The Diabetes Epidemic in India

India is facing an epidemic of type 2 diabetes

| Jan 21, 2012

A young man in his early thirties struggles through traffic on his small Honda motorbike. As he enjoys a short break at a traffic signal, one foot on the road, his eyes are attracted to a billboard picturing a succulent burger. While he gazes, fantasizing about lunch, his vision starts to blur.

The light turns green, but the traffic remains motionless as people rush toward the Honda to pick up the young man, now fallen on his side. A bystander offers to take him to the nearest hospital, where he joins the burgeoning population of Indians who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, 61.3 million people in India had diabetes in 2011. That figure is projected to rise to 101.2 million by 2030. IDF data reveal that India has more diabetes than the United States. In fact, India is ranked second in the world in diabetes prevalence, just behind China.

The sanofi-aventis India SITE study (Screening India's Twin Epidemic), rolled out during 2009/2010, was a cross-sectional epidemiological study of 16,000 patients from 800 centers in Maharashtra, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. About 60 percent of the surveyed population suffered from diabetes, hypertension, or both, and 70 percent of the patients had uncontrolled diabetes.

The sanofi-aventis nationwide study identified the need for prompt action on a national scale to control diabetes in India. Dr. Bhaswati Mukherjee, the associate director of cardio-metabolism at sanofi, identified diabetes as one of the key public health issues adversely impacting the Indian economy. He emphasized the need for regular screening and increasing awareness among the Indian diabetes population.

India aims to combat rising diabetes healthcare costs through diabetes screening programs executed nationwide. The National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS) expects to conclude implementation during 2011/2012. The initiative, approved in 2010 by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for 100 districts across 15 states and union territories, aims to change the attitudes of people in terms of diet patterns, physical activity, and alcohol and tobacco intake. The program has plans to screen 150 million people across the country by April 2012.

A national project to screen school children was rolled out in March 2011 in six districts on a pilot basis for six months. The goal of this program is to identify diabetes prevalence in school children.

According to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the profile and prevalence statistics of diabetes on a national scale will be available in a year's time, including data about men and women over 30 years, pregnant women, and children.

Obviously, India needs robust, systematic measures in place and efficient data reporting mechanisms. In addition to prompt action and follow-up from the government at national and state levels, an attitude change on the part of the population is imperative. In the absence of a cooperative partnership between the government and the citizens, India's diabetes population will likely reach the projected 100 million mark by 2030.


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Categories: Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Study, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes Screening Programs, IDF, India, Indian Diabetes Population, Public Health Issue , Sanofi-aventis, SITE Study, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by David Darell Galbraith on 22 January 2012

January 22, 2012

To Diabetes Health;

Diabetes will continue to be an out of control epidemic as long as the medical profession and governments simply want to count and identify diabetics so they can treat the symptoms, rather than the cause.

There is no mystery about how diabetes in contracted by people that are overweight and inactive.

The mystery is in why no one in the medical society is willing to use amphetamines to help those, that can be helped, with amphetamines.

It is not a mystery to me, and it shouldn't be to you. Big Pharma is using its big money to buy off and influence doctors into using their extremely high priced antidiabetics to treat symptoms of diabetes, rather than use very inexpensive amphetamines to treat the cause of diabetes.

Last week on Nation Public Radio I heard a report about how Congress is trying to pass a law that will require Big Pharma to have to release their records that show just how much money, and free things, that are given to doctors to persuade them to use their very expensive drugs to treat symptoms, rather than actually treat patients for the cause of the disease.

I am also sure that Big Pharma also has their lobbyist chasing down our legislators so that they can give them campaign money to persuade them to pass legislation, or prevent the passing of legislation, in order to make it very difficult for anyone to use anything, that would eliminate the need for their very expensive drugs.

While the prevention and treatment of diabetes is very important, the politics of diabetes may even be more so, if we are ever to see any success in eradicating this devastating disease that has become so epidemic, on a world wide scale.

I have had Type 2 diabetes for almost ten years. For the last five years I have been begging my health care providers for Dexedrine to help control my appetite and to help increase my energy levels. No one will help me. No one will even allow me to try.

Instead of Dexedrine, I have been given a host of drugs that had a host of very dangerous and often painful side effects. Many of these drugs have killed people and have been removed from the market while law firms are suing the manufacturers.

With the side effects that I have suffer through I feel somewhat lucky to be alive. I had my legs swell to the point that I could not bend them at the knees. I had my shoulder rotator cuff popping, like a dislocation, causing so much pain that I would cry. It was excruciating for me to reach for my wallet, tuck in my shirt, or put on my belt. My vision would get so bad that everything over ten feet away would be so blurry that I could not drive. I had cramps so bad that I would pray for death. Cramps in my rib cage that felt like they were going to break the bones. Cramps in my feet, ankles, calfs, hands and forearms that made me cry, and beg my poor Wife for help, while my feet were trying to make a fist in one direction or the other. Cramps that would spread into larger and larger areas. I would be in such great pain that I felt like I was going to faint, as I cried out in pain with tears running down my face, but I was afraid to faint because I thought, with the complete lose of control, my bones might start breaking. I have had a pain in my shoulder that felt like a piece of blunt rebar was being slowly shoved through it. I have had pains in my wrists and elbows that hurt so bad that I had problems with lifting a glass of water to take a drink. Then of course there is the itching, the flakey skin, dizziness, drowsiness, and the constant hunger and weight gain.

