Diabetics and Obese can Learn from Australian Natives

Yesterday, on the eve of World Diabetes Day, TV channels, Radio and web talked about the Diabetes, its incidence rate, its connection with Affluence, lifestyle and weight.

My sincere thanks to all those who made an effort to increase awareness about this disease. All such efforts are praiseworthy. In the absence of such efforts, I and many others won’t have the kind of knowledge we boast Today.

Today, is my turn to share with you a little bit of what I consider important (from the information gained) to the readers of this blog and the world in general.

But first, what is diabetes,

Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes or in some regions simple “Sugar”—is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin(a hormone which regulates sugar or glucose in blood), or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes: results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM for short, and juvenile diabetes.)

Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.

Gestational diabetes: is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 DM.

Other forms of diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.

That said, let I now come to the point what I want to share with you, the readers of this Blog.

Here it is:

Aborigines or natives of Australia are experiencing alarming incidence of diabetes in recent times. In some aborigine localities, the incidence of diabetes is almost 50 percent; that is half of the residents are diabetic.

Now although the number by itself is very surprising; among a tribe which 30 years back were among one of the most healthy people on this planet; what is more surprising is the reason for such a high diabetes incidence among them.

According to experts: The answer lies in the genes.

The reason: Australia is a large outback, with more than 6.2 million square miles of area, Australian landscape is marked by desert like conditions — vast spreads of lands which are very scarce in food and resources. Or in more apt words, resources are highly scattered.

Aborigines who lived on these ‘resource scare’ or ‘resource-scattered far’ continent from historic times; had made alterations to their genes (evolution); when they have food in aplenty their bodies store that food in excess body fat; so that in times of scarcity, the body can live on those reserves. Till recent times, when natives had the same wandering and hard work intensive lifestyle; the fat accumulation gene has paid them well. But now as most of them had moved on to modern ways; with no food dearth at all; their genes are working in the same manner; accumulating fat.

As a consequence, these natives are not only accumulating body fat faster than others; they are also carrying high levels of sugar in their blood; owing to their body’s thousand year old habit to take energy from body reserves. But as modern ways, are making these natives sedentary just like anybody else; the natives are marred by Diabetes.

Diabetes is not something that has only one character and reason for its occurrence. There are any reasons and characters to it. Character means, two persons with same type of diabetes may have different tendencies to associated illness and effects.For the reason, no one formula seems to work on two patients, hundred percent.

So what is the idea:  Diabetic or not; Obese or Not; Idea is to analyse your lifestyle, past and present. Anlayse your family past and present. Analyse your Ancestral roots, professions; and then consult these with your doctor to chalk out a healthy lifestyle and interventions for you. As said in the beginning, the idea works for those who are healthy and those who are not, equally, for obvious reasons.

From Body weight perspective: It has been proved that body weight makes a person susceptible to diabetes, especially the type II one.

So taking a cue from the Australian aborigines,compared to your current lifestyle; if your past was quite athletic, like you were a sports-person; then for you to remain fit and carry healthy weight; you will have to keep yourself athletic; if not as a pro, but like a person who loves sports.