Kolkata: Doctors start diabetes screening to combat third Covid-19 wave – ET HealthWorld

KOLKATA: Ahead of the third Covid-19 wave, doctors in Kolkata have started an awareness drive so that diabetic patients can be screened in advance and deaths in comorbid persons can be prevented.

Utsa Basu, consultant physician and diabetologist, told TOI, “Covid-19 has taught us that uncontrolled diabetes (categorized as diabetes, pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes) is a serious comorbidity, leading to a higher risk of severe infections, hospitalisations and death in patients with diabetes.”

Basu added, “India is the second largest country in terms of the number of people living with diabetes in the world and at least 50 per cent are completely unaware that they have diabetes. The close association of diabetes and heart disease is well-proven as diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and death due to Covid-19. Our initiative will help in creating more awareness about diabetes and testing around it.”

Basu and other Kolkata doctors have already started their initiative with screening camps on the occasion of World Herat Day on September 29. The camp was part of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) ‘Defeat Diabetes Program’. The 100-day ‘Defeat Diabetes’ campaign calls for creating awareness on the importance of regular blood glucose monitoring for good control of diabetes.

“On the first day, our CIT Road clinic alone tested 200 people for free,” said Basu. The doctors have also been providing free medication along with lifestyle and dietary advice.

“This is just a beginning as we have already started a weekly diabetes clinic for the poor patients where we are serving about 50 patients per week with blood sugar testing and also providing them free medications and are advising them to control their blood sugar level. We would continue doing these activities on a weekly basis in the days to come as well,” said Basu.

Ten commandments prescribed by doctors, ahead of third wave

Cut down on salt: Diet high in salt can increase blood pressure and cause heart disease and stroke. The recommended maximum daily intake of salt is 6g for adults and 3g for children (2.5g of salt is the equivalent of 1g of sodium).

Eat less sugar: Too much sugar in diet could lead to weight gain, which can raise blood pressure and lead to diabetes and heart disease.

Limit saturated fat: Eating too much saturated fat – found in butter, ghee, margarine, fatty meats, dairy fats and processed foods such as pastries and cakes – can increase cholesterol levels.

Fill up on fruit and veggies: Fruits and vegetables contain various vitamins, minerals and fibres which help to keep the heart healthy. Some fruits and veggies are rich in soluble fibre which may also help to lower cholesterol.

Quit smoking and tobacco use: Smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease, and smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those who have never smoked. It not only damages the lining of the arteries but reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and raises your blood pressure.

Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol can affect the heart by causing high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and damage to the heart muscle. Hence alcohol consumption should be cut down to moderate drinking which is two to three units a day for women and three to four for men.

Exercise daily: Studies show that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week lowers the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Keep your weight down: Obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Hence body weight should be kept under control.

Keep stress under control: Stress increases the risk of high blood pressure and blood sugar. Hence, different means (like meditation) of reducing stress should be practised.

Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

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