The Diabetes Health editorial team highlights the latest research findings in the field of Diabetes.

Awareness and knowledge can help prevent health complications. Education plays an important role in informing people about the condition and how best to manage it through a healthy diet, regular exercise and necessary medication. This holds especially true for Diabetes which is a chronic condition caused by high blood sugar levels.

The 7th International Diabetes Summit 2023 organised by Chellaram Diabetes Institute, Pune was one such attempt to make an impact in the field of Diabetes. The three-day summit witnessed numerous national and international dignitaries connect virtually and speak on the latest findings, techniques and technologies in the field of Diabetes - from clinical management to patient care, from the current challenges to the latest innovations in the world of Diabetes.

Following are some of the topics discussed during the three-day summit:

Simple step guide to improving care of people with Type 2 Diabetes

Dr Kamlesh Khunti (Endocrinologist at University of Leichester, UK) discussed the importance of keeping Type 2 Diabetes management simple to improve long-term outcomes. Type 2 Diabetes can occur as a result of sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet control and obesity. When compared with standard care program, intensive lifestyle intervention has been found to provide better blood sugar control and improved other bio-markers such as BMI, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet. Moderate physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week is advised, and can easily be included in daily routine. Taking the prescribed medication every day is important.

Dr Khunti highlighted the need to offer clear guidelines to people with Diabetes about diet, exercise, medication and about how to avoid complications. Dr Khunti spoke about how heart and kidney problems arose as Diabetes progressed and specified that a more individualised approach to treatment was necessary. In older people with Diabetes, quality of life became one of the most important considerations.

Eating and exercise - very different roles in weight management

Roy Taylor (Professor at Newcastle University)

Discussed how research shows that people who successfully lose weight by following a low-calorie diet reversed Type 2 Diabetes.

Their findings further suggest that if the weight is kept off, participants will remain free of Diabetes, because when excess fat is removed from the pancreas and liver, insulin production can return to normal.

Dr Taylor explained that motivation is the key matter but so is the understanding that for overweight people, a major decrease in food intake is essential, and losing weight over a short period is generally more successful.

Diet is not the only important factor in weight management. Rather, it is a combination of healthy food choices and an exercise program that brings long-term balance between energy intake and expenditure. Exercise is important in that it helps to keep weight gain low and modestly reduces insulin resistance.

Changing lifestyle habits of a long time can take in-depth therapy if weight loss is to be long lasting. Approach to weight loss is two-pronged exercise and healthy nutrition

- all ongoing throughout the person's program of weight loss.

Diabetes the 21st-century epidemic

Dr. Andrew JM Boulton (Professor of Medicine at Manchester University, UK)

Discussed how Diabetes, a disorder of high glucose levels, can harm various organs of the body if it is uncontrolled or there is a lack of proper care management.

Approximately 537 million adults (20-79 years) are living with Diabetes in the world. 1 in 2 (240 million) people with Diabetes are undiagnosed. Total number of people living with Diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045. Diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths around the world in 2021. Approximately 77 million Indians had Diabetes in 2021. This number is projected to increase 124.8 million in 2045.

Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar. Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel. If you have Diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood and this in turn can lead to serious health problems.

Types of Diabetes Mellitus

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the body's own cells destroy the beta cells (responsible for insulin production) of the pancreas, as a result of which the body is devoid of insulin. In such cases, the only treatment option is taking insulin injections. This type of Diabetes is usually seen in young adults and children.

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition that begins with insulin resistance (the cells fail to respond to normal levels of insulin). As the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop. The primary cause for this is obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits. This type of Diabetes is most common in people.

Gestational Diabetes is a type of Diabetes that is seen in pregnancy. The sugar levels usually return to normal after a delivery, however, it puts the mother as well as the baby at high risk of developing Diabetes in the future.

Pre-Diabetes implies that the blood sugar levels are high but high enough to be classified as Diabetes. However, if this this condition is not managed well then chances are that one may develop Diabetes in the future.

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