Diabetes refers to the condition when there is an excess of glucose in your body. Though glucose is beneficial for the proper functioning of the body, an excess can lead to serious consequences. Over the years, diabetes has emerged as one of the fatal diseases.

Around 47.3% of India’s 70 million diabetics are undiagnosed and do not know they have high blood glucose levels that, if left untreated, lead to complications. 

Diabetes is the biggest cause of blindness and amputations. Patients having diabetes have two times more risk of dying with heart disease than normal people.

Diabetes prevalence is higher in affluent states and UTs like Chandigarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

This condition is preceded by various perceptible symptoms, some of them are

1. Insatiable thirst: The onset of diabetes is almost always accompanied by a nagging thirst, one that refuses to be quenched despite drinking plenty of water.

2. Frequent tendencies of urination: A frequent tendency of urination is one of the primary precursors of diabetes.

3. Acute hunger: Having bouts of acute hunger is one of the most predominant premonitions of diabetes.

4. Exhaustion and fatigue: In case you are suffering from diabetes, you will inevitably feel tired and exhausted all the time.

5. Blurring of vision: Diabetes is one of those rare conditions that threaten to affect and damage the eyesight. The blurring of vision comes hand in hand with the onset of diabetes.

6. Sores which take a long time to heal: One of the fatal symptoms of diabetes is when the sore that you have suffered from takes a longer time than necessary to heal.

Complications which diabetes invite are:

1. Cardiovascular problems: Diabetes considerably increases the risk of a host of cardiovascular problems and ailments like heart attacks, chest pain, and stroke.

2. Damage to the kidneys: The pair of kidneys that human beings are endowed with has the responsibility to remove the toxins from the body. An excess of diabetes in the body unsettles the purging ability of the kidneys.

3. Damage to the eyes: The onset of diabetes, among other things, puts your eyes at great risks. The condition tends to damage the blood vessels of the retina and can even cause blindness in some.

4. Skin disorder: Diabetes puts your skin at great risks.You may suffer from various bacterial and fungal infections among other ailments, due to an excess of glucose in your body.

Rates of diabetes are high among middle-aged and elderly people across all geographic measures and socio-demographic groups in India.“Diagnosis of diabetes is straightforward but mostly untapped due lack of awareness and regular medical checkups”.

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What can you do to lower the risk of diabetes?

1. Keep your blood sugar under 100 mg/dL and your glycerated blood glucose levels(HbA1c) below 5.7%.

2. Keep your blood pressure below 130/90 mm/Hg, using medicine, if needed.

3. Get cholesterol tested once a year. If high, take medicines to lower it.

4. Walk for 30 minutes per day for at least 5 days a week.

5. Keep a healthy weight, with waist size below 90 cm (35.4 inches) for men and 80 cm(31.5 inches) for a woman.

6. Eat nutritious high-fibre food.

7. Keep HbA1c (an indicator of blood glucose control over past three months) reading below 5.7%, and between 5.4% and 5.6% for optimal control.

“Prevention and early diagnosis are undoubtedly the way forward. People with pre diabetes, a family history and more than two risk factors must be screened regularly every six months to one year,” stressed Dr Sachin Verma.