Prevention is always better than cure. But it becomes more important in the cases, where a permanent cure is not available, like diabetes. Diabetic patients have to suffer from this condition throughout their life, as it is non-curable and gives rise to multiple complications.
This disease is a result of increased blood glucose levels inside the human blood stream and therefore, the best prevention methods would be to keep these levels into control. But what about those who are already suffering from this condition? Are there any preventive measures for them also? The answer to this question is yes, there are some preventive measures for them also, but these come under secondary and tertiary preventive measures.
There are three stages for prevention of diabetes; primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. All these are applicable at different stages of this disease and are aimed at preventing the situation from worsening. While the primary prevention is aimed at preventing the development of diabetes altogether, secondary and tertiary prevention is aimed at controlling it. For a better understanding, let’s analyze these three preventive levels separately.
How to Prevent Diabetes
Primary Prevention of Diabetes
The primary prevention, as the name indicates, is aimed at preventing this condition at the primary levels. It is applicable for the people who are healthy, but may or may not be at the risk of developing diabetes. This prevention plan is aimed at increasing awareness among the people regarding diabetes, so that the chances of occurrence of this disease could be minimized. It is mainly aimed for type-2 diabetes, as the occurrence of type 1 diabetes cannot be evaded. Under this plan, healthy people are educated about the different aspects of diabetes, importance of proper diet and physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes that can prevent this disease from occurring.
Although, any person can get diabetes, the risk is high with people having a family history of diabetes, or being overweight, or above 40 years of age. Those who have lesser levels of physical activity are also at the risk of developing diabetes. These people fall under the high risk zone and they have more chances of acquiring diabetes. So, primary prevention programs are aimed at getting such people, together and informing them about the steps to be taken, to avoid this disease.
In this type of prevention technique, people are educated about different healthy habits and the importance of discipline in their lives. They are told about the foods that have high calories, and also about the foods that are good for their health. For instance, they are asked to cut on carbs and sugary snacks, and increase fruits and vegetables in their diet.
They are also informed about the importance of physical activities and weight loss. Informing about the techniques to monitor blood glucose is also a part of primary prevention program. This kind of prevention is the best for any person, as it focuses on eliminating the occurrence of this condition completely, but for those, who have already been diagnosed, there are secondary and tertiary prevention plans.
Secondary Prevention of Diabetes
The secondary prevention steps in, after the person has already been diagnosed with diabetes. The main aims of this prevention program are to slowdown the worsening of this condition and prevent it from causing further complications. This prevention program can be implemented, only if, the diabetes has been diagnosed at an early stage.
According to International Diabetes federation, diabetes can be controlled and managed with a little effort, if proper precautions are taken during the initial stages. This means that if you are detected with early diabetes, it is best to go vigilant on your blood sugar and start taking preventive measures.
Under this prevention scheme, the patient needs to check his/her blood sugar levels after every single meal. If you are overweight, then you have to start losing your weight with immediate effect. You should avoid high calorie food and always take a balanced diet. The lifestyle changes are also required, wherein you need to avoid alcohol, and smoking, and get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity daily. You need to consult your doctor and start an exercise regime for yourself. Being physically active is one of the most effective ways for combating diabetes, and when it is combined with healthy lifestyle and diet, it can prevent the situation from becoming aggravated or chronic.
Tertiary Prevention of Diabetes
Tertiary prevention of diabetes is concerned with real treatment of diabetes and is carried out by professional health practitioners and experts. The main aim of this program is to prevent diabetes related disorders and amputations. In this prevention program, the health practitioner tries to delay the progression of diabetes, by regular check ups, medications and diet. This is done, in order to prevent conditions like arthritis, heart diseases, foot diseases, skin infections, glaucoma and asthma. These conditions are commonly associated with diabetes and can have serious implications.
Under this type of prevention, the diabetic patients are informed about the importance and methods for keeping their blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure in control. They have to get their A1C tests on a regular basis, at an interval of three months, along with foot and eye examination. They also have to keep their diet in control and get regular medications, as prescribed by their doctor.
Diabetes needs lots of attention and care. Patient has to fight at different levels to get this condition in control, and the best way for that is with the help of above mentioned prevention programs. These prevention programs are aimed at covering up different stages of diabetes, in the life of a person.
They are designed not only to prevent the onset of this condition, but also to prevent one diabetic stage to advance into another. For instance, primary prevention is aimed at preventing acquisition of diabetes, secondary is aimed at controlling it in its initial stages and tertiary prevention is aimed at reducing diabetes related complications. So, whichever stage you are in, you can take help of these prevention plans, to keep yourself safe from the dangers of diabetes.