With rising number of younger population in India getting diabetes, doctors say that many of their patients still do not pay much attention towards blood sugar management. They also say that many are unaware of their diabetes status and only realise about it after they develop complications.
Dr Tushar Rege, consultant diabetic foot surgeon at SL Raheja hospital, said: “From the onset of the diabetes to the onset of the complications it takes seven years. We are seeing this gap narrowing. Young people are unaware that they have got diabetes and by the time they get to know, the complications of the disease sets in.”
He further said that diabetic patients tend to ignore trivial injuries like a shoe bite or infection on feet which leads to leg amputation later. Agreeing to Rege, Dr Arun Bal, diabetic foot surgeon and founder president, Diabetic Foot Society of India said: “15% of the diabetic population get foot ulcers. Many persons lose their limbs in accident. World over every 30 minutes somebody loses limb due to landmine, but every 30 seconds somebody loses limb due to poor foot health in diabetes.”
The figures available with diabetic foot society, every year 2,00,000 diabetic patients undergo amputations of leg for inadequately treated diabetic foot ulcers. Experts say that 85% of these leg amputations are completely preventable by simple foot care and using proper footwear. Any diabetic patient, whether young or old will get foot ulcer unless he takes care of his feet. “Of the 62 million diabetics in India more than 50% are in the age group of 35 to 55 years which is economically productive age. So loss of leg can be devastating for the family. To add to the worries the age of getting diabetes in an urban city like Mumbai is falling down. We see diabetes in people in their late 20s too, which means chances of them getting diabetes complication is high in the age of late 30s if they don’t take precautions,” added Rege.
Doctors say that they have seen a tenfold increase in number of diabetes cases in the age group 20-30. Dr Shashank Joshi, consulting endocrinologist, Lilavati hospital said: “There is a tenfold increase in number of diabetes cases among the age group of 20- 30. This is mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle.”