Diabetes among Asians

According to a Lancet study, China, India and USA are among the top three countries with a high number of diabetic population. While the numbers climbed from 20.4 million in China in 1980 to 102.9 million in 2014, the rise has been equally dramatic in India from 11.9 million in 1980 to 64.5 million in India.Prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled for men in India and China (3.7 per cent to 9.1 per cent in India and 3.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent in China). It has also increased by 50 per cent among women in China (5.0 per cent to 7.6 per cent) and 80 per cent among women in India (4.6 per cent to 8.3 per cent).

If diabetes is diagnosed early, later complications can be prevented or delayed. Here are a few pointers that you have to look out for. You are at risk if you have: High BP and high blood triglyceride levels; Gestational diabetes or if you have given birth to a baby weighing more than 4kg; Sedentary lifestyle, or obesity and waist circumference more than 90cm in male and 85cm in female; Family history; aging (risk rises at 45 years) certain risk factors like age, family history, and ethnicity cannot be changed.

However, changing other risk factors by eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity with or without weight loss can prevent diabetes. High blood pressure or rising triglyc erides can be controlled too.

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms can seem harmless or normal.

Frequent urination: Do you visit bathroom more often, or urinate through the day? Urination increases if there is excess glucose in the blood. If insulin is ineffective or insufficient, kidneys find it difficult to filter excessive glucose back to the blood

Increased thirst: If you feel thirsty very often or drink more water than usual, it could mean you are diabetic, es pecially if accompanied with frequent urination. Extreme hunger: Because your body does not digest enough of glucose, it feels the need to take in more and hence constantly sends hunger signals to the brain; Unusual weight loss: The body desperately looks for an energy source because the cells do not get enough glucose. It starts to break down muscle tis sue and fat for energy.

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