14 Nov 2022 6:49 AM GMT
Malnourished related diabetes occurs in kids only (Photo credit: PTI)
The frequency of diabetes is rising around the globe, and studies are showing children are at increased risk of developing the disease. According to World Health Organization (WHO), over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, causing chronic problems and early death.
Research into types of diabetes, type I and II, that affect tens of millions of people in low-income countries has led to the discovery of another kind of diabetes – malnutrition-related diabetes (MRD) – in Asian and sub-Saharan African countries.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, Dr Ankit Prasad, senior consultant, Department of Paediatrics, Fortis Hospital in Noida, shared that MRD is common in children in low and middle-income countries. “In most cases, MRD occurs in kids. Yes, there is a possibility that the disease might go unnoticed and comes to light when the person reaches adulthood but it will still be called a disease is seen in children,” Dr Prasad stressed.
Malnutrition affects all parts of the body and the organ, the expert said. “This means that it affects the production of insulin too. If the body is not producing enough insulin, it can precipitate diabetes. The insulin is released by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans. But due to several deficiencies in the body, insulin production is compromised and diabetes is the fallout of this,” Dr Prasad explained.
Normally, MRD is accompanied by other health-related problems like Marasmus (deficiency of all macronutrients- carbs, fats, and protein) and vitamin D, iron and even calcium deficiency.
“Once a child with MRD comes to us, we introduce vitamins and minerals in the diet. This means that iron, calcium and minerals have to be corrected which will improve the overall health of the body, growth and development of the child. This automatically leads to insulin production. In turn, it will prevent other ailments including diabetes. The child also has to be given a specific diet chart as well which includes high calories and protein food that are vitamin-enriched,” Dr Prasad said.
The Indian adaptation of the food pyramid is divided into four levels of foods according to recommended consumption:
Cereals, legumes/beans, and dairy products at the base should be eaten in sufficient quantity
Vegetables and fruits on the second level should be eaten liberally
Animal-source foods and oils on the third level are to be eaten moderately
At the apex, highly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are to be eaten sparingly.
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