The challenge of diabetes is real

World Diabetes Day

The challenge of diabetes is real

Diabetes and heart disease are two of the biggest health concerns in our country. But one can control diabetes by making crucial lifestyle changes including good eating habits.

To mark World Diabetes Day, celebrated every year on November 14 since 1991, to increase awareness about the disease, its effects and complications, medical experts told Metrolife said that with awareness and proper medical care, India can become a fore runner in diabetes care, rather than in diabetes.

Over 40 per cent of deaths in India are attributed to diabetes, coronary problems and cancer.

Counting only people under the age of 70, these diseases make up 60 per cent of all deaths.

According to International Diabetes Federation’s 2013 report, 65 million people who suffer from diabetes live in India which is approximately six per cent of the total population.

Dr Vinod Gujral, diabetologist, National Heart Institute, said, “Currently there exists a gap between the promise and the reality of diabetes care. Many patients do not achieve optimal outcomes and still experience devastating complications that result in a decreased length and quality of life.”

In a data compiled by Dr Gujral, over a period of a little less than a year (September 2013 to July 2014), in about 1,660 diabetic patients suffering from one year to more than 25 years, nearly 70 per cent of them get treated by a general practitioner at any stage of the disease, 11 per cent patients went to postgraduate or endocrinologist and about 19 per cent of them consulted a specialist.

There are 381 medical colleges – both government and private — in the country with around 50,000 MBBS seats registered with the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The total number of PG seats in government is 10,798 and in private it is 6,536. The number of specialists who treat diabetes is just 6.5 per cent.

“There is a shortfall of specialists in treating diabetes in India. MCI has recognised unequivocally that an MBBS doctor is authorised to treat diabetes, provided they are suitably trained and are updated periodically,” informed Dr Gujral.

New and innovative

methods of treatment are constantly being upgraded and a branch of medicine that has gained credence these days is Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

CAM is a low cost, non-drug form of medication and is often used with mainstream medical therapies.

Diabetes is rampant these days and CAM is becoming more popular among diabetics.

Dr Anjali Sharma, senior consultant, Naturopathy, Delhi-based Action Group of Hospitals, advises a balanced intake of green vegetables, citrus fruits to boost health and control diabetic tendencies.

“Include a lot of greens such as asparagus which is rich in glutathione, known to cure diabetes and broccoli, which is rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Don’t forget the leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Eat a lot of papayas, apple and citrus fruits for the added benefit of lowering cholesterol levels along with high antioxidants and fibre power. Also stick to probiotic or Greek low-fat yoghurt. Probiotic bacteria lowers cholesterol and produces certain vitamins that eliminate diabetes.”

Dr Gaurav Thukral, head, medical services, HealthCare at Home, which aims to provide healthcare services to those who do not have time to go out and meet their doctors, said, “Our organisation has a set of experts, nurses, nutritionists, video consultants, physiotherapists who will visit the patients at their homes and guide them about their diseases. From taking blood samples to set up an ICU with ventilator, we provide everything. So, on World Diabetes Day we are giving free consultant to our first 100 callers by our dieticians and diabetes educator.”

The toll free number is 1800-102-4224.

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