With early intervention in the pre-diabetes stage, or even after onset of the disease, emerging as a critical factor in checking the growing scourge, it is important for people to recognise the factors and signs that indicate the condition.
Can a layman identify a person who is at risk by just looking at him? Being obese obviously puts one at risk but doctors say your neck could tell you a lot. According to Dr Anoop Misra, an expert on metabolic disorders, a double chin and heavy neck, a double layer of fat at the back of the neck and multiple skin tags over the neck are visual clues indicating a high risk for developing diabetes. “Such people should get their blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure checked,” said Dr Misra, who has authored a book, DiabetesWith Delight. He added the neck circumference is independent from other known indicators such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and family history.
According to Dr Misra, timely detection can help in halting the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes. “Correct diet, physical activity, and sometimes drugs could help in reverting to a normal glucose status. Intensive diet and lifestyle modifications could reverse the blood sugar levels to normal,” he said.
Simply put, diabetes is a condition in which the body has trouble turning food into energy. All bodies break down digested food into a sugar called glucose, their main source of fuel. In a healthy person, the hormone, insulin, helps glucose enter the cells. But in a diabetic, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or the body does not use it properly. Cells starve while glucose builds up in the blood.