World Diabetes Day Know Here Why It Is Celebrated?

By Dr. Neeru Gera in Endocrinology & Diabetes

Nov 18 , 2022 | 2 min read

Diagnostics or therapeutic modalities related to diabetes have seen enormous progress over the last 10 years. However, patients could not get benefits as per the expectations. One factor could be clinical inertia, where the health care provider or the patient does not show a proactive attitude to managing health well. Education and awareness are the keys. This embraces prevention, prediabetes treatment and management of diabetes and overall health.

Prevention can be applied at multiple levels before the diabetes onset, before the onset of complications, and after the complications have already set in. As India is becoming more youthful, so is the prevalence of diabetes rising among young Indians below 40 years of age. This would amount to a huge healthcare and economic burden. Henceforth, prevention is the key.

Type 2 diabetes is also increasingly being seen among those individuals who do not have a family history of diabetes. Unhealthy eating, erratic meal timings, sedentary habits, and high stress are all contributors. Good lifestyle modification can prevent diabetes in 60 % of people at risk for future diabetes. This is the most economical but equally challenging way to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Those at risk should get their blood sugar checked by a laboratory once a year and every year to catch diabetes at an early stage or prediabetes.

Once diagnosed with diabetes, connect with a physician to learn about short and long-term management plans. Regular follow-up is a must, even if all the health parameters are on target. Adopt a health rather than glucose-centric approach. This means controlling blood sugars, High Blood Pressure, lipids, body weight, nutrition, and immunity. This comes only with teamwork-patient and health care provider (physician /Endocrinologist, diabetes educator, physical therapist, yoga instructor).

The purpose of treating diabetes is to keep blood sugar numbers under control and achieve the good vision, efficient kidneys, strong nerves, a healthy heart and brain and good circulation. Conversely, uncontrolled blood sugars, high BP, high lipids, obesity, smoking, and alcohol collectively lead to blindness, kidney failure, nerve dysfunction, heart attack/failure, paralysis and amputation of a limb(s). A proactive team effort right from the detection of diabetes can prevent these complications.

Once complications set in, it needs coordinated effort among specialists – ophthalmologistnephrologistneurologistcardiologist/ cardiovascular surgeon/ podiatrist and the treating physician-Endocrinologist to impart the best of health.

In conclusion, if one has to protect tomorrow from living with bad health, education, awareness, and motivation are the drivers.