This has triggered a spurt in the number of diabetics by over 30 million in the last decade. Here’s what country’s diabetes experts have to say.
According to experts, early in the year 2000, around 31.7 million people were diagnosed with diabetes. By 2015, the figure was 62 million. By 2025, it is expected to touch 70 million.
Diabetes, a chronic disease, occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. While Type 1 diabetes includes excessive excretion of urine, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes and fatigue, Type 2 diabetes, which comprises of the majority of people, is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
Abhay Vispute, Diabetologist at Mumbai-based SRV Hospital, says though genetic factors contributed to diabetes, urban migration and obesity due to rising social standards were the other reasons for the growing number of diabetics in the country.
Tejas Shah, Diabetologist at the Holy Spirit Hospital, Mumbai, says not just youngsters, even children between the age group of 12-16 years are detected with Type 2 diabetes. It is essential that their siblings or children undergo regular check-ups.
Pradeep Gadge, Chief Diabetologist at Gadge Diabetes Centre, said diabetes at a young age means a lifelong struggle to keep it under control. It is essential to take appropriate measures. The simple measures includes avoiding junk food, following an active lifestyle, keep check on weight and conduct tests at periodic intervals.
Diabetes can cause many health problems, especially when it is severe. One of the conditions is called diabetic retinopathy, which is one of the foremost causes of blindness. With an increase in the duration of diabetes, the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases, said Siddarth Sain, ophthalmologist at Delhi’s Sharp Sight Group of Eye Hospitals.
Siddarth Sain further adds that at least 80 per cent people suffering from diabetes for more than 15 years have some damage in the blood vessels of retina. Severe and uncontrolled diabetes, fluctuating blood sugar levels, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol and diabetic kidney are all conditions creates changes in the retina for a diabetic.
Kamal B Kapur, another leading Delhi-based ophthalmologist, says diabetic retinopathy can weaken and cause changes in the small retinal blood vessels. Early stages of this condition may cause symptoms like blurred vision. As the disease progresses, one may notice cloudiness of vision, blind spots, floaters or even sudden loss of vision.