ISLAMABAD - Around twenty percent population of the country is diabetic, while there is a dire need to create awareness amongst people to adopt a healthy life style to prevent the disease, experts said on Wednesday. 

Over 522 million people are currently living with diabetes globally. Most of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet, and the promotion of healthy living environment.

Consultant Endocrinologist at Shifa International Hospital Dr Osama Ishtiaq, while addressing a seminar to commemorate World Diabetes Day said that families have a key role to play in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes for patients and must be provided with educational & awareness resources and a suitable environment to live and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Dr Osama said that Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues. 

Dr Hasan Orooj, Director General Health Services, CDA was the Chief Guest of the program. Dr Hasan stressed the need to educate the communities to restrain sedentary life style, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of exercise and physical activity, which are among major controllable factors to prevent diabetes prevalence. 

He further announced that Directorate of Health, CDA, and Shifa International Hospital would jointly collaborate to launch a community health awareness campaign in Islamabad shortly. Associate Consultant Endocrinologist SIH Dr Umar Yousaf Raja Khan said that 1 in 2 people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed. Most cases are affected by type 2 diabetes. Early diagnosis and treatment are key elements to prevent the complications of diabetes and achieve healthy outcomes.  Clinical Dietitian Zainab Ghayyur highlighted the importance of diet in treatment of diabetes and controlling the blood sugar levels.

She emphasized the importance of including fiber rich food in regular diet. She told that bran wheat, fruits and vegetables contain fiber that has virtually zero calories. Fiber is equally valuable for patients with cardiac diseases as well.