Let diabetes not be perceived to be a debilitating illness, but rather a health issue which calls for a disciplined way of life.
"Oh doctor, don't tell me I have diabetes. How could this have happened? Will I be able to lead a normal life? What will my relatives say? Will I be able to get married?"
These were questions Archana, a 22-year old girl, raised when suddenly confronted with the fact that she had diabetes. Yes, Archana had every reason to be apprehensive, but certainly not anxious. Thanks to advances in modern science, control and treatment are both possible for people diagnosed early with diabetes and patients can now safely lead an uncomplicated life. But then why do people with diabetes in India still lead complicated, often stressful lives. In my observation, a number of extraneous factors have played a negative and serious role in India, still contributing to the rapid proliferation of diabetes in the country. But they need to be reviewed to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes.
Gone are the days when school books taught children to walk on the pavement and not on streets. Our widened roads have eroded onto the pavement space, leaving absolutely no space for walkers, joggers and cyclists to meet with their daily exercise regimens. If we are to become a diabetes-friendly society, people with or without diabetes must ensure that they walk half hour aftermeals.
Our society has always been beset with stigmatised issues and diabetes is one of them. Diabetes can occur anytime if it has to occur, before or after marriage. Marriage portals like diabetesmatrimony.com has been the perfect platform for men and women to get to know each other, know their diabetes state and settle down to a family of their own. I think it's time for relatives and family members to come out of the closet [a call to action] and talk more freely about diabetes state.
One would wonder why the term culinary in a subject that is largely in the medical space. Perhaps the biggest driver to the higher prevalence of diabetes in India is the imbalance in our culinary spread. Natural juices have given way to aerated drinks, rice and idlis have given way to burgers and pizzas. Globalisation has brought in globesity, thanks to our indulgence in fast foods. Are our restaurants, school and college canteens and travel menus diabetes-friendly?
If we have to help people close to us, we must each come forward and do our bit to provide a better quality of life for people with diabetes in India. Let India not be perceived to be the diabetes capital.but rather the "diabetes care capital" of the world.
- Diabetes Atlas, International Diabetes Federation, third edition, 2006.
- Diabetes. WHO - Chronic disease information sheets.
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