Sugar levels very high for 90% diabetics, survey reveals | india | Hindustan Times
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Sugar levels very high for 90% diabetics, survey reveals

A whopping 90% diabetics surveyed in eight Indian cities were found to have uncontrolled blood sugar levels, even as they assumed their diabetes was under control.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2015 16:32 IST
HT Correspondent

A whopping 90% diabetics surveyed in eight Indian cities were found to have uncontrolled blood sugar levels, even as they assumed their diabetes was under control.

The poor blood sugar control resulted in damage to the eyes, kidney, heart and led to other complications in more than half (54%) of the patients interviewed in a survey conducted by Association of Physicians of Indian (API) and Abbott, a healthcare company. About 1,500 diabetics, 302 caregivers and 60 doctors were interviewed during the survey.

Around 47% patients interviewed complained of eye damage, a common complication in diabetics, especially those who fail to maintain their sugar levels. Another 19% said their kidneys were damaged owing to uncontrolled diabetes. One in three respondents experienced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), common complications in patients with uncontrolled diabetes.

Despite guidelines that inform patients with uncontrolled diabetes to monitor sugar levels at least twice a day, 50% respondents said they monitored their sugar levels once in three months.

“The idea is to make India, a diabetic care capital. Sugar is the new tobacco and monitoring levels is essential to avoid complications, as fluctuating sugar levels lead to higher damage,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, president, API.

Doctors said lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise along with medications and monitoring glucose levels can help manage diabetes better. “We have people living with diabetes for more than 30 years and have not suffered a single complication just by complying with the treatment and making lifestyle changes,” said Dr Joshi, adding 40% of patients adjusted the dose of medications themselves.

The survey found that one-third of the patients generally forgot to take their anti-diabetic drugs and/ or insulin. In fact, 15% said they missed their insulin doses, fearing the prick of the injection.

“Patient education is essential to improve compliance. Those who don’t have any symptoms don’t comply with the monitoring and lifestyle changes,” said Dr Shehla Shaikh, endocrinologist, Saifee Hospital, Charni Road.

Close to 48% diabetics complained of facing exhaustion and fatigue during work, while 7% experienced job insecurity.

Doctors said lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise along with medications and monitoring glucose levels can help manage diabetes better. “We have people living with diabetes for more than 30 years and have not suffered a single complication just by complying with the treatment and making lifestyle changes,” said Dr Joshi, adding 40% of patients adjusted the dose of medications themselves.

The survey found that one-third of the patients generally forgot to take their anti-diabetic drugs and/ or insulin. In fact, 15% said they missed their insulin doses, fearing the prick of the injection.

“Patient education is essential to improve compliance. Those who don’t have any symptoms don’t comply with the monitoring and lifestyle changes,” said Dr Shehla Shaikh, endocrinologist, Saifee Hospital, Charni Road.

Close to 48% diabetics complained of facing exhaustion and fatigue during work, while 7% experienced job insecurity.