Meethi Zindagi


  • 425 million adults currently living with diabetes
  • 629 million adults with diabetes by 2045
  • 1 in 2 people don't know they have it
  • 79% live in low and middle income countries
  • 7th largest cau.jsse of death and a leading cause of disability
  • 1106500 children in 2017
  • *many countries do not have good estimates of children living with diabetes

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In Pakistan

  • 1 in 4 adults has diabetes
  • 6th largest cause of disability
  • 10th largest cause of deaths
  • unknown no. of children, but estimated to be high
  • Lack of adequate public healthcare is a major problem
  • No formal statistics or registry

Type 1 Diabetes

5-10% of all people with diabetes in the world have type 1 diabetes. This means that their pancreas does not produce insulin and they are dependent on it for life. Insulin is as important to them as oxygen. Type 1 diabetes can neither be prevented, nor cured. Though type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, the diagnosis is more common in childhood.

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Type 2 Diabetes

Many cases of type 2 diabetes could have prevented it with healthy lifestyle adaptation. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age but is strongly prevalent in older age groups. Type 2 diabetes may be treated with lifestyle modification, pills or insulin. Gestational Diabetes affects 1 in 7 births worldwide. 1 in 2 women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after delivery.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes affects 1 in 7 births worldwide. 1 in 2 women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after delivery.


  1. Diabetes is a condition in which the food you eat is not metabolized properly, resulting in high blood sugar levels. It happens due to problems with insulin production in human body or its working mechanism.

    Diabetes has several types, however the most common are the following:
  1. Type 1 diabetes: When the pancreas completely stops producing insulin.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: When the pancreas is producing insulin, but it is either not enough or does not work properly.
  3. GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus): GDM is appearance of diabetes or glucose intolerance during pregnancy.

  1. When the pancreas of a person stops producing insulin, it is called type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, even in children who are only a few months old.
    Genetics and external factors (such as some viruses) together play a role in development of type 1 diabetes. The external factors trigger autoimmune response in the body. This means that the bod's own immune system kills the pancreas' insulin producing cells.
    Currently, there is no known prevention or cure for type 1 diabetes.
    Almost 5-10% of all people with diabetes worldwide have type 1 diabetes.

  1. Since type 1 diabetes is characterized by absence of insulin in the body, there is no treatment for it other than taking insulin through external injections.
    Diet management is an important part of living a healthy life with diabetes, however, not eating carbohydrates can NOT replace your insulin needs. You will still need to take insulin, albeit in smaller doses. Please know that carbohydrates form an important part of the diet and should not be absent from your food. Even a small amount of carbohydrates make it necessary for a type 1 to cover them with an insulin shot.
    Similarly, exercise cannot replace your insulin needs. It can only reduce the dose, or help you better manage your blood sugar levels. It cannot help you live without insulin.
    Some people with type 1 diabetes may be prescribed pills along with insulin by their doctors for better management. However, pills cannot replace your insulin.

  1. Depending on how high your blood sugar levels are, time since diagnosis and other factors, your doctor may tell you to manage your blood sugar levels through diet control, weight loss and exercise.
    However, the doctor may also prescribe you some pills or insulin to help you manage blood sugar levels. It is important to follow your doctor's advice and to keep a good check on your blood sugar levels.

  1. Luckily, many people at risk of type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay its onset. Diabetes prevention entails healthy eating (balanced diet with controlled portion sizes), 30 minutes of regular exercise and keeping your weight in check.
    Many people in prediabetes stage can avoid developing it if they lose 5-8 kgs of their weight.
    Tendency for development of type 2 diabetes starts from the womb. It is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family to prevent diabetes.

  1. Diabetes is a chronic condition, with no long term cure. It drains you emotionally due to the constant struggle of maintaining good blood sugar levels 24/7/365 for the rest of your life. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels also play a role in stress and depression.
    It is known that diabetes can cause stress and depression. If you are upset about life with diabetes, seeing a psychologist can greatly help elevate your moods and motivate you. Learning how to better manage your blood sugar levels and connecting with others around you who are sailing in the same boat, finding a support group for networking and learning are known to greatly help improve emotional wellbeing.
    *If you or a loved one has type 1 diabetes and wish to join Meethi Zindagi's support group, please send a joining request to Meethi Zindagi Type 1 Diasquad on Facebook. ** If you need counseling and support, book an appointment with our Emotional Wellbeing Centre

  1. Of course! With proper steps taken to ensure your child's safety and wellbeing, he/she can do anything in life that anyone without diabetes can do.

      A few things to note:
    • The school admin/teachers should be informed about your child's medical condition and taught about how to handle emergency lows and highs if they occur in school.
    • If your child is underage, whatever activity he/she is doing, make sure an adult is overseeing it without making the child feel over protected or restricted.
    • Better blood sugar management increase the confidence of the child as well as parents/guardians and caregivers in letting the child explore and grow as any other around him/her. If your child is facing blood sugar management issues, consult his/her doctor.
    • Please know that people with type 1 diabetes are renowned sportsmen, leaders, celebrities, divers, astronauts, pilots - name anything you can think of! Yes, currently the laws do not permit people with any kind of health conditions that need regular care to join armed forces and police. It is only in a few countries that people with type 1 diabetes can obtain license as pilots. However, generally speaking, your child can pursue his/her dreams.

  1. If the father has type 1 diabetes, there are approximately 6% chances of the children developing the condition. If the mother has type 1 diabetes, there are 4% chances of the children developing the condition. The chances of developing type 1 diabetes fall in children if the age of the mother is above 25years. For mothers aged 25+, the chances that the children will develop the condition are only 1%.
    If you have identical twins, if one of them develops type 1 diabetes, there's approximately a 50% chance that the other one will develop it too.
    If one of your children develops type 1 diabetes, there's 10% chance that their siblings will develop it too.
    If both parents have type 1 diabetes, the risk of their children developing type 1 diabetes is approximately 20%.

  1. Poorly managed diabetes can affect all organs in the body. It can cause complications of the eyes (including, but not limited to cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy), nerve damage (neuropathy), foot damage, skin, hearing and memory.
    But the good news is that you can prevent the complications if you manage your blood sugar levels and keep them close to normal. Family members of people with diabetes should keep a lookout for symptoms and get themselves screened for diabetes from time to time. Delayed diagnosis is often a reason for development of complications.

  1. Blood sugar level targets can vary from person to person depending on certain conditions. The levels recommended below are general recommendations. At times your doctor may recommend ranges above or below those stated below for reasons (such as pregnancy, frequent low blood sugar levels, or other specific reasons that the doctor will disclose to you).
    For people who are undiagnosed, fasting blood sugar levels are generally used for screening:
    100mg/dl or 5.5 mmol/L No diabetes
    101- 125 mg/dl or 5.6 - 6.9 mmol/L Prediabetes (risk of developing type 2 diabetes)
    >126 mg/dl or 5.7mmol/L Diabetes

  2. For people diagnosed with diabetes, the following age specific ranges are recommended

  3. Age Fasting Before meals 1.5 -2 hours after meals Bedtime
    Adults with Type 2 diabetes
    (NICE Recommendations)
    70-100 mg/dl 70-126 mg/dl 100 - 150 mg/dl -
    Adults with Type 1 diabetes
    (NICE Recommendations)
    70-100 mg/dl 70-126 mg/dl 90 - 160 mg/dl -
    Children with Type 1 diabetes
    (ISPAD Recommendations)
    90-145 mg/dl 90-145 mg/dl 90-180 mg/dl 120-180