I had this warm numbness covering the whole front of both of my thighs that felt like it was an inch deep. Like a slab of numbness.

I have had my blood and urine test showing damage to my liver and kidney functions. And of course my A1C and cholesterol was way out of whack.

All of these, side effects of medications prescribed by my doctors, because they didn't want to prescribe Dexedrine, saying it is too dangerous. Wow!

Medications that have caused me problems are Metformin, Glipizide, Avandia, Actos, Januvia, Lipitor, Crestor, Byetta, Meridia, Adipex-P, and I am not all that fond of needles and insulin. And insulin makes you gain weight. A counterproductive side effect of most medication that are supposed to treat diabetes.

Most of these drugs have not been tested in combination with one another and are not recommended for use with one another. Many of them are not recommended for use with insulin. But all have been prescribed to me, in combinations, with insulin, by my dictators, I mean doctors.

With each medication, when I stop taking them the side effects would go away. Sometimes in days and sometimes in weeks. After the side effect went away, I would start taking the suspect medication again, and the same side effect would return. So I would stop the medication again and the side effect went away, again.

Using my medical history, I can show you how Metformin, Glipizide, Avandia, Actos, Januvia, Byetta, Actos, Avandia, Meridia, Adipex-P, Lipitor and now Crestor have hurt me.

And if I could find my medical records from when I was 16 years old I could show you how I was prescribed the amphetamine Dexedrine, because I had high blood pressure due to being overweight, and how I lost the weight resulting in my blood pressure going back to normal and for decades I was fine.

Today if I was that same overweight 16 year old boy with high blood pressure, todays doctors would treat the symptom and give me blood pressure medication that would most likely lead to drowsiness and more weight gain, that eventually would lead to diabetes and more medications to treat the symptoms of hyperglycemia, while the dosage of the BP medication would have to be raised because my BP was still going up due to continued weight gain, and then I would be prescribed Lipitor because by now I would have high cholesterol.

After hundreds of thousands of dollars of health care and medications, I would probably die in my late thirties, after going blind, being unable to get an erection, depression, and amputated parts, from complications due to the side effects of, by then, maybe twenty or more medications, that are not recommended to be used with one another, while my death would be attributed to complications due to diabetes, rather than malpractice.

Thank God, when I was sixteen, I had a doctor that treated the cause of the problem rather that the symptom. He cured me.

So even though I am not a doctor, and I don't even play one on TV, I have done extensive studies and I am the person living within my skin. I know what works for me and I certainly know what does not work for me.

There is no good reason for doctors to eliminate the Dexedrine tool from their toolbox of treatments for diabetes.

We Diabetics depend on folks, like you folks at Diabetes Health, to report all the facts relevant to your readers getting proper health care. So don't forget the politics. Push for that bill to force transparency in the dealing between Big Pharma and our doctors.

And I would like to, Thank You!, for giving me somewhere to air my concerns.

David Darell Galbraith

Posted by Anonymous on 26 January 2012

Hi I too am diabetic and I take tons of medication. I am interested in your having problems with your cramping in his legs, ankles and thigh. I have servere leg cramps and I feel like I want to die from pain. May I ask if you still have this problem and what did you do for them? I have been tested and all of my levels come out good so no one knows the cause and what to do about them. Please let me know if anythng works for you.

Posted by rosiolady on 27 January 2012

This is a vastly informative article. I had no idea that China heads all nations in the incidence of diabetes, let alone that India comes in second and the U.S. only third! It's all quite amazing--the extreme frequency of diabetes, I mean. I am 71 and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1970. Well, at that time they didn't know what type it was; the doctors thought only children developed type 1. However, I needed insulin for control from the beginning and was in ketoacidosis when taken to the hospital. In 1970, I didn't personally know even one other person with diabetes, and now it's all around me, in what? One or two generation's time, at the most? I wish I could know what is going on. I don't believe it's as simple as overweight, lack of exercise, or even what we eat. I know that what I eat is not so different from my diet as a child and young person. Something else is going on. The most important thing is that the health community stop "blaming the victim," saying you weigh too much, you eat too much, you're lazy and don't exercise. It could be true in some but not all cases. There are also a great many people who are all of the above but don't have diabetes. Neither did people in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, like me, lead a so much more healthy life. Something else is going on here. Diabetes used to kill people much more quickly than it does now. Could it be that people who may have died early of diabetes are now living long enough to pass on their genetic predispositions in greater numbers. Well, that's just one possible idea.

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