‘50 million people in India have diabetes’

Endocrinologists suggest the use of an innovative technology called continuous glucose monitoring system for patients with diabetes and planning during pregnancy to get a correct picture of their blood sugar pattern

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that nearly 200 million people all over the world suffer from diabetes and this number is likely to be doubled by 2030. Even as nations prepare to mark World Diabetes Day on November 14, WHO says about 80% of the diabetes deaths occur in middle-income countries.

In India, there are nearly 50 million diabetics, according to the statistics of the International Diabetes Federation. As the incidence of diabetes is on the rise, doctors say, there is a proportionate rise in the complications that are associated with diabetes. They point out that it is a very crucial stage and awareness on the part of people and administration about diabetes is very essential, adding that people should be made aware and educated about their health and fitness level to reduce the number of patients in India.

Dr Abhijeet Joshi, a diabetic foot surgeon, says when diabetes is not well controlled there is damage to the organs and the immune system is impaired. Foot problems occur in people with diabetes and can get serious very fast. Recent statistics show that approximately a quarter of all people with diabetes worldwide at some point during their lifetime will develop sores or breaks (ulcers) in the skin of their feet, adds Dr Joshi. Those with long standing diabetes are at the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy and complications of diabetic foot. Round-the-year foot care can ensure that the chances complications are minimised.

According to Dr Abhay Mutha, senior consulting physician at Ruby Hall Clinic, diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects.

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