Did you know that India has become the Diabetes capital of the World?
Yes, from 11.9 million Diabetics in 1980 to 64.5 million in 2014, India is witnessing an alarming rise in incidence of diabetes according to the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on diabetes, an estimated 3.4 million deaths are caused due to high blood sugar in the world.
Just to be clear, we are referring to Type 2 Diabetes here, which is actually a lifestyle disorder, totally preventable, and mostly prevalent amongst adults. While the onset of type 2 diabetes is gradual, with most individuals progressing through a state of prediabetes, current methods of treating diabetes still remain inadequate. Having said that, isn’t prevention preferable? But what really works better, lifestyle changes or drugs?
According to this landmark study that was published in New England Journal of Medicine1, thousands were considered for a case study over a 4 year period, where in two groups were formed, one being prescribed the best anti-diabetic drugs, and the other advised the right diet and exercise. The lifestyle intervention reduced diabetes incidence by 58 percent, compared to only 31 percent with the drugs. More than three quarters of those on the drug reported gastrointestinal symptoms (digestive issues) as well. Not to mention associated problems related to cardiovascular health, kidney disorders and diabetes induced neurological disorders owing to elevated/uncontrolled glucose levels owing to only drug intervention.
So if you are an individual with glucose levels above normal, do not fret, there are some sure shot natural remedies out there. And these remedies are already at our disposal and in our mind, we just do not have the right knowledge, guidance, and mindset to put them into effect. First and foremost, it is your kitchen, the best pharmacy that exists. Know how to consume the foods that are meant for our bodies. You need to, NEED TO consume more whole foods coming from vegetarian sources and stop relying so much on easy to prepare processed foods. Secondly, open your mind to the possibilities of reversing your prediabetes through the right kind of physical activity. Nutrition and exercise go a long way in optimizing blood glucose levels.
Bottom line: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by changes in lifestyle even in high-risk prediabetic subjects. The fact, then, that type 2 diabetes, a largely preventable disorder, has reached such epidemic proportion is a public health humiliation. Now you decide, do you want to prevent diabetes through drugs or through lifestyle intervention?
References:J Tuomilehto, J Lindström, J G Eriksson, T T Valle, H Hämäläinen, P Ilanne-Parikka, S Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, M Laakso, A Louheranta, M Rastas, et al. Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. New England Journal of Medicine 2001 344(18):1343 – 1350.