DASL participated in the IDF World Diabetes Congress [WDC] in Vancouver, Canada from 30th November to 4th December 2015. Five delegates attended the event which included 2 members of staff and 3 resource persons which included a Vice President, Secretary and the Secretary to the board of Trustees. Two participants of the IB were chosen to represent DASL in the Young Leaders in Diabetesprogramme which was held prior to the WDC. This was a life changing experience for them as there were 150 young leaders from more than 80 countries who participated in this leadership trainingprogramme. The confidence and the increase inself esteem these youngsters havegained, is immeasurable. 

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This World Diabetes Day, as a part of the WDD 2015 campaign, we want to help people to work towards not only cutting down on sugar but also switching to a healthier lifestyle. If you or any of your loved ones or friends need advice or check-ups for diabetes, you can visit The National Diabetes Centre at the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka located at No 50, Sarana Mawatha, Rajagiriya or contact them on 0112872951.

Trying to lead a healthy lifestyle in Colombo can be pretty difficult, but not impossible if you know where to eat and how to plan your week. On World Diabetes Day, we want to focus not only on cutting down on sugar but also on eating healthy, reducing stress, and getting regular exercise. Thankfully, within the last two years we've had a bunch of new healthy food alternatives as well as gyms and parks opening up in and around Colombo. With everything from free gyms to healthy rice and curry, there are options for pretty much anyone looking to get in shape, eat right, or just live a healthier lifestyle.

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What is stress?

Stress is common in modern lifestyles and arises due to an unhappy state of mind due to failure of expectation. There are many different circumstances that can cause stress. These include pressures from work, family, inability to achieve unrealistic goals, social pressures and worrying about things that you cannot change. Being under a immense amount of stress can lead to physical and mental issues. 

Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems.  No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control. No matter how powerless you may feel, remember you still have control over your life. Key to stress management is changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself, and making time for rest and relaxation. The first step is to recognize the true sources of stress in your life.

The cause or source of stress are:

  • Nutritional deprivation, psychosocial problems or infections
  • Inability to adapt to changing situations
  • Set realistic goals and expectations in keeping with your ability.
  • Negative thoughts produce stress- Be calm and positive in your thinking
  • Avoid extreme responses - always try to take the middle-path and avoid extreme situations.

Healthy ways of coping with stress:

  • Discuss with a  parent, friend, teacher, - a different view helps
  • Find time for relaxation- meditation and yoga also helps
  • Start exercising with a friend or family member.
  • Do not fear to fail – Success is always round the corner
  • Try to stay calm and positive - avoid negative thinking 

 

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress – say no to these...

coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

  • ·         Smoking
  • ·         Drinking too much
  • ·         Binging on junk or comfort food
  • ·         Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
  • ·         Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  •           Using pills or drugs to relax
  •          Sleeping too much
  •          Procrastinating
  •          Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  •          Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence) 

                                         

Stress and Diabetes

Stress whether it is long or short term can contribute unexplained high blood glucose levels. Stress can altered BGL in two ways:

  1. People under stress may resort to eat unhealthy "comfort foods", drink more alcohol and exercise less as you may feel lethargic. You may also forget to check your BGLs as required.
  2. Hormones that are released due to Stress, can alter blood glucose levels directly.  

Who can get diabetes?

Anyone can be diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes transcends age, gender, social status, caste or creed and race.

What can lead to diabetes?

There are many risk factors that can lead to diabetes. The goal is to understand and identify these risks and prevent the onset of illness through changes in your lifestyle. 

Non-modifiable risks

Age:

The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age as the body finds it difficult to produce adequate amount of insulin to normalize blood glucose levels.Previously it was denoted as an adult onset illness but of late reduction of age of onset has gradually reduced and we are seeing patients under 10 yrs with type 2 diabetes.

Family history:

Those who have a first degree [ father, mother, brother, sister] family history of diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes. This could be due to genetics or unhealthy  lifestyles.

Race or ethnicity:

Some races are more prone to the illness than others. 

Modifiable risks

Being overweight

Excessive weight is a definite risk factor.  [link to BMI Calculator].

BMI – [Asian]

Normal: 18 -23

Overweight23: 23 – 25

Obese: 25 – 30

Increased waist circumference

Increased waist is even more critically linked to diabtes than the overall increase in weight.

Female – Under 80CM

Male     – Under 90CM

Abnormal nutrition

Nutrition plays a major role in the development of type 2 diabetes. It’s important to have a balanced and healthy diet to make sure that the body is able to produce and use insulin as intended.  Under nutrition during pregnancy can increase the risk of insulin resistance in the child, while over nutrition can lead to being overweight and obesity resulting in early development of type 2 diabetes.

Physical Inactivity

Lack of exercise is common in modern times and change of lifestyle to increase exercise is essential and recommended for all.

Stress

Stress related hormonal and metabolic changes are associated with nutrition, psycho-social or inflammatory/infections  problems at different times in the life cycle. This imbalance in the body may put individuals at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Stress reduction through meditation and yoga are recommended together with other changes in lifestyle.

 

Screening Packages

Standard Screening Package

Includes FBS / Lipid Profile / HbA1c / Serum creatinine /Urine Albumin/Urine Sugar / Urine albumin creatine ratio / ECG /Eye check including fundal photography / Neuropathy Assessment / Full physical assessment / Doctor’s Consultation

Executive Screening Package

Includes FBS / Lipid Profile / HbA1c / Liver Profile / Renal Profile / ECG / Eye check including fundal photography / Neuropathy Assessment / Full physical assessment / Doctor’s Consultation