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Saturday, November 15, 2008

This Children's Day create diabetes awareness

EVERY YEAR November 14, the birthday of independent India’s first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is celebrated in India as Children’s Day. But this particular day is recognised globally as World Diabetes Day. One of the most dreadful diseases of the world, diabetes is known as a silent killer, that comes silently, grows gradually and finally, kills. This is not the time for Indians to delve into the revelry of Children’s Day. Better, parents and teachers should guide their children regarding diabetes, the reasons behind this disease and the proper remedies. Presently, India has been labelled as the ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world, as more than eight per cent of its population ie 41 million people are suffering from diabetes. The more frightening is that over 50 per cent of Indian people have diabetes, but they are completely unaware of their condition. Diabetes is referred as the breeding zone of several other diseases like - blindness, kidney failure, nerve disorders, limb amputations and cardiovascular diseases, which grow rapidly if diabetes is not diagnosed properly on time. Eventually, people have to spend thousands of rupees to get cured from these serious physical problems as all of these arise from undiagnosed or poorly treated diabetes.At least 80 per cent of global population are not aware whether they have diabetes or not. In 2007, diabetes caused 3.8 million deaths globally. Record says that a person dies of a diabetes-related disease every ten seconds throughout the world. According to the report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), diabetes is the fourth leading dreadful disease in the world, that takes away numerous lives every year.The growing problem of obesity among urban-children is one of the prime reasons behind this auto immune disorder. Every year, a number of people as well as children in India die of diabetes due to lack of knowledge. Generally, diabetes in a child is often overlooked. Sometimes, it is also misdiagnosed as a common flu.
According to the medical experts, diabetes is considered as one of the most common chronic diseases which affects children. Children, irrespective of any age, even toddlers and babies can be a prey of this deadly disease. Diabetes can to be more fatal if is is not detected early in a child which may result in serious brain damage. Diabetes has two variations. While Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes is a clearly localised genetic defect. It is a kind of disorder which damages the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas, thereby, making the individual incapable of secreting enough insulin to maintain blood sugars at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes is a strongly inherited one. In this case, the defect is not localised. But it has been proven that obese children of diabetic parents develop diabetes after 10 years of age. Diabetes is also caused by different environmental factors and lack of physical exercises. Generally, Type 2 diabetes can be cured by a dose of metformin and insulin shots or oral drugs. But Type 1 diabetes can only be treated with insulin shots. Diabetes occurs when the production and supply of the hormone insulin gets reduced in our body. Insulin helps us to use the energy stored in food. In Type 1 diabetes, the sufferers produce insufficient insulin. But the patients of the Type 2 diabetes cannot use the generated insulin effectively. According to the experts, Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease and cannot be prevented. It is the most common form of diabetes in children. At least five lakh children under the age of fifteen, are suffering from Type 1 diabetes throughout the world. The Type 2 diabetes has also been found in staggering numbers among the obese children due to the trend of sedentary lifestyle. Most of the child specialists accuse the changing lifestyle with less physical activity as the main reason which causes Type 2 diabetes in children. The number of Type 2 diabetic children is alarmingly high in India. Lack of physical exercise prevents the children in developing insulin. Environmental factors and genetic predisposition are the secondary reasons behind this disease.
Most of the children in urban society prefer to spend their free hours in observing cartoon channels or playing computer games. Instead of playing in the field, which would certainly develop their physical and mental strength, the urban children sit idle in front of TV and play computer games. In most cases, parents also prefer to keep their children busy in indoor games. Not surprisingly, the children in rural areas are less affected by Type 2 diabetes due to their active lifestyle. Time has come to rise from slumber and make ourselves aware of diabetes. The World Diabetes Day campaign in 2008 aims to raise awareness of this deadly disease, encourage initiatives to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis and distribute materials to support these initiatives


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