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‘Am I at risk’ in epidemic like scenario of diabetes mellitus

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By Dr.J.K. Bhutani

The Indians are fast emerging as the most DIABETES prone people in the world. The urban-rural, rich-poor, young-old difference is becoming insignificant. Most of this burden is of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The current population of people with diabetes is more than 380 million which is estimated to rise above 592 million by 2035. Type 2 diabetes affects one in 12 people and almost half of these are in pre-diabetic hidden state. The genetics, obesity, sedentary life, changing food habits and lifestyle are all important risk factors.

The Indian diabetes scene is dismal as more and more young people are getting the disease and the chronic complications rates are the highest in the world. The poor health seeking behaviour, denial mode and the multiplicity of irrational remedies further add to the complication rate. The early diagnosis helps to prevent the deadly complications, thus ensuring healthier life and reasonable healthcare costs.

In the current epidemic like scenario, often the question is asked, ‘Am I at risk too?’ We all are, and we need to calculate our risks and how prone we are. A blood sugar test, glucose tolerance test or an HbA1c test is a sure way to diagnose diabetes, but one can assess the risk of developing diabetes by the following simple personal checks and measurements.

1) Body Weight: Being overweight puts an individual at an increased risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. To calculate the ideal body weight, just use this formula

Ideal body weight = Height in centimetres – 100 cm (for males)

Ideal body weight = Height in centimetres – 105 cm (for females)

2) BMI (Body mass Index): BMI = weight in kg/height in m2, a healthy BMI into a healthy range is important to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases and type 2 diabetes. Since even non obese Indians are predisposed to diabetes, the suggested cut offs for BMI is 22.9 kg/m in Asian Indians as against 25 kg/m in Caucasians. Many BMI calculators are available for online and offline use.

obesity

3) Body fat around the waist: Central obesity is a common culprit of lifestyle diseases. One is more predisposed to lifestyle diseases if your waistline is more than 35 inches/90cm in males and 32 inches/80 cm in case of female. Since an individual cannot change his/her height, s/he should take special care to keep the weight and in particular abdominal girth in the healthy range.

4) The waist-to-height ratio: WHtR gives a more accurate assessment of health since the most dangerous place to carry weight is in the abdomen. Fat in the abdomen, which is associated with a larger waist, is metabolically active and produces various hormones that can cause harmful effects, such as type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

waist

If you find any abnormality in these measure tape parameters then you must go for a blood sugar, GTT or an HbA1c test for detection and confirmation of type 2 Diabetes.
Government of India has recently launched the National Programme on Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke (NPDCS) in 2008 and plans to extend it throughout India for such help at all Primary health facilities.
You may also refer to following web pages for various diabetes risk calculators.

JK1Dr J.K. Bhutani MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self healing powers of human organism.
You can follow him at  https://twitter.com/drjkbhutani

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Sri Bhārata Māta Ashtottaram: 108 Sanskrit Mantras

Here are some mantras with detailed explanations for you to stay calm and maintain peace

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hare-krishna-mantras
Indians we are very blessed to receive the spiritual wisdom of the ancient seers (rishis) of India. Pixabay

By Dr. Devakinanda Pasupuleti

In today’s environment where the views of western academics, a bias compounded by one-sided western news reports on India by the so called mainstream media and post-colonial Indologists with new ways of misrepresenting Sanskrit texts and Sanatana Dharma in what they pass on to students. It is utmost important and urgent task laid up on us to bring clarity to our youth about true Indian culture, traditions, and qualities that are unique only to India.

As Indians, we are very blessed to receive the spiritual wisdom of the ancient seers (rishis) of India that shaped our values, customs, traditions and culture for millennia. With that nostalgia in my mind, as a tribute to our motherland and with great enthusiasm I have written the qualities unique only to India as an ashtottarm (108 names). In today’s “modern” world, where the positive values are too often replaced with materialism, intolerance, violence, extremism, and terrorism; these mantras will help you stay calm and centered in face of adversity, and in the “little” moments. We can all find beauty, peace, strength everywhere we look—if we remember to look for it.

mantras
The following mantra will help you stay calm and centered in face of adversity, and in the “little” moments.

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I have explained each mantra in detail and why Bharatamata deserves to be worshipped with that each mantra. I will publish one mantra at a time as a series over a period of time. If you, your family and children find these mantras very enlightening, my goal and aspiration will be accomplished.

