Risk Factors of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Discussion about Coronavirus is the ‘in thing’ these days. But don’t forget about the much bigger killer, Diabetes mellitus. It is the mother of most of the ‘non-communicable diseases’, be it heart attacks, paralytic attacks, kidney failures, gangrenes, blindness, cancers, and what not!  If you check out all the patients admitted in any general hospital at any time, at least 30% will have diabetes. This disease affects you physically, mentally, socially, and financially.

We, the doctors, are witnessing an explosion of type 2 diabetes cases, and that too in patients as young as 25. So it is no more a disease of middle age. It is a silent killer. It damages multiple organs silently without causing any symptoms or causes very vague symptoms which are many times attributed to work or family stress. Once the organs are significantly damaged, then patients develop symptoms, and then it is too late. What remains in hands at that time is the treatment of complications rather than the prevention of complications.

There is good news though. Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, the commonest type of diabetes (90% of diabetics have this type) is a preventable disease in many, can be postponed in some, and can be reversed in some persons. Simple lifestyle measures go a long way in the prevention of diabetes. It is cheap and simple.

But the first step first. Do you know whether you are at risk of developing Diabetes mellitus type2? If the answer is no, then here is a risk score for Indians. Since the disease does not cause any symptoms in the initial stages, it is important to check blood sugar (a simple and cheap test that is universally available)for timely diagnosis. The risk score tells us who requires the blood tests.

(Kindly note that waist size should be measured at the level of the navel. It does not match your trouser size. Do not pull in the tummy when you measuring waist circumference.)

Please calculate your risk score. If you get anything above 30, visit a doctor, preferably a physician who handles diabetes patients regularly.  Believe me, you do not spend any money beyond a single consultation and probably to check body composition, for the prevention of diabetes. In fact, you will be saving money with the changes in food and lifestyle habits.

So what are you waiting for? Calculate your risk score today and if it is moderate or high, visit your physician at the earliest!

 

Dr. Vikram Dalvi

Consultant Internal Medicine 

Manipal Hospitals Goa

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