40.9 million Indians are suffering from diabetes: Dr Patel

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Mumbai, Nov 12 (UNI) Due to stressful lifestyle and changing food habits 240 million people worldwide are living with diabetes of which nearly 40.9 million alone are Indians and number is expected to grow to 380 million by next 20 years, according to Dr Vipul Patel of the Metropolis Health Services.

Speaking to reporters today about the dangers of diabetes, ahead of the 'World Diabetes day on November 14, Dr Patel said, ''What is surprising is that almost 50 per cent of the people are unaware of their condition.'' He informed that ''Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3 per cent per year in children and adolescents, and at an alarming 5 per cent per year among pre-school children. It is estimated that 70,000 children, who are under 15 years, develop type 1 diabetes each year (almost 200 children a day). The impact of Diabetes can interfere with the normal developmental tasks, even for a child, which includes succeeding in school and his transition to adulthood.'' On Gestational Diabetes, Dr Patel said ''It is the disorder that affects women during their pregnancy and it usually gets resolved with delivery of the baby and is characterised by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that are first recognised during pregnancy. This condition occurs in approximately four per cent of all pregnancies.

Usually, the later part of a woman's pregnancy (the third trimester), places her at risk of gestational diabetes.'' ''Gestational Diabetes affects the development of the child during pregnancy. There is always an increased rate of miscarriage due to this. Sometimes it may lead to complications like defects in the brain and heart, excess growth of the baby that increases the risk of trauma to the mother and a rapid drop in the child's blood glucose after birth. Gestational diabetes can cause malformation in the baby eight times more than normal, making it essential to monitor blood sugar levels every two weeks during the pregnancy,'' he said.

''Contrary to popular belief, Diabetes is not just a condition, it is a disease which needs to be detected, treated and monitored.

Positive thinking, healthy attitude and an active lifestyle accompanied by regular self monitoring of your blood glucose levels will help in effective management of blood sugar levels,'' Dr Patel added.


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