Hyderabad: City doctors have been seeing three to five patients in their out-patient department of super-specialty hospitals with blood sugars as high as 300 to 400 mg/dl, but the patients are not willing to accept that they are diabetic. Experts state that patients have become very suspicious and they conduct atleast three to four diagnostic tests within a fortnight and if all the results indicate high level of sugars then only do they opt for treatment.
As diabetes is asymptomatic and there is no obvious sign of danger in 80 per cent of the patients, people do not take it seriously, they said. Those who suffer from excessive thirst, urination, vision problems and also a family history of diabetes are the ones who are alert and opt for checks.
But experts state that they too conduct tests in atleast two centers before finally starting medication. Ahead of the World Health Day on April 7, the World Health Organisation has issued a warning that the southeast Asian region will see a large increase in the number of diabetics.
The WHO said diabetes was of particular concern as its prevalence makes it difficult to control infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
India has an estimated 68 million diabetics and the number is expected to rise to 125 million by 2025 according to the recent estimates by WHO.
Dr Sreedevi Patnala, senior endocrinologist at Apollo Hospitals, said, “Half the people suffering from the disease don’t know that they have diabetes. Nearly 90 per cent of all diabetes cases are of Type 2 which is due to excess bodyweight and physical inactivity. Sedentary lifestyle along with sugary, salty and fatty foods is one of the major reasons for the increasing number of cases.”
Dr K.D. Modi, consultant endocrinologist, said, “The productive age-group from 35 to 50 years is affected by the disease. Forty per cent of patients coming to hospitals are within this group and it affects their social and economic life. Many of them complain that they can’t give their best because of the disease. Many of them are not successful in changing their lifestyle due to which the blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled.”
The WHO in its clinical interpretation of data from hospitals and centres in the country has found that people are not worried about diabetes as it does not directly cause death.
Senior endocrinologist Dr G Srinivas from Yashoda Hospitals said, “Diabetes is not feared like cancer or fever where the symptoms are obvious. The disease remains asymptomatic in most cases and the patients concede that they are fine. Due to this reason, many of them do not take proper care or work towards controlling their sugar levels. Food consumption and ability to burn it out is another factor which is very strongly required to prevent the disease. Eat and burn must be the motto.”