Diabetes Has Increased Risk of Premature Death in Women, Middle-Aged in India

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in Asia – led by India and China — and has dramatically increased the risk of premature death especially among women and middle-aged people, a significant study has found. India and China today have the highest diabetes burdens in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has close to 62 million people living with the diseases and is projected to have close to 70 million diabetics by 2025.

Throughout Asia, more than 230 million people are living with diabetes.

“Given the increased prevalence of obesity and rapid adoption of a westernized lifestyle in Asia, that figure is expected to exceed 355 million by 2040,” said the study led by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

The researchers found that patients with diabetes are at a substantially elevated risk of premature death.

“The risk associated with diabetes is much higher than that reported by most previous studies conducted in the US and Europe,” said the study’s corresponding author Wei Zheng in a paper reported in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The Vanderbilt-led research team pooled 22 prospective cohort studies in multiple countries from mainland China to Bangladesh.

More than one million individuals were followed for an average of 12.6 years.

Diabetes was associated with a nearly two-fold increase in the risk of death from all causes.

“The diabetes-related risk of death from all causes was particularly high for women and patients who were diagnosed with diabetes when they were middle-aged adults,” the findings showed.

This result is particularly relevant for certain racial and ethnic groups in the US, including Asian Americans, who are more susceptible to insulin resistance and are at higher risk of developing diabetes at a relatively lower obesity level than are people of European ancestry.

“Whether this may increase their risk of premature death once they develop diabetes has not yet been determined,” said Zheng.

Lack of access to diabetes care in Asia may contribute to the unusually higher risk of premature death among diabetes patients in the study, the researchers noted.

“There is an urgent need to implement diabetes management programmes tailored to Asian populations,” they added.

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Diabetes Mellitus: 5 Ways Diabetics Can Control Their Blood Sugar in Summer

Those with Type 2 diabetes have to extra precautions throughout the year to ensure that their blood sugar levels don’t spiral out of control. When it comes to summer, the challenge is even more because of the additional heat and heat-related problems like skin infections, dehydration and travel plans which could lead one to skip medicines and ignore dietary restrictions for diabetics. Here is what all diabetics need to keep in mind in summer:

Keep dehydration away: It is important that you don’t suffer from dehydration and heat stroke by ensuring that you are adequately hydrated at all times. Dehydration and fluctuating blood sugar levels could have an unfavourable effect with each other and could cause health problems.

Keep your insulin safe: Insulin syringes need to be kept in specially-designed containers/pouches that can keep them at a regulated temperature. Exposure to heat and the strong rays of the sun can damage the insulin.

Beware of eye infections: Eye infections like conjunctivitis are common in summers. Diabetics who have eye complications like glaucoma need to especially be careful about contracting other infections. Make sure to wash your hands after coming home and avoid touching your eyes unnecessarily. Avoid contact with those have eye infections.

Carry your own snacks when possible: While travelling, we tend to eat out a lot and sometimes, where we eat or what we eat may not be to our or our health’s liking. Deep fried, high-carbohydrate food, sugary foods, packaged foods, sodas and other drinks can seem tempting. But it is not advisable to eat them as they can shoot up your blood sugar levels. Besides, there is also the fear of stomach ailments like diarrhoea, gastroenteritis etc. Carry some diabetic-friendly foods with you at all times and plan your meals carefully when you are travelling in summer.

Keep your skin safe from infections: Any minor cuts, especially on your feet can turn into major infections and ulcers. It is therefore advisable to keep your feet covered and protected at all times.  Apply sunscreen and keep your body covered with loose-fitting cotton clothes to let your body breathe.

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Best Low Carbohydrate Breakfast Foods For Type 2 Diabetes

If you have Type 2 diabetes and are wondering about the best foods for breakfast that will reduce postprandial hyperglycemia, then there is a simple solution for you. You need to eat a very-low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast because it will lower post-breakfast glucose and also the overall exposure to postprandial hyperglycemia and improve glycemic variability, according to a new research. According to lead researchers Associate Professor Jonathan Little, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences attributed the blood sugar spike post breakfast to the combination of insulin resistance in the morning in people with type 2 diabetes and also to high carbohydrate Western breakfast foods like cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruits.

