We are living in times of lifestyle-related diseases, with diabetes being one of the most prominent offshoots of unruly lifestyle. And, this has been proved yet again going by the finds of some recent surveys conducted by various agencies: they have all blamed our sedentary lifestyle for increasing number of diabetics, not just in India but globally.
However, with clarity in causes for the ailment, it makes the task of prevention easier. Simultaneous surveys aimed at finding the best ways to handle the cases of diabetes also made some interesting observations. On World Health Day 2016, we bring you the gist of the surveys conducted on both causes as well as best treatments available for the epidemic-like spreading ailment.
Three out five doctors believe ‘the unruly lifestyle’, major cause for India’s Diabetic capital tag
We live in a world where pace outdoes every other priority in our lives. And so we are getting more and more exposed towards the life threatening diseases. These keep breeding inside our body as an outcome of keeping pace with the hustle bustle, we call modern life. India was termed the Diabetic capital of the world recently and Curofy decided to understand the reasons behind it by conducting a survey. The survey focusing on this year’s World Health Day theme was titled – Halt the rise! Beat diabetes.
A total of 1,617 doctors responded to questions pertaining to the causes of rise in diabetic cases in India and patients reaction to the treatment modalities.
On being asked why India ranks as the diabetic capital of the world, 58.8 per cent of the total doctors attributed this title to the lifestyle prevalent in modern and competitive India. Interestingly, family history was considered as a contributing factor by only 7.2 per cent.
“I firmly believe “Dharti Pe chalo aur Dharti ka khao”, meaning whatever comes from the farm is good anything processed has added sugar, added salt, and added maida for that matter even Ramdev’s Biscuits are processed and not up to the mark. Yes it is a lifestyle problem, I would strongly recommend 150 minutes per week walking and eating from the farm as much as possible fresh fruits and vegetables should top the chart,” says Dr Sujeet Jha Director Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, Max Healthcare.
What’s more thought provoking is that 65 per cent of the doctors said that their patients preferred alternate medicine to their allopathic counterparts on being initially diagnosed. This has opened new windows of discussion about the veracity of such medication. Explaining this, Dr Rajeev Patni, Consultant Diabetology & Endocrinology, Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital, Jaipur India said, “It is true that patients prefer other form of medications, there are multiple reasons for it – for starter, patients feel that if once they begin with allopathy it will be for lifetime, also the big misconception that naturopathy can cure them completely or for that matter any other form of therapy clubbed with walking can change the diabetes status; which is not true.”
Curofy’s in-depth survey also tried to cover adherence which is perhaps the most important reason for prolongment of any disease. 41.5 per cent of the doctors said that only 40-60 per cent of the patients adhere to the prescribed drug whereas a significant 27.2% doctors believe only 20-40 per cent patients adhere to the given drug which is a cause for real concern for a large population like ours.
Monitoring blood sugar regularly can have far reaching effects in terms of keeping this menace in check especially in today’s world where time is the biggest scarcity. According to the survey, 33.2 per cent of the doctors feel that 40-60 per cent of their patients check their vitals regularly and whereas 32.6 per cent of the doctors feel that only 20-40 per cent of their patients track their blood sugar regularly. This is a cause for concern since blood sugar is a measure of stress, lifestyle as well as eating habits of a person among other things. This, in the modern world, is of paramount importance and can go long way in cautioning the diseased or the ones in danger to take steps accordingly and hence checking diabetes.
Diabetes is a menace that needs to be tackled head on. World health day 2016, has diabetes as theme. It aims to make people aware about the nuances of the disease which can lead to a host of other diseases. According to the survey 26.5 per cent of the doctors believe atherosclerosis is the impending danger of diabetic patients where as a whopping 43.2 per cent say that Neuropathy is one of the obvious danger lurking for the ones with diabetes.
The survey clearly showed that diabetes is a peril that paves way to even more severe life threatening diseases. Hence it needs to be controlled.
Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder Curofy said, “We did the survey to understand the tag India has as the diabetic capital of the world, and it’s pretty clear that a lot of awareness is required not just for the patient but also on the part of the doctor. We are a young population, and world sees the next superpower in us. But to reach there we need to be a healthy nation first and overcome these roadblocks that can plague our way to the top.”
Nine out of ten physicians in India agree most effective treatment for diabetes is ‘Insulin Therapy’
To mark World Health Day this year, Endocrine Society of India (ESI) in association with Novo Nordisk India commissioned an eight-city survey among physicians by IMRB. Nine out of ten physicians in India agree that the most effective treatment for diabetes is Insulin Therapy.
The objective of the survey was to understand the burden of diabetes in India and the optimum ways to treat and prevent. Commenting on the survey, Melvin D’souza, Vice President & General Manager Novo Nordisk India Pvt Ltd said, “This year, the theme for World Health Day is ‘Beat Diabetes’. In India, there is an immediate need for a concerted effort from all stakeholders involved to bring more awareness around diabetes and its staggering socio-economic burden. Diabetes should not be considered a disease rather a lifestyle related disorder that can be managed with simple modifications to one’s lifestyle and food habits. With early detection and on-time treatment, people with diabetes can live a healthy life.”
The burden of diabetes is reaching alarming proportions in India driven by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Stressful lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are some of the plausible reasons behind a growing percentage of Indians developing diabetes. According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), one in 11 adults has diabetes.
The ESI-Novo Nordisk India World Health Day survey too reveals similar findings. Around 93 per cent of participating physicians agreed that incidence level of diabetes has grown manifold in the last 2-3 years. The situation is more severe in tier-1 cities with physicians seeing a 200 per cent increase in incidence levels.
The survey also affirmed that even though all newly diagnosed people with diabetes were advised lifestyle modifications, but nearly 7 out of 10 people with diabetes found it challenging to implement.
While oral medication continue to be prescribed by the physician community for type 2 diabetes, around 50 per cent physicians switched their patients to insulin therapy within three years, keeping in mind the long-term benefits of insulin.
The survey also indicated that over 40 per cent participating doctors believed that insulin therapy can address diabetes related health complications, the most notable being prevention of kidney ailments.
Dr Shashank Joshi, President Endocrine Society of India said, “It is alarming to note that in tier-1 cities, physicians are seeing a 200% increase in incidence levels of diabetes. Stress, lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle are some of the plausible reasons behind this unprecedented rise. It is heartening to note that help is at hand in the form of medications like insulin that allows people with diabetes to continue to live a healthy, complication free life. The survey has indicated that around 9 out 10 participants agreed that insulin is most effective in reducing blood glucose in people with diabetes. We need to make people with diabetes understand the nature of the disease and ensure adherence to the medical regime.”
The survey further adds that currently only 1/3 people (one in three people with diabetes) with diabetes readily accept insulin when prescribed, with the biggest concern being fear and pain associated with taking injections. Although the participating physicians believed that these concern areas can be addressed by using modern insulin devices.
Approximately 75 per cent participants feel that modern self-administration devices help diabetes management to a great extent and nearly 4/5 agree that such devices have significant benefits over conventional injection methods; averting the risk of hypoglycaemia being the biggest advantage.