Type 1 Diabetes: Doctors cite irregular follow-up for complications, urge authorities for effective national-level programme
Doctors from the city have said that irregular follow-up is leading to lack of awareness on effective means of diabetes management and affecting the patients’ health adversely.pune Updated: Jul 17, 2018 17:34 IST
City doctors underline the need for a more dedicated focus and a national-level programme on type 1 diabetes to raise awareness and prepare the patients to manage the ailment.
A very rare disorder, type 1 diabetes mostly occurs in childhood, making children dependent on insulin treatment for life. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes is on a steady rise in the country for the last few years.
Doctors from the city have said that irregular follow-up is leading to lack of awareness on effective means of diabetes management and affecting the patients’ health adversely.
Dr Uday Phadke, doctorate of medicine (endocrinology) at Hormones and Diabetes Care Clinic, said, “It is estimated that 1 to 2 per cent of all diabetes population suffers from type 1 diabetes in Pune. While the percentage may seem to be a small number, India has one of the highest prevalence of diabetes patients, making the number of people with type 1 diabetes more than significant. It is difficult to determine the exact prevalence in our state or city, however, the incidence has increased. People with type 1 diabetes are forever dependent on insulin injections. In the absence of a cure, the only alternative with the patients is to manage the disease well. Diet control, carbohydrates counting, and using latest insulin pump therapy are all required to manage type 1 diabetes.”
He said that a more dedicated focus and a national-level programme on type 1 diabetes can make a world of difference in the patients’ lives. “It is time that the government at the national and state levels designs and implements a programme that can resolve the many challenges that patients face. One of the many challenges is to ensure regular follow-up,” he said.
Dr Shailaja Kale, doctor of medicine and fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), London, and diabetologist from Pune, said, “We have more than 300 children with type 1 diabetes at our hospitals and our clinical experience is that the follow-up of these children is irregular due to various factors, thereby adversely affecting the patients due to mismanagement of the disease. The reasons for irregular follow-up can range from the patients coming from a lower socioeconomic background, ignorance about the disease, not accepting the disease, lack of education, to being less forthcoming with the disease. Also, the high costs of daily medicines for treating type 1 diabetes bring a major setback to low income families who often leave the treatment midway due to lack of resources. For ensuring that costs do not become a factor for irregular follow-up, we arrange free insulins for needy from NGOs. Regular education in groups to these children and their parents is crucial part of management. This helps us inform and educate patients about better techniques such as reviewing diet plans and counting carbohydrates, which are equally important to manage the disease better.”
Dr Kale said that with the advancement in technology, there are now newer ways of managing type 1 diabetes.
“Parents of type 1 diabetic need to accept the disease, should not be too panicky about the diagnosis, indulge in a healthy lifestyle as a family, including daily exercise, and have more discipline in diet. They should make sure that child does not lose self-confidence. Empowering the parents to take care of their children is the cornerstone of managing type 1 diabetes,” said Dr Kale.
Irregular follow-up reasons
Patients coming from a lower socioeconomic background,
Ignorance about the disease,
Non-acceptance of the disease
Lack of education
Leaving treatment midway due to high costs of medicines
Hospitals arrange free insulins for needy with help from NGOs
Regular education in groups to patient children and their parents
Advancement in technology finds newer ways of managing type 1 diabetes.
First Published: Jul 17, 2018 17:34 IST