‘Lifestyle has brought Type II diabetes and only lifestyle can prevent it’

The onset of Type II diabetes may begin almost 20 years before it is diagnosed. Since a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of this life-threatening disease...

Written by Rajni Shaleen Chopra | Chandigarh | Published: March 11, 2009 12:08 am

The onset of Type II diabetes may begin almost 20 years before it is diagnosed. Since a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of this life-threatening disease,definite lifestyle changes can keep the disease away or help the patient manage it effectively.

This was stated by Dr Vishwajeet Puri,Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School,USA. Dr Puri,who hails from Chandigarh,is now a part of the team that is one of the leading researchers in the field of diabetes and obesity.

On his visit to the city,he has delivered lectures on the causes of diabetes and its effective management at educational and research institutions in Delhi and Chandigarh.

Dr Puri points out that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics,the top five countries for Type II diabetes are India,China,USA,Indonesia and Japan. Type II diabetes has been declared as an epidemic in India. “WHO had estimated that by 2030,the number of patients suffering from Type II diabetes would double in India. But according to recent predictions,the figure is likely to be reached by 2015. And according to unofficial estimates,what was predicted for 2015 has already been surpassed,” Dr Puri said.

What is worrisome,he added,is that India seems to be doing nothing to tackle the menace. “The genetic make-up of Indians is very different from that of the Westerners. We cannot rely on the Western world for treatment and prevention of Type II diabetes. In the last 20 years,even after spending billions of dollars,the US has not been able to come up with a cure for the disease. India has to come up with its own treatment and prevention for the problem,” he said.

The reason for the growing incidences of Type II diabetes is more food and less activity. “Lifestyle has brought this disease and only lifestyle can prevent it. Such changes are needed early,and not just when the disease is diagnosed,” he asserted. It is essential to ensure that fat content in food is low. “Medicine alone cannot do everything for the treatment of the disease. But exercise and nutrition alone can do wonders,” Dr Puri points.

The rising incidence of Type II diabetes in children is a cause of concern for doctors. “At least an hour of good physical activity daily is an absolute must for a child. Schools have to play an important role and modify their curriculum to include 30 to 40 minutes of sports for the students every day,” Dr Puri stressed.

If people themselves do not take the initiative to make these lifestyle changes,it may lead to severe implications on health. It is also important,he says,to have a centre in North India that is dedicated to diagnostics,treatment,prevention and research of Type II diabetes.

Dr Puri did his schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya,Sector 47. Later,he studied at DAV College,Sector 10. He did BSc and MSc Hons from Panjab University and his PhD at IMTECH in Sector 38,Chandigarh. Dr Puri did his post-doctorate at the prestigious Mayo Clinic and Foundation,USA.

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