Little was quoted as saying in an article on the University’s website that breakfast was the ‘problem’ meal that lead to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with diabetes. Fluctuating blood sugar is damaging to our blood vessels, eyes and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carb high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce diabetes complications. For the study, the researchers limited carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast. Another interesting finding of this study was that pre-meal hunger and cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower when one ate low-carb breakfast.

This is in concurrence with a number of other studies that have been done on the health benefits of a low carbohydrate diet. When you have less carbohydrates, your body breaks down fat as the main source of energy. This leads to prevents obesity and obesity-related diseases like cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes.

Here are some low carbohydrate breakfast options you can try:

1) Smoothies made with low carb fruits or vegetables and nut butters is an excellent way to fuel your self up for the day.

2) From chillas to parathas, you can make these Indian ‘pancakes’ with low carb pulses and lentils that will give you lots of protein.

3) Anything made with eggs — omelletes, bhurji, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs are perfect for breakfast. Just make sure not to eat too much bread with it.

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Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus Risk High in Teens Who Snack While Watching TV

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus may not seem like a threat to your teenage kids. But if they have a habit of snacking while watching TV or playing video games or using the computer, they are at high risk of developing metabolic syndrome which refers to a cluster of conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. These put them at an elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In recent times, there has been a lot of awareness about restricting screen time of kids because of the many health risks associated with it. But what makes this habit worse is snacking while indulging in screen time, says this new study. Most teens unwind after school or college by watching TV. What most often accompanies TV watching is eating – either dinner or snacks. Who doesn’t like munching on their favourite food while bingeing on Netflix? But the findings of this new study will surely make you want to stop them from snacking while watching TV.

Why is snacking while watching TV bad for teens?

They don’t watch what they eat: When you are engrossed in watching TV or playing video games, you tend to ignore what you are eating and how much you are eating. This is why there is a tendency to eat more junk food, indulge in bigger portions. This can up your risk of obesity.

They eat quickly: When you don’t watch TV while eating food, you tend to focus entirely on the food. Did you know that eating slowly can help you lose weight? When your body takes a longer time to chew, swallow and digest food, it feels more satiated. This keeps you from unnecessarily eating more food and hence weight gain.

They spend a long time sitting while snacking: Eating while watching TV is a classic characteristic of a sedentary lifestyle. Whether it is watching TV or playing games, it is never for a short duration. When you spend hours sitting and eating, you are predisposed to not just obesity bit also indigestion. It is recommended to walk to help your body digest food in a better way.

They tend to do less physical activity: In general, screen time for a long period of time cuts down physical activity and even social interaction. This can immediately up their risk of diabetes and heart diseases and even emotional problems. Indulging in any physical activity is good for their health and can help prevent diseases.



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Obesity in Women Linked to Reproductive Health Problems And These 5 Other Diseases

Obesity is dangerous to everybody’s health. But when it comes to women, obesity can lead to a host of health issues that are difficult and even life-threatening to deal with. An Australian research has found that women who are obese, particularly, women with type 1 diabetes (many of whom are obese), have a very high risk of developing reproductive problems. From cardiovascular diseases to diabetes and stroke to hypertension, obesity has been blamed for several diseases. But this new study shows how vulnerable obese women can be when it comes to their reproductive health. This obviously draws attention to how important the need to prevent obesity is and how weight loss is crucial to overall health. There are many other ways in which obesity can prove dangerous for women’s health. Here are some of them.

Depression: In a shocking study it was found that while it is a known fact that obesity is dangerous for both sexes, obesity affects girls and boys differently. According to a study by the University of Cambridge in the UK, in women, the depression is more episodic and that it could be a result of the failure of obese women of meeting societal standards which don’t treat obese women favourably. Depression could likely be a result of the additional pressure on women to conform to societal norms of looking thin.

