Wed, 19 Jan 2022

New Delhi [India], November 14 (ANI): India is often called the diabetes capital of the world. World Diabetes Day, which is annually celebrated on November 14, is an occasion to spread awareness about the condition and its several impacts on a person's overall health and well-being.

To commemorate World Diabetes Day, doctors at Fortis Escorts Hospital Jaipur raised awareness around the rising burden of the disease.

Diabetes is the third major contributor to non-communicable diseases and overall mortality in India. In 2016, 2.5 times more people were diagnosed with diabetes than in 1990 and the condition was linked to 3 per cent of all deaths in this period, according to a study published in Lancet.

In alignment with the theme of World Diabetes Day 2021 'Access to Diabetes Care', Doctors at Fortis Hospital emphasized the timely diagnosis and right treatment by opting for regular checkups and identifying the early symptoms.

Dr Manoj Khandelwal, Consultant, Endocrinology at Fortis Escorts Hospital Jaipur said, "If we look at the prevalence rates in Rajasthan, it is around 10-12 per cent, there is a lack of preventive screening. It's essential to recognize the early signs of diabetes, be it a sudden increase in urination, feeling thirstier than usual, blurry vision, weakness, etc. Regular checkups can ensure early detection and appropriate treatment for diabetes. Moreover, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the prevalence of diabetes has increased significantly owing to delayed health checkups.""Most of the patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 undergo steroid treatment in case of severe COVID which might increase the sugar levels in the body. Steroids stimulate glucose production by the liver and inhibit peripheral glucose uptake resulting in insulin resistance. There aren't any studies yet, but there have been cases where the patient got diagnosed with diabetes recently after a COVID infection," he continued.

Dr R V S Bhalla, Director and HOD of Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad said," Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high levels of sugar in our blood. The hormone, insulin is known to move sugar from the blood into our cells to be stored and used for energy. When a person has diabetes, their body does not make enough insulin, or it may not be able to effectively use the insulin it does make. High blood sugar levels, when untreated can damage other organs in the patient's body such as kidneys, eyes, nerves, among others. Hence it is important to effectively manage the sugar levels."Talking about the symptoms, he added, "Symptoms of diabetes including increased hunger, increased thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, extreme fatigue etc. Sometimes in addition to the general symptoms, men can experience reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction. Women on the other hand experience yeast infection, urinary tract infection and dry and itchy skin. There is a rise post-COVID as it causes direct damage to the pancreas and steroids can unmask latent diabetes. I see approximately two to three cases per week. Furthermore, diabetes can give rise to other complications such as heart disease, skin conditions, dementia, foot damage, among others. Diabetes can be diagnosed by checking the blood sugar levels and earlier one gets diagnosed the sooner and better the treatment can be managed."He pressed that on this World Diabetes Day, "we must ensure adequate access to diabetic care to all our patients. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that one seeks advice from a professional at the earliest when experiencing any symptoms. It is twice as likely in males because they have more deposition of visceral fat than females. This fat is metabolically active and interferes with insulin action."Dr Anupam Biswas, Consultant, Endocrinology, Fortis Hospital, Noida spoke about the increasing numbers of diabetic patients in the nation and said, "India is home to one of the largest populations of diabetes patients across the world and it is estimated that by 2045 India will overtake China to become the Diabetes capital of the globe. I see around 40-50 patients of diabetes daily and have observed that males are at a higher risk of Type2 diabetes because it has been hypothesized that the female hormone Estrogen in the premenopausal age group reduces insulin resistance which is one of the pathological defects in Type 2 Diabetes. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of awareness around the burden of diabetes in India. This needs to be addressed and individuals must go for regular health checkups to ensure early detection and proper management of diabetes and its complications," continued Dr Biswas."Similar to the sentiments expressed by these doctors on diabetes, other hospitals also echoed the same opinion on the subject stating that timely diagnosis is the key to controlling the disease which is one of the most prominent and serious ailments that need constant monitoring and regulation.

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder and Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals. "We do a lot of outreach camps and rural outreach clinics for diabetes detection and we diagnose almost 10 new diabetics every day who are not aware that they are diabetics. Most of them are suffering from type II diabetes, a common lifestyle disease that is making India the diabetes capital of the world. There is also a rise in cases of prediabetes and diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes.""Lifestyle modification is the single most effective way to control diabetes in India that is fast becoming an epidemic. Maintaining a healthy body weight; being physically active by doing at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity; eating a healthy diet, with low sugar and saturated fats; and avoiding tobacco and alcohol are effective ways to prevent and reduce the risk of diabetes," he added, explaining some of the ways to tackle the disease. (ANI)

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