Ashtottaram 1

1) OṀ BHĀRATABHŨMYAI NAMAH

ॐ भारतभूम्यै नमः

OM (AUM)-BHAA-RA-TA-BHOO-MYAI– NA-MA-HA

 (OṀ:  Praṇavanādam, name of God; Bhārata: Historical name of our country; Bhūmi: Land, country, Namah: Salutations)

 “Bharatah” in the Vedas,“Bhārata” in the Bhagavad Gīta- this familiar word has been around since ancient Vedic times. Our understanding is that the name – Bharata varṣha, came into usage because of the famous ruler Bharata. However, if we look into our history, we realize that there are different legends as to how the country got the name Bharata.

In the Vedas, the word Bharat means “ritual fire”. The phrase Bharat varamanatvāt bharatah means the Bearer and sustainer of fire and who gives pleasure. The eternal dharma in the creation is this fire -“Agni”.

“Bha”-means light, knowledge; and effulgence while, Rata-means curiosity, relish; and fond of. So Bharata means one who is fond of light and knowledge. That’s why, from ancient times, we offer prayers to the Sun God every morning- before dawn.

Jaḍa Bharata, a jnāni (the knower of the Absolute-the ‘Brahman’) and avadhūta (who was beyond worldly concerns) was the son of Rājaṛshi-VṛishabhaYogīswara. He ruled our land and according to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the country may have been named “Bharata Vaṛsha” and “Bharata Khanḍa” in his honour.

bhagavad gita mantras
The above picture shows Bhagavad Gīta in which Bharata is mentioned as “Bhārata”. Pixabay

Also Read: World Environment Day: 5 Plants to Purify Your Indoor Air Quality

It is widely believed that our land was called “Bharata” after Lord Shri Rāmachandra’s youngest brother, who ruled it for 14 years.

Last, but not the least is the story of Ḋushyanta and Śhakunṫala in the Mahābhārata, written by Veḋa Vyāsa. Their son Bharata, (also called Sarvaḋamana, and Ḋouhitra) ruled our country and brought prosperity and peace to the land.

Whatever may be the reasons, the country we proudly call ours is -“Bhārata Bhūmi”.

[ Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights. ]

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How COVID-19 is Reshaping Education in India?

Learning has shifted to virtual mode during the pandemic

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e-learning Education
Education during the times of the pandemic is being delivered virtually. Pixabay

If there is one thing we have learned from the Coronavirus outbreak is that the future is unpredictable. In order to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world, we need to become more adaptive and innovative in every aspect of life. The wake of COVID-19 has coerced businesses, governments, education institutions and students, and almost every collective body to reinvent the ways they do things.

Schools and colleges were the first institutions that were locked down as soon as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in India. This had an adverse effect on education in India. Amongst the additional concerns of learning of students, the virtual mode of delivering education has come to aid. Many online learning and training platforms in India have come forward with discounted or free access to their trainings. This is so that the school and college students could still continue learning courses of their syllabus as well as other necessary skills while staying at their homes.

E-learning has become a preferred way of learning among Indian students over the past couple of years. Though, it is still an optional way of learning for the Indian learning population. However, the sudden and unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak has turned it into a necessary mode of learning. It is allowing students to keep up their learning whether it is for school exams, semester finals, or competitive exams for college admissions, and jobs. E-learning is letting them study at their own pace and thus making productive use of their time at home.

learning and education
E-learning has become a preferred way of learning and education among Indian students during the pandemic. Pixabay

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Many schools and universities across India are also turning to online modes to deliver classes and lectures to their students. With support from technology, parents, faculty, and students, these institutions are making sure that the education is not hampered. They are continuing the classes online by live broadcasting or recorded videos, sharing homework and assignments over emails, and even helping students with their doubts through video mode. This mode of teaching and learning is not only limited to basic subjects but classes like physical education, yoga, dance, photography, and many more are also being taught through the same.

To fight this pandemic, a lot of universities across the world like Stanford University are also contemplating and planning to conduct ‘take-home examinations’ (Source), that is, arranging the examinations such that the students could take them from their homes only. This hasn’t been implemented in India yet; however, with the rising number of cases across India, the institutions may need to plan a similar mode of teaching and evaluating the students.

And, not just examinations, with the uncertainty around how long this situation may persist, students especially college going students may even miss out on doing industrial trainings, finding internships, and placement opportunities. To tackle the same, universities could make students aware or also arrange online internships and job fairs wherein the students could apply for the opportunities online. The corporate industry is equally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and is switching to offline mode of hiring at the moment and are open to work-from-home options until the situation persists.

studying education
Online Examinations or ‘take-home examinations’ are being conducted for students. Pixabay

The Indian education system has shifted to the online mode of education and all the stakeholders including educational institutions, teachers, students, and parents are welcoming it with open arms. Although this is so as to continue the teaching and learning until the pandemic situation lasts, the stakeholders are also learning and exploring new and efficient ways to continue the process of learning. This makes it highly probable that this mode of education would continue and there will be new such innovations in teaching methods even after the situation has improved.

