Know Diabetes, No Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood sugar and can lead to serious damage to heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves over time. Diabetes in India is rising in an alarming way. Our own study of INDAB-ICMR has shown that 77 million people in India have been diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately same number of people have the disease but are yet to be detected.

People with pre-diabetes i.e. condition just preceding frank diabetes are equal in number too. Unawareness about the presence of the disease in one’s body leads to higher complication rates. This year’s theme for world diabetes day is ‘Access to diabetes care for all’. People who are underprivileged or stay in remote areas have to be educated about diabetes and it’s management.

Steps should be taken so that nobody is deprived of the facilities related to diabetes management. Knowledge about early symptoms which may include hunger, fatigue, frequent peeing, being thirstier, having dry mouth, itchy skin or blurred vision etc helps in suspecting diabetes. Many times identifying patients with pre-diabetes and initiating early interventions in lifestyle or pharmacological treatment can help in delaying progression of disease or in some cases prevention. Early detection is key in diabetes because early treatment can prevent serious complications.

People who are overweight, have family history of diabetes, have high BP, had gestational diabetes, have PCOS or have sedentary life have greater chances of having the disease. One should try to maintain moderate weight, eat balanced diet with low added sugars or saturated fats and exercise regularly to prevent the disease. It is imperative to get oneself tested regularly after 45 yrs of age and consult a doctor if blood sugars are on the higher side. Regular treatment and checking blood sugars levels regularly is a must after diabetes is detected and treatment started. Along with pharmacological treatment, lifestyle modification and regular exercise is a must.

Prof. Dr. Abhay Sahoo

Chief Consultant, Endocrinology

Sum Ultimate Medicare

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