Friday, December 2, 2011


Coimbatore, India (The Hindu) - When queried, most people seemed to be aware of the genetic factors and common symptoms of diabetes, but very few had a clear understanding of its types, risks, complications and the need for screening and early detection. As many as 300 people took part in the cycle rally and road show, conducted as part of the campaign to create awareness on diabetes. Around 75 patients from the Coimbatore Diabetes Foundation and 200 students from Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, took part in the rally. According to Dr. Sekar, founder and chief consultant diabetologist at the Coimbatore Diabetes Foundation, from 2009 to 2013 World Diabetes Day has been centered on the theme 'Diabetes Education and Prevention'. Unhealthy diet was one major cause of the disorder. People focused on reducing the quantity of food but were unaware of the caloric value of food items they consumed. "That was why we decided to focus on creating awareness among the public about this", he said. 

Around 16-18 per cent of the population in the city suffered from diabetes, Dr. Sekhar said and added that modification in lifestyle was the best way to fight it. Walking 5 km a day and a healthy diet would keep diseases away. Refrigerated food deprived it of nutritional value. Taking preserved and pre-cooked food could do more harm than good to the body, he added. Yearly check-up to detect blood sugar and cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight was important. Glycohaemoglobin or HbA1c test to detect long-term blood sugar level would give more accurate results, Dr. Sekar said. In Tirupur, a rally was taken out by Lotus Eye Hospital and Rotary Club of Gandhinagar to convey the message of a good lifestyle management to prevent metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Various organisations such as Lions Clubs conducted free blood sugar check-ups for the public across the city.

According to Dr. V. Sekar, Only around 10-15 per cent of people are aware of diabetes. There is very little awareness even about health indicators such as body mass index (BMI). Fast food is rich in calories and low in nutritional value whereas fruits and vegetables give sufficient nutrients free of excess calories. Volunteers from The Hindu distributed free copies of the newspaper along with pamphlets giving information on caloric value of food items.  It is an example worthy of imitation, raising awareness about healthy living and vegetarian food.

The Ayurveda system is based more on promotion of the physical, mental, and spiritual well being and balance than on treatment of illness. Modern medicine has long paid attention to the pathological state of various ailments and has been primarily concerned with treatment of the disease and symptoms. Ayurveda, on the other hand, treats the whole being, going to the root cause of the discomfort and its aggravation and giving a basic plan of action for disease prevention. Modern medicine recently has turned its direction toward preventive aspects, thanks to the lead given by Ayurveda and other allied alternative systems. ... The interaction of the body humors, called doshas, determines the physical as well as the mental makeup of an individual. The therapy is essentially directed at wholesome vegetarian food, a righteous and pure living style, and natural healing remedies. A long and healthy life is essentially linked to a moral and ethical lifestyle that promotes peace of mind.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism – Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 47: “Ayurveda - The Most Ancient Medical Science”

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