Diabetes, the silent killer!

How healthy are you? How many of you exercise on a regular basis?  How many of you watch what you eat? It’s worrying because the majority of answers to that question is disappointing. No one can deny the health benefits of getting regular exercise and yet, we as Singaporeans are falling short. Healthy eating habits and exercise is a major piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. With longer hours at work, heavy reliance on cars for transportation and advancements of technology like smartphones, it is extremely easy to let that workout slip through the cracks.

A recent article published by the Straight Times had indicated that rising obesity in children and young adults will push up the rate of diabetes in Singapore – already among the highest in the developed world – going by recent studies.

Professor Chia Kee Seng, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said 34 per cent of people aged 24 to 35 this year can expect to be diabetic by the time they are 65, based on projections.

Now, Let us have a look at the process on how insulin binds to its receptors.

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Taken from: https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=insulin+resistance&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=662&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&pjf=1&ved=0ahUKEwj4rKDyr5zSAhXCRY8KHansCrsQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=blmA48s_m8e_QM

Once the cells of the body no longer react to insulin as they should, this is called insulin resistance. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. To be more specific, it’s produced by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. When we eat, glucose levels rise, and insulin is released into the bloodstream. The insulin acts like a key, opening up cells so they can take in the sugar and use it as an energy source.

Changes in diet and physical activity related to rapid development and urbanisation have led to sharp increases in the numbers of people developing diabetes. It’s interesting to point out that as certain countries have become more Westernized and their lifestyle choices, particularly their food choices have become more “American,” the incidence of type 2 diabetes has gone up. For instance, China used to have a low rate of type 2 diabetes. As the country has become more industrialized with more people working in offices and fewer people working in the fields, their diet has shifted, the incidence of type 2 has increased.

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Taken from: http://www.idf.org/about-diabetes/risk-factors

Our body is our temple, and we need to take care of it to have a healthy life.

Exercise. Not just a few times a week, but every day. Movement is life. Research has shown that exercising daily brings tremendous benefits to our health, including increase of life span, lowering of risk of diseases, higher bone density, and weight loss. Increase activity in your life. Choose walking over transport for close distances. Climb the stairs instead of taking the lift.

Pick exercises you enjoy. When you enjoy the sports, you’ll naturally want to do them. Exercise isn’t about suffering and pushing yourself; it’s about being healthy and having fun at the same time. Adding variation in your exercises will keep them interesting.

Eat more fruits. Fruits contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Cut down on processed food. Processed foods are not good because (1) most nutritional value is lost in the making of these foods and (2) the added preservatives are bad for our health.  Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt content, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease.

References:

Cryer, P. E. “Diabetes, Diabetes, And The American Diabetes Association”. Diabetes 44.12 (1995): 1351-1354. Web.

Kalra, Sanjay, Rakesh Sahay, and AshokKumar Das. “Managing Diabetes: The Drivers Of Change”. Journal of Social Health and Diabetes 1.1 (2013): 3. Web.

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