Diabetes is one disease that cannot be left unattended and unresolved. It can have a cascading effect on the rest of your vitals.

Almost 90% of all diabetes cases are of Type 2 diabetes, which occurs largely due to extra body weight and physical inactivity. It can have a severely adverse effect on both physical and mental health of the patient. Doctors are now predicting that by 2025 one-fifth of the world’s population will be obese, and thus directly in the cross-hairs of diabetes.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia, said despite not making headlines as often as cancer or heart diseases, “it (diabetes) will be the world’s seventh largest killer by 2030.” She added that “intense and focused efforts” alone will affect a chance for the better.

This year’s World Health Day focuses on diabetes and calls for scaling up efforts to prevent, care for and detect the disease earlier to arrest the global epidemic which is hitting the low and middle income countries the most.

“Diabetes is of particular concern in the Region. More than one out of every four of the 3.7 million diabetes-related deaths globally occur in the Region, while its prevalence exacerbates difficulties in the control of major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Almost half of the 96 million people suffering the disease don’t know they have it. If diabetes prevalence continues to rise, the personal, social and economic consequences will deepen,” she added.

But research has revealed that there are steps one can take to ensure that diabetes is stopped in its tracks. Firstly, choose an active neighbourhood to live in, where you will naturally take extra steps without trying to. Secondly, make sure your gut diversity is maintained to protect the delicate microbial balance in your intestines that prevent diseases such as a diabetes. You could also try see whether the positive developments in research on oxytocin which has an effect on curbing impulses can work for your situation.

“There are individual steps that we can, and must take. Eating healthily and avoiding sugary drinks is a good place to start. We must also control our portion sizes, and ensure they are matched to our energy needs rather than the size of our plate,” Dr Singh added.

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