WORLD DIABETES DAY : “Access to Diabetes Care.”

Diabetes, a well known and most common disease all over the world, must be more precisely known about to spread mass awareness among common people and younger population of the country, specifically being a citizen of diabetes capital of the world. The disease has had a cursory growth among Indians over past few years. It is primarily a lifestyle condition that has increased alarmingly across all age groups in India, and the prevalence among the younger population has also increased above 10%. –

WHO defines Diabetes as a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. If a person is diabetic, the pancreas either cannot produce enough insulin or utilize the insulin properly.

The current exponential rise of diabetes in India is mainly because of the changing lifestyle of people. The rapid change in dietary patterns, physical inactivity, and increased body weight, especially the accumulation of abdominal fat are some of the primary reasons for increased prevalence. Approximately, 50% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes are asymptotic, i.e., they don't have any symptoms. Thus, if one entirely relies on symptoms for detection and prevention, a large group of 50% of people who already have diabetes will be missed. Healthcare, being the out of pocket for many in India, is a main reason behind people’s ignorance about this lethal disease.

However, as per a report, 100 years after the discovery of insulin yet millions of people with diabetes around the world cannot access the care they need. Although, WHO points out a globally set target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025, it is undeniable that about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.

Treatment for diabetes: An individual diagnosed with diabetes should adopt lifestyle changes which include maintaining ideal body weight, regular physical activity, cessation of tobacco smoking, stopping/ minimum alcohol intake. Beyond that, regular visits to the doctor are important to assess sugar control and assessment/ prevention of complications related to the disease. So, this 14th November, let’s take an oath to maintain a healthy lifestyle and plan a hygienic dietary schedule for us as well as our near and dear ones to keep away or cure this chronic disease.