Also Read: Can a Diabetes Patient Buy Health Insurance?

Someone has rightly said, “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity”. This unfortunate outbreak has propelled our education system to reinvent the way education is delivered and received. These difficult times are teaching us to be resilient in the face of hardships. Education in India is being reshaped out of necessity. We could either succumb to the changes or choose to see this as an opportunity to learn as well as teach the students various new skills like agility, adaptability, creativity, problem-solving, forward-thinking, flexibility in learning and performing various other tasks.

About the author: Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform (internshala.com)

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Can a Diabetes Patient Buy Health Insurance?

Diabetics Health Insurance serves as blessings to the diabetic population of the country, understand how you can opt for health insurance for diabetes patients

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diabetes
Understand how you can opt for health insurance for diabetes patients. Pixabay

As per the latest data, India has around 62 million diabetic patients. It is the disease that is capable enough to disrupt your financials. You have to keep a good amount of money to spend on tests, medicines, customized diet, doctor’s visits, and more regularly. Diabetes is categorized as a pre-existing disease and exempted from health insurance coverage for many years. But, due to a sedentary lifestyle and increased number of cases, many health insurances companies have introduced health insurance policies for diabetes as well. Diabetics Health Insurance serves as blessings to the diabetic population of the country. Let’s understand how you can opt for health insurance for diabetes patients.  

Diabetes Health Insurance

Diabetes is a chronic disorder that occurs when the pancreas produces very less or no insulin in the body. Insulin is the hormone that moves sugar from the blood into cells for storage and produces energy. It’s of three types- Type1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. It can immensely damage eyes, kidneys, and liver irrespective of age. Due to the related complications, it requires continuous management and treatment. These days where the medical costs are skyrocketing, dealing with the financial impact of diabetes is equally vital. Therefore, diabetic health insurance offers a cover to diabetes patients. 

Diabetes Health Insurance Coverage

It includes expenses related to in-patient hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization expenses, provides day care treatments, domiciliary hospitalization, and preventive health check-up annually. The unique feature of this health insurance plan is that you can avail cashless treatment facility at the network hospitals. It means that if any medical complexity occurs due to diabetes, you or any of your insured family members can admit in the network hospitals and start the treatment without being worried about money.

How to Choose a Right Diabetes Health Insurance Plan?

It is a chronic disease that not only affects the pancreas but also damages the other organs of the body. Therefore, comprehensive health insurance is required so that you can avail of the best possible treatment. However, there are different health insurance companies like HDFC Ergo, IFFCO Tokio, Religare Health Insurance, ICICI Lombard, etc. that offer a plethora of health insurance for diabetes. So, here are some nifty factors that you should consider while making your buying decision. 

diabetes
As per the latest data, India has around 62 million diabetic patients. Pixabay

Look for Wide Coverage– You should look for the plan that provides you wide coverage. From pre- and post-hospitalization to dialysis, daycare treatment to an ambulance cover, and ICU charges, everything should be covered under your health insurance.

Add-ons- Renowned health insurance companies like Religare Health Insurance offer add-ons like no claim bonus, reduction in a waiting period in case of pre-existing disease, OPD care, international second opinion, and so on. Check if you can enhance the coverage of your basic health insurance plan with these add-ons. 

Premium Amount- You can compare the premium amount of the health insurance plan offered by different health insurance companies. An online health insurance premium calculator is a tool available on the official website of the companies that help you to calculate the premium. So, pick the plan that gives you maximum coverage at an affordable premium. 

Read Exclusions– Exclusions are the situations/diseases/medical procedures that are not covered under health insurance policies, and you will not get a claim for the same. Therefore, you should check the exclusions list to see what diseases are not included and opt for the health insurance that has minimal exclusions. 

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Waiting Period- It is the time frame after which the coverage of the policy begins. For pre-existing diseases, like diabetes, it is for 4 years. However, you can opt for an add-on to reduce this waiting period to 2 years. So, check which health insurance companies offer this feature.

diabetes
Due to a sedentary lifestyle and an increased number of cases, many health insurance companies have introduced health insurance policies for diabetes as well. Pixabay

Check Eligibility– Before you finalize the plan, you should also check the age criteria for eligibility. Some plans have specified age limits and some offer health insurance for diabetes with no age limit for enrolment. Thus, a plan with a maximum renewal age is the ideal one.

Also Read: Know More About the Hindu Samrajya Diwas celebrated on June 4

India has become a global diabetes capital. The long working hours, lack of physical exercise, and unhealthy food habits have trigger diabetes amongst people at an early age. However, a positive approach, disease management, and Diabetics health insurance help patients to live easy with this prolonged disease.

[ Disclaimer: The article published above promotes links of commercial interests.]