Sexual dysfunction: In women, obesity is linked to sexual dysfunction because of hormonal imbalance. This could be a result of excess fat in the body which plays a role in inhibiting sexual desire or libido.

Osteoporosis: Obese women could face problems when it comes to their bone health. An American study found that excessive abdominal fat could lead to problems like osteoporosis in women. Interestingly, the link was only found between abdominal fat and osteoporosis. Women with superficial fat, or the fat around the hips, were not found to be at significant risk of developing unhealthy bones.

Colorectal cancer: A study has found that obese women below the age of 50 have up to twice the risk of developing colorectal cancer as compared to those with a normal body mass index. In fact, the study noted that a higher risk of early-onset colorectal cancer was closely linked to increasing BMI in even those among women with no family history of colorectal cancer.

Breast cancer: A study in the European Journal of Cancer says that high body mass index (BMI) significantly increases the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer and can even worsen the outcome in those with a history of breast cancer. Another study said that obesity was associated with a 35% to 40% increased risk of breast cancer recurrence.

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Diabetes Mellitus: Lower Blood Sugar With These Low-Carb Food Swaps

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which our body fails to respond to a protein that regulates blood glucose levels, called insulin. This is why there is a need to regulate and lower the increased blood sugar levels in our body. Those with diabetes mellitus have to be particularly careful about the amount of carbohydrates they consume. This is because our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. This spikes our blood glucose level. Diabetics are asked to stay away from high carb foods for this reason. In general, a high carb diet is bad not just for those with diabetes. It can also lead to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. It’s not difficult to switch to a low carb diet. All you need to do is make smart food swaps.

Swap white rice with brown rice or grated broccoli:  White rice can spike your blood glucose level. Diabetics are usually asked to avoid white rice or eat with caution. Brown rice has a low glycemic index and is therefore recommended for those with type 2 diabetes. You could also use broccoli rice as well which is quite the trend these days. All you need to do is blend broccoli in a blender till you get granules and then steam to cook it. Season it with salt. You could try doing the same with cauliflower.

Swap white bread with vegetables like sweet potato: When it comes to toasts or sandwiches, you can easily replace white bread with more nutritious foods like vegetables. White bread is devoid of nutrients and can cause insulin resistance and worsen type 2 diabetes symptoms. Just roast and season sweet potato slices and put your fillings in between these two slices.

Swap maida-based pizza based with cauliflower pizza base: Consumption of maida or white refined flour for diabetics is a big NO-NO because it can cause insulin resistance. To make a cauliflower pizza base, simple whisk cauliflower in a blender with salt, pepper, oregano, cheese and eggs. Spread the mixture on a baking tray in a pizza shape and bake. Add pizza toppings and bake further to make your pizza.

Swap regular wafers with vegetable chips: Deep fried potato chips are bad news for your blood sugar and waistline. Instead, thinly slice vegetables like beetroot and carrots. Season them salt and pepper. Brush them with olive oil and bake them. These vegetable chips will be crunchy, tasty and good for your health.

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Beat diabetes with walnuts and these 5 other nuts

Are you a diabetic looking for healthy snack options? Ditch your regular high carb food and have walnuts instead. Consuming walnuts regularly has been shown to help manage and treat diabetes by positively impacting metabolic syndrome according to a study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice. Walnuts can also increase your good cholesterol and decrease fasting glucose level.

Nuts are loaded with powerful nutrients that are extremely beneficial for everybody. When it comes to diabetes, too, nuts exert positive effects. In fact, studies have proven that nuts can actually significantly cut the risk of developing diabetes. Nuts contain healthy fats, and, when consumed in moderation, can actually make you feel full and lower your appetite. This will help you manage weight.  Eating just a handful of nuts daily has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, a common cause of death, heart attacks, strokes and disability among people with Type-2 diabetes. From controlling blood sugar to blood pressure to increasing metabolism and fighting inflammation, nuts are superfoods for diabetics.

