Diabetes, a major lifestyle disease, has become a global burden, and the incidence rates are rising abruptly in developing countries like India. Rapid socio-economic growth with urbanization and industrialization are the main causes of the global diabetes epidemic.
Prevalence of Diabetes:
Diabetes is rapidly gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India. The incidence of diabetes has grown tenfold, from 1.2% to 12.1%, between 1971 and 2000. It is projected that around 61 million people aged 20-80 years live with diabetes in India. This number is expected to reach 101 million by 2030. Diabetes affects people both in the urban and rural sector though the impact on urban India is higher.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar or blood glucose is too high. The main source of our energy is blood glucose which comes from the food we eat. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas, which helps our body cells utilise this glucose for energy. However, sometimes our body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then just stays in the blood and fails to reach our body cells. This condition is called diabetes. Having too much glucose in our blood starts causing health problems. Although there is no cure for diabetes, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
There are 2 main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes– in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin so there is no production of insulin in the body. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive
- Type 2 Diabetes– in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the body cells cannot use insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age, even during childhood. However, it is most commonly seen in middle-aged and older people and is the most common type of diabetes.
What is Pre-diabetes?
Many people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This condition is known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, then your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher.
How to manage Diabetes?
Do you have diabetes? Learning how to manage and control diabetes is the aim for all of us. This can be made possible for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes through proper diet, physical activity and blood sugar monitoring. Taking control of your diabetes can help you lead a peaceful and stress-free life.
First step: Take your diabetes seriously
Some people have a very casual attitude towards their diabetes. They think everyone has it and since it does not have any acute symptoms, it is not a serious condition. You must have heard people mentioning that “sugar is little high” or “I don’t take insulin so my diabetes is not serious”. This attitude is not correct. Diabetes is a serious condition and it needs proper care, attention and action. To manage your diabetes well, you need to choose your food wisely, maintain your body weight, stay physically active, take your medications regularly on time and last but important- Monitor your blood sugar level regularly and consistently. It may sound a lot of work, but it’s easy and totally worth it!
Now you may think- Why take care of diabetes?
Well! If you manage your diabetes smartly and keep a close check on your blood sugar level you are likely to:
- Feel more energetic
- Have less anxiety and stress
- Be less tired and thirsty
- Have fewer chances of any complications
- Enjoy life with more enthusiasm
How can I control my Diabetes?
No matter what kind of diabetes you have, the ultimate goal is to maintain the blood sugar level, which is mainly achieved by proper diet, exercise and medications. However, if you don’t check your blood sugar level frequently, you won’t be able to know the effectiveness of diet or exercise on your sugar level.
If you have diabetes, it can sometimes get overwhelming to think about food, medicines, sugar level, insulin doses, weight, blood pressure…and the list goes on! But now technology has made it easier for you. There are many phone apps which can simplify tracking, recording and learning. You can use them to consolidate health information at one place, make informed choices and manage your diabetes in a better way.
Some of the commonly used apps are:
If you have just been diagnosed this beginner-friendly app can be very useful for you. It provides a lot of information about diabetes, from the foods to eat to simple ways to increase your physical activity. You can learn about the symptoms and complications of diabetes, treatment options available and much more. This app is just like a pocket guide for diabetes.
This is a very easy to use app where you can record all the information related to your diabetes. You can also sync it with your glucose monitor. It also gives reminders to follow-up with more data like blood sugar level after a workout. You can share all the data with your doctor which helps your doctor get a better picture of your condition.
BG Monitor Diabetes:
It is basically a diabetes log book which keeps all the information in one place. Record your blood sugar, insulin and carb intake. Enter your target numbers, and the app will calculate your insulin for you. Using an app helps you make smarter choices for your health and easily share the information with your doctor. You can also put reminders for medication, insulin injections or food intake.
This app helps you control your diabetes by making the app work for you. You can track your blood sugar, weight, calories, medicines and insulin dose in one spot and also sync it across different devices. This way your data is always on hand.
This app can be synced with your glucometer or you can also log in your numbers manually. This app also helps in tracking your steps, exercise and meals.
These were some of the apps which you can use to monitor your blood sugar, body weight, physical activity, medications and insulin dose. There are many more apps like- Diabetic diet app, Sugar Sense, Health2Sync, Diabetes:M etc.
You can explore and choose whichever app you like and suits your condition. It will help you stay up-to-date about your own body and diabetes. This way, you can control your diabetes and not let diabetes control you!
When should I meet a doctor?
Visit your general physician as soon as possible if you experience any of the symptoms of diabetes, which may include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision
The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treatment started, the better it is. Early treatment reduces your risk of other health problems.
If you or your family member is experiencing symptoms of diabetes, consult a general physician at RxDx. We have highly experienced physicians who are expert in diagnosing and treating diabetes. We also have a full-fledged Lab facility where all kinds of investigations can be done in house. In addition to this, we have Diabetic eye screening and Diabetic foot screening facilities. Therefore once you step in RxDx, all your health issues will be taken care of by expert hands!
Dr Manjari Bansal– Content Writer, RxDx
Inputs given by,
Mr Ashwani Sinha – Chief Impact Officer, RxDx
For further details, please contact: 080-49261111, 6745-8111