabetes. Also, one shouldn’t stop taking them without checking with a doctor first. “says, Dr A Panneerselvam, Consultant Diabetologist, Aruna Diabetes Centre.
For people with diabetes it’s important to understand their individual risks immediately, get their lipid levels checked and not wait for heart attack symptoms. Regular preventive check-ups can go a long way in reducing heart disease risk and leading a quality life.
“Diabetics should adopt healthy eating habits, keep a watch on lipid levels and take their medicines regularly Consume a fibre-rich diet and lower the consumption of refined grains, red/processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Yoga practices such as asanas, pranayama, and relaxation will help you reduce blood glucose levels. With small, healthy lifestyle changes, diabetics can prevent heart diseases and enjoy a healthy,” says Dr Daphnee D K, Chief Clinical Dietician, Apollo Hospitals.