Don’t just stick to walnuts; here are some other nuts you should have to beat diabetes mellitus:

Cashew nuts: Many avoid having kaju or cashew nuts because of the misconception that it can be bad for your waistline and your heart. But the truth is that the humble cashew with monounsaturated fat can decrease the systolic blood pressure and increase the good cholesterol in your body. Just don’t have more than 10-15 in a day.

Almonds: The health benefits of almonds are many. Full of omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and protein, almonds reduce bad cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity which make them excellent for diabetics.

Pistachios: Pistachios have been shown to reduce Body Mass Index in those with prediabetes or those in the intial stages of diabetes by suppressing hunger. They do not increase the weight and are hence considered apt for controlling and managing diabetes.

Peanuts: Nuts can be expensive. But if you are looking at a cheaper but equally healthy nut to control diabetes, opt for peanuts. Rich in protein and fibre, peanuts have a low glycemic index. Peanuts have the ability to reduce fasting blood glucose and postprandial glucose. Stick to a handful of peanuts every day.

Macadamia nuts: One of the most highly recommended healthy food options for diabetes is macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts have healthy carbs and fibre that can help beat diabetes.


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Tackling Diabetes Amongst Pregnant Women

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder caused due to either insulin deficiency or decreased sensitivity to the action of insulin.

In pregnancy, this condition exists in a few varieties; (1) a known diabetic woman becomes pregnant (2) a woman who has a history of pre-diabetes becomes diabetic during pregnancy and (3) Gestational Diabetes Mellitus(GDM), when woman becomes diabetic during pregnancy and after the pregnancy is over, her diabetes disappears.

“However, GDM is now thought to be a forerunner of type-2 diabetes and almost 25 per cent of GDMs eventually turn out to be diabetic. Pregnancy induces progressive changes in maternal carbohydrate metabolism. As pregnancy progresses, because of certain placental hormones, there is a compensatory increase in insulin secretion,” Dr Anil Bhoraskar, Senior Diabetologist, S.L. Raheja Hospital.

When this compensation is inadequate, gestational diabetes develops. Ideally, all women should be screened for diabetes during 24-28 weeks of gestation. However, it is best to screen once during all trimesters.

Women at risk of GDM are:

1. Positive family history of Diabetes- parents, siblings, immediate aunts and uncles, grandparents

2. Previous history of being an overweight baby (over 4kgs above the average)

3. Previous history of repeated pregnancy loss or stillbirth

4. Obesity

5. Being over 30 years of age, while attempting to get pregnant

6. Frequent Candida infections

7. Polyhydramnios- Accumulation of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus

“Pregnancy worsens diabetes. Vascular changes like retinopathy, nephropathy and coronary artery disease worsens during pregnancy. During pregnancy, it increases the risk of abortion, preterm labour, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and vaginal candidiasis. There is also a high risk of Preeclampsia (high Blood Pressure during pregnancy) and a high chance of delivering a big baby,” added Dr. Anil Bhoraskar.

Nutrient intake plays a significant role in the health-related outcomes of all pregnant women. It is noted that calorie restrictions will help glucose control, but too severe a restriction is undesirable.

“Carbohydrate intake should be limited to 35-45 per cent of total calories. Self-monitoring of blood glucose, particularly post meal monitoring, is recommended. Insulin is recommended when women are unable to achieve the target glycemic goals or show signs of excessive fetal growth (baby becoming large),” said Dr. Alka Kumar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, S.L. Raheja Hospital.

• Overfeeding- too much of rich food, laden with harmful fats must be avoided

• Omega 3 Fats and Vit supplements can help overcome pregnancy-related Depression

• Remember the growing fetus is an obligate parasite; whatever the nutritional contents of the mother’s diet, it will suck every single nutritional element required for its growth and development, depleting the mother of vital substances

• Milk, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, iron-containing foods and at least 2 tsp. of homemade ghee should be consumed regularly

• Avoid chivada, bhajiyas,sev, vadasgathiyas and sweets

• Reasonable physical activities such as careful walking or yogic exercises can be taken under supervision if permitted by the obstetrician.

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