95 % Indians wake up late to diabetes

India is becoming the diabetes capital of the world with over 50 million people affected by the lifestyle disease that is all too often discovered only in the advanced stages.

A new study conducted by doctors at the Artemis Health Institute (AHI), Gurgaon, near here, found that close to 95 percent people got to know about the disease only at an advanced stage despite the fact that they had developed obvious symptoms much earlier.The doctors tested the blood samples of 300 people who came for a routine checkup within a span of two years and found that 15 percent of them were in pre-diabetes stage.

"Most of them knew they had obvious symptoms like increased appetite, constant thirst and high urine formation for the last few years but they did not get themselves tested until their condition deteriorated," Ashutosh Shukla, head of internal medicine at AHI who conducted the study said.

According to Shukla, awareness and early detection are the key to managing diabetes.
"Those with risk factors like obesity, high work stress, sedentary lifestyle, faulty diet and family history of diabetes must undergo a health checkup at least once a year and those without risk factors should take it once in two years," Shukla said.

Diabetes no longer remains an urban phenomenon or is restricted to adults," Nikhil Tandon, professor of endocrinology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said.He said due to urbanization and industrialization, villages were now becoming towns."Small towns have been industrialized. So the urbanrural divide has been blurred.And this means lifestyle changes," said the endocrinologist.

According to medicos, massive awareness campaigns should be launched by both government and educational institutions.Healthy eating habits should be taught from childhood to curb the growing threat of the lifestyle disease.

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