Take it easy, else  suffer!

Take it easy, else  suffer!

Take it easy, else  suffer!

Rahul Bhandari, IAS

Not only the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes is high in India, but it is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease which is a leading cause of death in the country. Hypertension is often termed as 'silent killer' because more than 30% of people who have high blood pressure are not even aware of it. The most worrisome fact about hypertension is that it can affect any age group. 

Hypertension can affect any organ of the body, be it the brain, the heart or the kidneys. Some of the signs one must look out for are difficulty in breathing, chest pain, frequent headaches, irregular heartbeat (palpitation), problems in vision, problems in urination and so on. If ignored, these indicators may further lead to life-threatening medical emergencies. Therefore, it is imperative to promote a healthy lifestyle and ensure that enough preventive strategies are considered to decrease the prevalence of hypertension.

The growing burden of diabetes

Another such disease one must watch out for is diabetes— a condition where the body can’t maintain the right amount of glucose in the blood. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in India, an estimated 8.7% diabetic population is in the age group of 20 and 70 years. In fact, a study carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research in 2017 stated that among 15 states surveyed, Chandigarh recorded the highest prevalence rate at 14.6%, almost twice the national figure that stands at 7.3%. This was attributed to nutrient-poor, high-carbohydrate diets; increasingly sedentary occupations; low levels of recreational physical activity; and socioeconomic transition. States such as Punjab, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu also reported the highest prevalence of overweight due to which one becomes more prone to such non-communicable diseases (NCD). 

There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. For Type 1 diabetes, insulin intake is the only solution. However, in Type 2 diabetes, oral medication and insulin are part of the treatment. This is a lifelong medical condition that can be contained but not cured.


How can individuals prevent it?


  • Healthy diet: Obesity and overweight are the most important risk factors responsible for diabetes. This can be prevented or delayed by favouring a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  • Say no to alcohol: Breakfast should never be skipped, lunch should be lighter and dinner the lightest. Say no to alcohol and smoking. 
  • Serving size:Beware of the hidden salt and sugar and read the food labels carefully. Make sure you pay close attention to the serving size.
  • Keep a track:Wearable and portable devices are now available to help keep a track of vital parameters such as blood pressure, ECG, blood sugar and so on
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