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Healthy lifestyle, early screening can prevent diabetes

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, NOV. 14. World Diabetes Day was observed in the city with experts highlighting preventive measures such as healthy lifestyle and screening to catch the disorder early and avoid complications.

The Law Minister, D. Jayakumar, flagged off a walk to raise diabetes awareness. The Minister walked along with scores of school and college students and doctors from Munroe Statue to the Government Guest House at Chepauk.

A. Ramachandran, who heads the MV Hospital for Diabetes, a World Health Organisation collaborating centre for research, training and education in diabetes, took the part.

Around 750 school children participated in a walk at the Marina organised under the auspices of Dr. Mohans' M.V. Diabetes Specialities Centre and the Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation.

Narayanan, the foundation director, flagged off the walk from Gandhi Statue to Ice House. Children carried placards with this year's WHO slogan, `Fight Obesity Prevent Diabetes' and messages such as `Eat Less Walk More' and `Diagnose Diabetes Early'.

V. Mohan, chairman, Dr. Mohans' MVDSC, and Rema Mohan, managing director, participated in the walk.

Random blood sugar screening was undertaken simultaneously at three places in the city benefiting around 2,500 persons. A yoga and stress reduction session was held at Gopalapuram. The Lions Club of Sakthi Region 5 supported the programmes.

About 400 persons, including members of Exnora International and juvenile diabetics, participated in a `Global Diabetes Walk.' The procession, which was flagged off by the City Police Commissioner, R. Natraj, from German Hall, covered several parts of T. Nagar.

It was organised jointly by the Diabetes Association of India, Southern chapter, the Indian Medical Association and the Exnora International. Participants carried placards bearing messages on the significance of walking and diet in controlling diabetes. Film artiste S.Ve. Sekar, the Diabetes Association of India (Southern chapter) president, A. Panneerselvam, and the Exnora International founder, M.B. Nirmal, took part.

Foot care

Diabetologists at the Department of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Sciences, Vijaya Health Centre, underscored the importance of diabetic foot care. They pointed out that diabetic patients are at increased risk of developing multiple problems such as dryness, ulcers, cracks and deformities of the feet. These take a long time to heal, and often leave residual problems.

The factors that cause `diabetic foot syndrome' are reduced sensation of the foot (neuropathy) leading to altered architecture of the foot (arthropathy), skin changes worsened by reduced blood flow to the foot.

Doctors say that foot problems are preventable and once they occur, early diagnosis and continuous treatment are required to prevent amputation, the commonest complication of diabetes. A battery of simple, painless, non-invasive and cost-effective tests are available at most diabetic centres for evaluating damage to the feet.

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