By Dr Varun Gupta
Fact #1 India is the diabetes Capital of the world
India has the largest number of diabetics in the world. Around 6.2 crore people in India suffer from diabetes. Many patients of diabetes in India are still undiagnosed.
Fact #2 Type 2 diabetes is the most common type
Diabetes is a disease in which the blood glucose levels in the body stay consistently above normal. Insulin is the hormone which regulates blood glucose levels.
Type 1 Diabetes: In this type of diabetes body does not produce enough insulin. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. There is no known way to prevent it. Giving Insulin injection is the only treatment. But only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
Type 2 Diabetes: It results from the body’s ineffective use of Insulin. It is usually diagnosed in age group of 35-45. It is the most common form of diabetes. It can be prevented by healthy diet and exercise. Type 2 diabetes is managed by oral medications.
Fact # 3 Type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms
Many cases of type 2 diabetes have no or very mild symptoms. The typical symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, extreme fatigue and delayed healing of cuts and other injuries.
Fact # 4 Fasting Blood Sugar > 126 mg/dl is abnormal
There are several blood tests to diagnose diabetes;
Fasting Blood Sugar: This test checks your blood glucose after fasting for at least 8 hours. Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl.
Random Blood Sugar: This test is a blood check at any time of the day when you have severe diabetes symptoms. Diabetes is diagnosed at blood glucose of greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl.
HBA1C test: This test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%.
Fact # 5 Type 2 diabetes is preventable
Regular moderate physical activity coupled with healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Losing even 5-7 % of weight can prevent diabetes.
Fact # 6 Early detection of diabetes can prevent complications
Large numbers of diabetes patients in India are undiagnosed. This may lead to complications of heart, kidney, eyes and nerves. Early detection and control can prevent all these complications.
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