Do you know someone with diabetes? Most probably the answer is ‘yes’ and that’s because this non-communicable disease is slowly reaching epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka, especially in urban areas such as Colombo.
Did You Know?
The prevalence of diabetes in Colombo is estimated at up to 25% while nation-wide it’s between 10 and 15%!
50% percent of people with diabetes probably don’t know they have it!
In 1990 only 5% of the urban population was diabetic and 2% of the rural population!
Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce risk of diabetes by up to 80%!
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is defined as the chronic elevation of blood glucose levels. If left unchecked, they can reach stratospheric levels and wreak havoc on every major organ in the body. Diabetes itself won’t kill you, but it can cause many complications that will!
Diabetes comes in two major types: Type 1 and Type 2. The latter is what poses the greatest threat as it is adult onset diabetes and closely tied with lifestyle choices.
Why so Prevalent?
Simply put, the increased prevalence of diabetes is the direct result of technological evolution surpassing biological evolution by an astronomical margin. The advancement of technology has resulted in a massive discrepancy between the amount of energy we consume and the amount we expend and our biology has no chance of catching up.
If you look back at history, humans always had to work really hard to survive thus expending vast amounts of energy; as hunter gatherers, farmers or other manual workers. The industrial revolution changed all of that and now machines do most of our work. In addition to this, our diets have changed to include foods that are extremely rich in energy such as processed foods; also food is generally more abundant and readily available than ever before. Add to this the fact that most people now lead sedentary lifestyles and you have a perfect storm.
Classic Complications of Diabetes
In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease and other types of non-communicable diseases, diabetes also has three types of classic complications that include retinopathy – damage to the eyes, nephropathy – damage to the kidneys and neuropathy – damage to the nerves.
How to Combat Diabetes
There is no known cure for diabetes and the only way to really combat it or reduce your risk of developing the disease is through a major lifestyle change that includes the adoption of a healthy, balanced diet and a regular physical exercise routine; for adults 30 minutes at least 5 days a week and for kids at least 7 hours per week. You should also look at reducing or eliminating processed sugars and carbohydrates from your diet.
Consistency with regular exercise and healthy diet is essential to combating or reducing your risk of developing diabetes. This will require commitment and the question you need to ask yourself is, am I willing to invest (time/energy) in my own future health and well-being? The positive effects of physical exercise begin immediately and can be far reaching with consistent practice.
Still, committing and staying motivated about such things isn’t easy! That’s where apps like ayubo.life can help by providing plenty of motivation and tracking features to keep you on top of your plan for health and wellbeing now and in the future. ayubo.life has also partnered with the Sri Lanka Diabetes Federation to provide daily SMS tips on how to keep control of your diabetes. All you need to do to register is to type “REG<space>SLDF” and send it to 77000 from your phone.