Some regard India to be the diabetes capital of the world, its diabetic population outweighing the entire population of some nations. With November 14th marking World Diabetes Day, it provides an opportunity for India to appraise its diabetes crisis
At a time when diabetes has sound all alarms in India, there is a need for research on treating kidneys affected by diabetes, said Dr Suresh Patankar, a Kidney specialist, and President of Ace Multi Speciality Hospital, Erandwane.
He mentions that most of the patients who undergo dialysis have diabetes. Even if they maintain their blood sugar levels, still in some cases, we witness the progression of complications, which affect the kidneys. With the onset of type-2 diabetes in childhood, diabetes poses a challenge.
“Currently, there is no proper treatment to avoid diabetic nephropathy, so proper research is required. The research should be based on modern scientific methods that can include treatment methods, diet, nutrition for diabetics, the effect of diabetes due to increased longevity. Our research team is working in that direction. Alternative therapies, including yoga, will have to play a crucial role, especially in the lifestyle,” he added.
November 14 is observed as World Diabetes Day, as well as Children’s Day. With the rise in the number of children diagnosed with obesity and type-2 diabetes, the sync of both has never has been this significant.
The shift in lifestyles, high-calorie diet, junk food, lesser physical and outdoor activities, have increased waistlines of the individuals. And among children, it has triggered warnings in families and health organisations.
Dr Milind Patil, a Consultant Diabetologist, Sahyadri Hospitals, said, “Parents should be aware of some symptoms in their children, which include frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive hunger, blackening around the neck, increased weight with an obese look, among others. Sometimes, the problem also lies with parents themselves, as many of them adopt a sedentary lifestyle.
He added, “Type-2 diabetes can be prevented with exercise and diet control, and parents have a key role to play in this. It is not only the parents who should cautious, but there is also a need for national awareness movement before this turns into a nightmare like diabetes in the youth and adults.”
While the awareness about diabetes and its effects on heart and kidneys are rising, there is a need for spreading awareness about the complications diabetes causes to the eyes, opined Dr Rahul Deshpande, Medical Director, HV Desai Eye Hospital.
He added that it is crucial to understand the short term and long term consequences of diabetes on the eyes. The short term effects include Acute Bacterial Eye infections such as conjunctivitis, meibomitis, blepharitis, delayed healing of corneal ulcers, and dry eye syndrome due to corneal nerve infection.
Long term effects include diabetic retinopathy, tractional retinal detachments, cataracts, and glaucoma. As childhood diabetes has severe effects on eyes, and parents should be cautious about their children’s eyes.
Dr Deshpande added, “Comprehensive measures needs be taken to avoid complications in the future. These measures include regular blood sugar level checks, strict diabetes control, regular exercise, lifestyle modifications, and Hba1c levels checks. Eye exams are not only significant to maintain your eye health, but also help detect signs of other serious health issues. Often, eye care professionals are the first to detect chronic conditions like diabetes before other healthcare providers.”
Both ophthalmologists and physicians play a crucial role in avoiding diabetes-related complications, as they go hand in hand. The physicians should send the new diabetic patients for ophthalmological review.
Similarly, ophthalmologists should send the patients, showing the signs of uncontrolled diabetes for physician review. Routine eye evaluations for patients with diabetic nephropathy and neuropathy are required, as they are at risk for developing retinopathy.