Diabetes in India

 

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Diabetes is a condition of the body in which the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly. Insulin is a hormone which coverts sugar and other food items into energy needed for the day to day activities of the human body. The actual cause of diabetes is still not known. Hereditary reasons and the lifestyles of the people play an important role.

India has more than 30 million people with diabetics. The number of diabetics climb steeply day by day. It is estimated that by 2025, India will be number one in the world with the maximum number of people with diabetes. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO)'s press release in 1998. According to that, these people will be in the age group 40 and 64.  

When the pancreas gland does not produce enough insulin for the sugar to energy conversion, the blood glucose level continues to rise with out control, it results in the diabetic condition. This condition is termed as Diabetes Mellitus. There are three major types of diabetes.

  1. Type I diabetes
  2. Type II diabetes
  3. Gestational Diabetes

Type I diabetes:
Type I diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin. This type of diabetes appears in children and youth below 40 years of age. This group of people should be injected with insulin. But this type is less common.

Type II diabetes :
Heriditary and the lifestyle are the major causes of type 2 diabetes. 90% of diabetics belong to this group. In this case, the body still can produce insulin, but it is not enough for the body functions or the insulin does not work properly. This condition is called insulin resistance. This is related to overweight. Type II diabetes is seen mostly in people over 40 years of age. 

For managing type 2 diabetes, one should make some changes to his or her lifestyle. The pateient must follow a healthy diet, should have regular exercise and lose some weight also. Type 2 diabetes builds up excess glucose in the blood, thereby causing serious health problems like heart disease, failure of kidneys and eye discomforts.

Gestational Diabetes :
There is another type of diabetes called gestational diabetes which occurs in some women during pregnancy. This may lead to complications during pregnancy, labour and delivery. Women who get gestational diabetes may develop type 2 diabetes. 

Pre-Diabetes :
When a person's glucose level in the blood is above normal limits, but it is not enough for yielding results in a diabetes test, the condition is called Pre-Diabetes. Damage to heart and circulatory system can occur during this stage also without getting diagonised with diabetes. If the patient takes precautionary measures for the control of blood sugar level, then he can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes Risks:
Diabetes, if not controlled, will cause serious health problems which include cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage, nerve damage, impotence and gangrene with risk of amputation of toes, feet, and even legs.

Signs and symptoms of Diabetes:
The major symptoms of diabetes is a classical triad : Polyuria(frequent urination), polydipsia(increased thirst) and polyphagia(increased appetite). These symptoms will be shown faster in children who have the higher chances of type 1 diabetes. But the symptoms will appear slowly for type 2 diabetes patients. If the diabetes is not controlled, the patient would lose weight also. 

Diagnosis of diabetes :
Diabetes mellitus is diagonised by the Blood sugar test. This test is done in fasting and 2 hours after breakfast.

Fasting Blood Glucose: The person will be asked to fast overnight at least 8 hours for this test to be done . Level of blood glucose is then checked.

Post Prandial (PP) blood glucose : This test is done 2 hours after a meal.

Random blood sugar : This test is done at any other time. Blood sugar is tested without considering the meal timings.

Normal & abnormal test results :
Normal fasting plasma glucose levels are less than 110 mg/dl. Normal PP plasma glucose levels are less than 140 mg/dl. A fasting plasma glucose level of more than 126 mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus. A PP or random plasma glucose level of more than 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes mellitus. 

Prevention of Diabetes:
Diabetes can be prevented by changing a person's diet and by having proper exercise. Eating a healthy diet, losing some weight and regular physical activity will help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Control Diabetes :
An Indian should take care of the following facts for diabetes control : 

  • Avoid sweets completely.
  • Fried and fatty foods should be minimized.
  • Insulin will work properly if overweight is reduced.
  • Foods containing more fibre should be taken. This will help to reduce the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, there by reducing the sugar level in the blood.
  • Consumption of egg yolk, mutton and beaf should be reduced. Take fish and chicken without skin instead.
  • Amount of oil used in a day should not exceed 4 teaspoons.
  • Avoid Vanaspathi and Margarine.
  • Avoid excessive eating.
  • Do not skip exercise.
  • Reduce stress and maintain good health.
     

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