Diabetes in Numbers – India is World Capital

Quick Figures

6.5 crore people in India are diabetic. Another 7.5 crore are in pre-diabetic stage. By 2030, as per WHO, Diabetes Mellitus will be among top 10 leading causes of death. To create awareness globally World Diabetes Day is observed by International Diabetes Federation and WHO on 14th November.

90% of cases are non-insulin dependent (type 2), typically affecting after the age of 35yrs. Rest 10% are insulin-dependent (type 1) affecting children.

India is currently #2, behind China. We will soon be the Diabetes Capital of the world 🙁

9 common symptoms to watch for

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Tingling & numbness in fingers & feet
  • Blurred visions
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Frequent infections

4 Common Complications arising from Diabetes

  • Cardiac disease (hypertension, heart-attack etc.)
  • Neuropathy (affected nerves)
  • Nephropathy (kidney damage)
  • Retinopathy (eye damage, impaired vision)

Risk Factors

Obesity is the biggest risk-factor and most of the recommended measures try to address obesity.
  • Sedentary life – lack of exercise
    • 45 minutes of walk everyday, 5 days in a week, can do wonders!
    • In general, incorporate activity in your daily life and routine.
    • For short distances, walk instead of using vehicle. Use stairs instead of lifts. Walk when you talk on the phone. Do stretches and exercise during tv-commercial breaks.
  • Eating Habits
    • Avoid high intake of carbohydrates and fats.
    • Eat healthy at home rather that eating out.
    • Minimize pizza, burgers, chips, cold-drinks, cookies, cakes, deep-fried and other fast-foods.
    • Follow balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dietary fibers and low in refined items. Follow the five-colors-a-day principle
    • Cultivate healthy eating habits in children so that they always maintain right weight as per their age and height.
  • Cooking Habits
    • Use oils with unsaturated fats (mono and poly) like mustard, olive, sunflower, safflower and soyabean.
    • Avoid hydrogenated and coconut oils, ghee & butter. Outside food is generally prepared with cheap hydrogenated oil or butter substitutes.
Other factors like stress, alcohol and smoking also contribute to onset of Diabetes.

Early Detection & Reversal of Diabetes

Following persons should be screened in mid-thirties and thereafter, if needed, should get checked regularly:
  • Those with family history of diabetes
  • People who lead sedentary lifestyle
  • Are obese
  • Stressed
  • Take excessive alcohol
  • Have high BP
  • Habitual smokers
Blood Test
The screening consists of checking blood-sugar level when fasting (overnight) and then 2 hours after breakfast (post-prandial sugar – PPS).
FBS is Fasting-Blood Sugar level.
PPS is Post-Prandial Sugar level.
  • Ideal levels of FBS should be less than 110 mg/dl. PPS should be less than 140 mg/dl.
  • Pre-diabetic stage (Impaired Glucose Tolerance – IGT) is indicated with FBS between 110-120 and PPS between 140-200.
  • IGT stage can be reversed in 50% cases (for type-2 diabetes) with strict control on obesity, diet, activity, stress and alcohol.
Lipid Profile should also be checked regularly for Triglycerides and Cholesterol levels. Diet directly impacts these parameters.
You can use mTatva app to chart your blood-sugar readings and lipid-profile on a regular basis.

Diabetic Self Care

Extreme sugar-levels can leave a person unconscious, hence a diabetic person should carry family-contact-details and medication-details on his/her person all the time. For low-sugar emergency, carry a small piece of chocolate or similar with you at all times.
mTatva app can help you with all these aspects.
Drug Adherence
Drugs are needed to prevent hyper-glycemia (excess of blood-glucose). Together with food intake and timing, the drugs prevent blood-glucose level from fluctuating out of control. Too little food-intake can lead to hypo-glycemia. Too much calories can lead to hyper-glycemia. Patient can go in coma in both these extreme conditions.
  • Self administration and monitoring of insulin level
  • Strict adherence to diet and drug regimen
  • Certain anti-hypertension drugs like diuretics, atenolol can induce hyperglycemia (excess blood-sugar).
Weight Control
Exercise is a must for all diabetic patients to maintain adequate weight.
  • Alcohol abstinence
  • Regular Exercise
  • Watch calorie intake – avoid sweets
  • Diet Control – less carbs and fats, but adequate proteins
Regular Check-up
The four common complications listed above need to be tracked on a regular basis.
  • Urine exam for albumin level
  • Blood-pressure monitoring
  • Foot care & hygiene
  • Serum creatinine and sugar-level in blood
  • HbA1c screening every 6 months to check glucose-control
  • Regular eye-checkup by Ophthalmologist
  • Home blood-glucose monitoring thru devices and strips