Diabetes In Youth

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Diabetes in youth
World diabetes day;docter holding patient hand's
DR Abhishek Agarwal 
MD Medicine, FCCS, IDCC
Madhuraj Hospital, Kanpur

Diabetes has insidiously infiltrated our household. The gradual increase in diabetic cases has left doctors worried about the future. With a steep rise in the number of diabetic cases in India, the country has become a ‘diabetes hub.’ According to a study, by 2030, around 7.9 crores of people will be affected with diabetes1.

Studies suggest that irregular eating habits, stress, and sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing diabetes. Sedentary lifestyles and irregular food habits are quite prevalent among the youth thus putting the young population of our country at a high risk of developing diabetes. 

Earlier, Type 2 diabetes was common among middle-aged or older adults. But nowadays, young adults are also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, primarily due to childhood obesity. Diabetes in young adults often leads to many long-term complications, such as heart and kidney disease.

What are the factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

An international study revealed the possible risk factors associated with the development of diabetes in young people, including [2]:

  • Family History
  • Sedentary lifestyle, 
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol 
  • Stress
  • Bad/ stressful childhood
  • Inadequate sleep, 
  • Irregular eating habits

Childhood obesity plays a critical role in the development of diabetes in young adults. Long sitting hours, lack of exercise, and junk food consumption are the main factors contributing to childhood obesity. 

Genetic makeup also plays an important role. Approximately 75% of children with type 2 diabetes develop the disease because of genetics or shared lifestyle habits3

How can we prevent diabetes in young adults?

Young adults are the future of India. To ascertain that the future of India is healthy, we must incorporate strict changes in the lifestyle of our children. We must encourage them to indulge in a lot of physical activities. We must ensure that they set themselves free from the digital cage and explore more on playgrounds. Give your child a stress-free environment to grow. Stress affects your hormone, so avoid stress. You can easily manage diabetes by adopting a healthy and balanced diet, which focuses on the increased intake of dietary fiber, regular physical activity, and proper medications. 

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Ref:

  1. Gadkari SS, Maskati QB, Nayak BK. Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in India: The All India Ophthalmological Society Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Screening Study 2014. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2016;64(1):38-44. doi:10.4103/0301-4738.178144
  2. Nagarathna R, Bali P, Anand A, et al. Prevalence of Diabetes and Its Determinants in the Young Adults Indian Population-Call for Yoga Intervention. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020;11:507064. Published 2020 Dec 11. doi:10.3389/fendo.2020.507064
  3. Murea M, Ma L, Freedman BI. Genetic and environmental factors associated with type 2 diabetes and diabetic vascular complications. Rev Diabet Stud. 2012;9(1):6-22. doi:10.1900/RDS.2012.9.6
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html 

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