Novel way to keep in check blood sugar

There is no denying the fact that diabetes has become a major health issue today. But what is more a matter of concern is its poor control and management.

The fluctuation in the blood sugar levels has emerged as a crucial problem in terms of effective management and prevention of complications arising out of diabetes. Ironically, not many people suffering from diabetes give serious thought to this.

According to available data India is currently home to 62 million diabetic patients and by 2030 more than 79.4 million Indians could be affected by the disease. The rising risk of fluctuation in blood sugar levels certainly calls for immediate attention and intervention. 

In fact, according to a study published in the Australasian Medical Journal in 2014, despite high prevalence of diabetes in India, there has not been a single nationwide study on the prevalence of diabetes and its complications. This speaks a lot about the present approach to diabetes management in the country.

“While diabetes management has never been up to the mark in the country, the new update suggests that probably we have never been on the right track. It is important to note here that insulin injections, necessary to keep blood sugar levels under control in Type I diabetes and in unregulated Type II diabetes, in a way contribute maximum to the fluctuating blood sugar level. A steep rise or fall in blood sugar level could lead to diabetes complications and should be avoided,” says Dr Sujeet Jha, endocronologist from Max hospital, New Delhi.

Fluctuating blood sugar levels may wreak more damage on the body as compared to prolonged periods of hyperglycaemia. But with the advent of the ‘insulin pump therapy’, a novel treatment option to manage diabetes and prevent blood sugar fluctuations, the risk of long-term complications can be averted to a large extent.

Insulin pump therapy is an innovative computerised syringe which delivers insulin in small amounts in a few minutes, over 24 hours. Resembling a small bit of paper, it comprises a small plastic needle called cannula, a plastic tube and a pump which can be worn on a belt or kept hidden in a pocket.

“The advanced insulin pump therapy helps minimise hypoglycaemia,” says Jha. “It also helps maintain proper glucose levels in the blood much better than multiple daily insulin injections, both in Type I and Type II diabetes.”

It automatically manages blood sugar levels without letting it fluctuate. The therapy is even more relevant for those who are forced to eat out, travellers, sports persons and children with Type I diabetes, as they tend to eat extra in school or with friends. 

“With diabetes gaining epidemic proportions globally, most of us would be having a family member living with diabetes. Insulin pump therapy can lower the financial burden on the patient by reducing long-term complications of retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, cardiovascular diseases and acute ketoacidosis complications,” says Dr Jha.

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