World Diabetes Day: 45% Punekars don't know how to detect diabetes

Updated: Nov 14, 2014, 09:47 IST | Kartiki Nitin Lawate |

Health experts blame odd working hours, sedentary lifestyle and consumption of junk food as the primary cause for rising number of cases among youth

Diabetes, one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCD), has become a major health concern amongst Indians. A survey conducted by Indus Health Plus — a preventive health check-up specialist — revealed that 45 per cent Punekars were ignorant about its symptoms and the types.


Experts speak
Founder President of Diabetes Care and Research Foundation (DCRF) Dr Abhay Mutha said, “We get 60 to 70 new patients, who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, monthly. Of these, over 40 fall within the age group of 20 to 35. This is an alarming trend. Needless to say, odd working hours, sedentary lifestyle, increased consumption of junk food and work-related stress are some of the primary factors for young people falling prey to the disease.”

Dr Vaman Khadilkar, consultant paediatrician and endocrinologist at Jehangir Hospital, said excessive thirst, sudden weight loss, bed-wetting and breathlessness are a few of the indications that a child could be suffering from Type 1 diabetes.

“Generally, parents come to us when the child suffers from breathlessness or goes into coma. Nearly 70 per cent patients who come to us are below the age of five. Because it isn’t necessary for a child’s family to have a history of diabetes, detection becomes even more difficult. The only way to diagnose it is through regular medical check-ups.”

Health experts claimed that though there was no specific reason that could be shortlisted for Type 1 diabetes, the disease is on the rise amongst those falling within the age group of 1 to 19. Type 1 diabetes harms the pancreas and affects its insulin-producing capacity.

Amol Naikawadi, preventive healthcare specialist from Indus Health Plus, said, “Diabetes has spread across the country like wildfire, and sedentary lifestyle is adding fuel to it. There is a need to urge the youth to practise a healthy lifestyle and get their sugar levels checked regularly.”


Type 1 diabetes
Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, it is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. Various factors may contribute to Type 1 diabetes, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. Although it usually appears during childhood or adolescence, the ailment can affect adults as well.

Type 2 diabetes
Once known as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes, it is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolises sugar (glucose), the body’s important source of fuel. With Type 2 diabetes, the body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough to maintain a normal glucose level. More common in adults, Type 2 diabetes is increasingly affecting children with childhood obesity on the rise.

Type 1 diabetes
>> Increased thirst
>> Frequent urination
>> Bedwetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night
>> Extreme hunger
>> Unintended weight loss
>> Irritability and other mood changes
>> Fatigue and weakness
>> Blurred vision
>> In females, a vaginal yeast infection

Type 2 diabetes
>> Increased thirst
>> Increased hunger (especially after eating)
>> Dry mouth
>> Frequent urination
>> Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
>> Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
>> Blurred vision
>> Headaches
>> Loss of consciousness (rare)

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