Himansu Shekhar Rout

World Diabetes Day was observed across the globe on Tuesday based on the theme of Access to Diabetes Care. Amid reports about the alarming rise of diabetes cases across the world, many people in India and other countries are now unaware of their diabetic status.

42 million with diabetes!

As per reports, there are 42 million diabetics in India who are still undiagnosed. Eminent Diabetologist, Utkal Keshari Khadenga dwelt on issues related to diabetes. Asked if poor infrastructure or lack of awareness is responsible for many cases going unnoticed, Khadenga said, “These sorts of things underscore the need for collaboration, education, and access to healthcare. Diabetes is a global health concern affecting millions.” 

Awareness, not infrastructure...

Emphasizing the need for awareness, the diabetologist said, “Awareness is crucial to the prevention and management of diabetes. By working together, we can improve diabetes care and support those living in this condition. Let’s raise our voice and spread awareness for a healthier lifestyle, early detection, and better treatment options.”

Khadenga observed that it is not a lack of healthcare delivery infrastructure, but a lack of awareness, which is more responsible. He stated that the government is doing very well at the ground level by opening up health centres, PHCs, and CHCs, but people do not check if they have diabetes or not. That’s why many diabetes cases go undetected. 

An interview with diabetologist Utkal Keshari KhadengaAn interview with diabetologist Dr. Utkal Keshari Khadenga

Can pre-diabetes be reversed?

As per the ICMR studies, 136 million people in India are in a pre-diabetic state.  Asked if the pre-diabetic state can be reversed, Khadenga said that if the blood glucose remains between 100 to 125 in the fasting state, it is called a pre-diabetic stage. If the person knows he has this level of blood glucose, they can become normal with diet control and exercise. This can be prevented, he noted.

He also stated that people with a family history, obesity, smoking, or cardiac diseases, should check their blood glucose and know where they stand. 

Hereditary or lifestyle? 

Khadenga said, “About 90 percent of the diabetics are type-II diabetes while 3 to 3.5 percent are type-I diabetes. Type-II diabetes is hereditary, and can’t be changed.
There are factors responsible for the chances of increasing diabetes such as a change in lifestyle, poor diet habits, sedentary habits, and stressful jobs.

Early signs & precautions

If a person does exercise regularly and avoids unhealthy and junk food, calorie-rich food, and manages stress, he/she can bring diabetes under control. He said that unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, unhealing of wounds, irritability, and fatigue are among the early signs of diabetes.