BENGALURU: About 6.9 crore adults in India were identified to be suffering from diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to around 10 crore, or one in ten adults, by 2040. Indians are also known to develop Type-II diabetes at a younger age.
This year, World Diabetes Day, observed on November 14, will focus on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of Type-II diabetes and its treatment, to reduce the risk of serious complications. This is of huge importance as diabetes is a growing disease burden. The theme this year is ‘Eyes on Diabetes’.
Dr Arpan Dev Bhattacharya, Consultant Endocrinologist at Manipal Hospital, said “One in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed. Many people suffer from Type-II diabetes for a long time without being aware of their condition. By the time of diagnosis, complications may already be present. Up to 70 per cent of Type-II diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles. Increasing levels of poor nutrition and physical inactivity among children is leading to serious health hazards,” he added.
Diabetes is commonly understood as a disease of high blood sugar. In the long term, high blood sugar affects various organs of the human body like the eyes and majority of people are unaware of such complications.
“The management of diabetes and its complications begins in primary health care and this should include screening for diabetic retinopathy, one of the complications. Early detection and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy can prevent vision loss and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, their care givers and society,” said Dr Pramila Karla, Professor, Endocrinology Department, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital.
There are a lot of evidences that lifestyle changes (achieving a healthy body weight and moderate physical activity) can help prevent the development of Type-II diabetes.
Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is linked to the development of Type-II diabetes. Physical activity is one of the main pillars in the prevention of diabetes. Increased physical activity is important in maintaining weight loss and is linked to reduced blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, increased insulin sensitivity, improved body composition and
psychological well-being. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for health. A healthy diet reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.