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A day to raise awareness

Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

Gulf News

A day to raise awareness

We celebrate many types of days in a year, and I believe a World Diabetes Day is significant as it affects most of the world’s population. Diabetes is an epidemic which is out of control, despite the many new medicines available. With a cure for diabetes still being developed, it becomes all the more important for relevant organisations to give it due emphasis. Incidentally, many new medicines and self-testing devices are discovered each year to combat diabetes. World Diabetes Day can bring into focus medicines and the latest strategies available. The current World Diabetes Day has female focus because gestational diabetes is leading to Type 2 diabetes in at least half of the cases. This year, the day could be used to create awareness on diabetes screening, monitoring health and nutrition among women of child bearing age.

From Mr Mohammad Asif

Dubai

Fast lives and fast food

These days, children’s eating and drinking habits are totally different than what we used to have. They are used to having fast food and carbonated drinks because the life of a family is very fast. Even we as parents do not get time to cook for our child’s breakfast or snacks. Food like burgers, pizzas and donuts are ordered from nearby, which contain sugar and some kind of filling, which can quite easily lead to diabetes. Parents have to take care and explain to them the impact these foods will have if they are addicted to them. In our home country, we are used to having fresh and healthy foods, which are cultivated and grown in our own farms. Such eating habits will surely avoid children at a small age from leading to this deadly disease. They have to stop eating sweets and chocolates if they have they been detected. Let us pray that we keep ourselves hale and hearty and avoid such illness.

From Mr Prasad Warrier

Sharjah

Serious issue, start early

As a doctor, I have interacted with many diabetic patients. It is a debilitating disease for those who ignore dietary restrictions. Even for those who take care of their health, they eventually suffer from deteriorating eyesight, renal function, increased risk of neural problems and develop hypertension. Once the destruction has started, it can only be delayed not halted. By the time, diabetes is clinically diagnosed 50 to 60 per cent of the pancreas is already destroyed. Children can be taught the impact of the disease by organising preschool, kindergarten or playgroup activities that involve children of different age groups in every locality, to meet and do activities that focus on raising awareness. For example, a competition can be held where they are made to pick up only those food items that they should eat, and tell them the consequences of having a bad diet and the benefits of having a balanced one. Some may be too young to understand the food pyramid, but these children learn well when involved in interactive games.

From Ms Fatima Khan

California

Useful advice

I do have diabetes and would like to advise others. If you have diabetes then first of all one should follow a proper diet plan. Do take your prescribed medicines regularly. Avoid food that contains excessive carbohydrates. Do not eat excessively and don’t keep yourself hungry for a long time as this affects your body organs. Watch your sugar levels regularly, and above all, go for a regular walk with a bit of exercise. Additionally, keep yourself stress free, and live a normal and healthy life.

From Mr Saifee Tarwala

Dubai

Speaking from experience

If you have diabetes or if you are diagnosed with diabetes, there is no need to panic. It is one of the most common ailments of the modern world and it is manageable. You need not feel like it is the end of the world and that you can never come out of it. My personal advice is to go to a good doctor, follow their advice and medication, modify your lifestyle, eat healthy food, quit smoking and exercise regularly at least 30 minutes a day. Try to keep your Body Mass Index (BMI) in the range of 18 to 24, not more. Get your blood sugar checked regularly and manage your cholesterols. Let diabetes enter your life not as a disease, but as an opportunity to improve your health. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy life.

Mr Khaja Mohtesham Al Deen

Al Ain

Include more activities

It is likely that children in the UAE are susceptible to diabetes, not due to any hereditary reason, but because of the lack of a balanced diet. School going children are lucky as they get at least some activity in the day, such as field games, swimming and so on. However, later on in life, too much of television and video games will tempt children to stay away from outdoor activities. Their diet is also to be blamed and we should stay away from fast foods as much as possible. Having it once in a while on the weekend is all right. At other times, we should encourage our children to eat wholesome, properly balanced, home-cooked food, consisting of enough meat and vegetables.

From Mr Stanley D’cunha

Sharjah

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