15-May-2017 12:09

Diabetes is a disease that affects more and more of the Indian population by the day. Almost 50 million children and adults in India now have diabetes, and another 10% of the Indian population are living with prediabetes. This is a situation in which the blood tests done for checking the glucose level in blood are detected to be high than the accepted ones. However, these are not as  high so as to be diagnosed as diabetes.



Diabetes Overview :

There are two types of Diabetes;

  • Type 1 Diabetes called (insulin-dependent diabetes) commonly occurs in young persons and is much severe and requires insulin to be injected. It is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body produces auto antibodies (a type of protein) that attack and destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that lowers the level of blood glucose in the body.


  • Type 2 Diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes), which is milder and occurs in older people and is usually controlled with diet and tablets.

Having a parent with Type 1 diabetes also raises a child’s risk of developing it, but his level of risk depends on a lot of variables. Certain factors influence the chances of the baby born to a Type 1 diabetic mother, to be diabetic. The most common factor is the age of the mother during the pregnancy. If the mother with Type 1 diabetes is 25 years or older during pregnancy, the child’s chance of developing Type 1 diabetes is approximately 1%. However, if the mother is younger than 25, the child has a 4% chance. If the father has Type 1 diabetes, the child has a 6% chance of having Type 1 diabetes. The risk increases two-fold for a child who is born to a parent who has been suffering from diabetes from the age of 11. And if both parents have Type 1 diabetes, the risk is that the child will develop the disease ranges from 10% to 25%.


Causes of Diabetes: As we already know, genes are not solely responsible for type 1 diabetes. Research suggests that some type of environmental factor is necessary to put the development of type1 diabetes in motion.


  • Differences in climate—Type 1 diabetes develops more often in winter than summer, and the rate of type 1 is higher in countries with cold climates.


  • Bacteria or viruses—Because type 1 is an autoimmune disease, scientists have speculated that an infectious agent, either bacteria or viruses, could cause it.


  • Early diet—Type 1 is less common in people who were breastfed and in those who first ate solid foods at later ages.


 Type 2 Diabetes

 As with type 1 diabetes, genetics plays a role in type 2. For identical twins the probability of developing Type 2 diabetes is 75-80%. For the non-identical twins the rate is a bit low but is still considered high.  The rate at which identical twins develop type 2 diabetes is not same because environmental factors are also one of the causes. The major factors, which are responsible for the onset of diabetes, are excessive gain in the weight and living a sedentary lifestyle. Some other causes are pollution of environment and the bacteria found in the digestive tract.

Although excess weight increases the rate of type 2 diabetes, it’s worth remembering that most overweight people don’t have diabetes, and many people with type 2 are of normal weight or on moderately overweight—so again, it’s not clear-cut.

Scientists are still trying to find out the cause for a person to suffer from Type 2 diabetes as not only the family history but lifestyle and genetics also play a key role. Most likely, it is due to both. But don’t lose heart! Studies show that it is possible for many people to delay or prevent type 2 by exercising and losing weight.


Prevention: We do not pass on diabetes to your children, what we pass on to them is an increased risk for diabetes. Therefore, knowing that you have diabetes and you might have passed it on to your children is the first step towards preventing it in them, the other steps involve eating right and exercising.


Type 2 Diabetes Prevention:  When diagnosed with pre-diabetes, ascertain that prevention is the best cure. Adopt a healthy diet, exercise daily and talk to your doctor to learn more.


Type 1 Diabetes Prevention: As type main cause of diabetes type 1 is yet to be discovered there is no clear cut prevention way, but diagnosis is early stages and eating right and exercising can help reduce the complications that arise.


Women all over the world are taking it upon themselves to learn the various ways in which they can prevent inheriting diabetes to their children and India is no exception. Let us make it our priority to be educated about Diabetes this International women’s day in order to ensure a diabetic free society here in India.

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