World Health Day 2016: Raising awareness about Diabetes

7th April is celebrated as the World Health Day initiated by World Health Organisation globallyelat. The theme of this year’s World Health Day focuses on creating awareness about the Diabetes and its increasing prevalence in the world. The number of people living with diabetes has increased four folds since 1980. According to WHO, 422 million people have diabetes in this world maximum out of which are living in developing countries like India.

 

Almost 9% of the adult population is affected by diabetes in the world. India has already become the capital of Diabetes by having almost 50 million people affected by diabetes living in the country. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder of the non communicable disease group.  In diabetes the blood sugars are elevated consistently. It is a progressive disease which if left untreated gives rise to multiple complications.

 

Diabetes is roughly classified in following types:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes: in this type of diabetes, the pancreas is not able to produce enough amount of insulin to digest the ingested sugars. The causes for this diabetes are not known exactly. Hereditary factors are hypothesized to be a cause for this. Type of diabetes.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: in this type of diabetes, the production of insulin is normal but the body is not able to use that insulin to control the sugar levels. This is a more common type of diabetes. Almost 90% of the people having diabetes suffer from type 2.
  3. Gestational diabetes: it is a temporary condition in which the sugar levels are elevated in the duration of the pregnancy. This type carries a high risk of getting type 2 diabetes in later life.
  4. Pre diabetes: This is a condition in which the blood sugars are elevated but not so much as to qualify as diabetes.

It is necessary to consult a diabetologist if you are suffering from any of these following symptoms:

  1. Increased frequency of urination (polyurea)
  2. Increased thirst (polydypsia)
  3. Increased hunger
  4. Weight loss in type 1 DM and weight gain in type 2 DM
  5. Feeling tired all the time
  6. fruity odour to the urine

 

Investigations:

The diabetologist will advice to do the following tests to diagnose diabetes and its complications:

 

  1. Random blood sugar: this test can be done to check the sugar levels at any point of time. It can be done even after food intake
  2. Fasting blood sugar: this test is done early in the morning prior to having any kind of food and liquid intake other than water. This test detects the sugar levels in the body after an overnight fasting.
  3. Post prandial blood sugar: this test is done 2 hours after the lunch. This test detects the ability of the insulin to regulate sugars ingested and digested during lunch.
  4. HbA1c: This test is the indicator of diabetes which is present for more than a period of 3 months. It detects the levels of sugars in the red blood cells.
  5. Glucose tolerance test: if this test is abnormal then the patient has not yet developed diabetes but is on the verge of getting it.
  6. Other medical tests like regular blood testing, eye examination to rule out retinopathy, blood cholesterol levels, and kidney function tests can be undertaken for early diagnosis and prompt treatment of diabetes.

These tests should be conducted after a proper consultation and advice from a diabetologist.

Treatments:

Type 1: injectable insulin is the only treatment to treat type 1 diabetes.

Type 2: oral medications can be very effective in treating type 2 diabetes.

Along with these some life style alterations are necessary in order to control diabetes like losing weight, eating healthy food and exercising everyday for at least half an hour.

If left untreated the diabetes can give rise to following complications:

  1. Stroke
  2. Heart disease
  3. Ulcers in legs
  4. Nerve damage
  5. Kidney failure
  6. Retinopathy in the eye

 

If you suspect that you might be suffering from diabetes or any of the complications given above, then consult a diabetologist as soon as possible.