Diabetes, which is afflicting even the young, can be cured if detected early, says Rakesh Bobba, MD (general medicine) and consultant endocrinologist, Ramesh Hospitals.
On the occasion of World Diabetes Day (November 14), which is observed on the birth anniversary of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best, awareness programmes are being conducted to enlighten people on the causes, symptoms and prevention of diabetes.
Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Dr. Rakesh said, with eight crore patients, India stood second in the world after China. “It is expected that the number may go up to 12 crore in the next five years,” he said.
“One in six persons in the world with diabetes is from India. The disease is high in the urban areas than in villages, and about 50% of the people are unaware that they are diabetics. The disease can be cured with weight loss, diet changes, early detection and by doing physical exercises,” Dr. Rakesh said.
Risk due to COVID
On the effect of COVID-19, he said, “While the risk of death among normal persons is about 1%, it is 10% among diabetics,” he said.
“Diabetics are more likely to experience severe symptoms when infected with the virus. If diabetes is under control, they are on a par with others when it comes to getting severely sick,” he said.
Referring to diabetes among children, Dr. Rakesh advised parents to avoid serving them junk and fast foods, and stale and fry dishes.
“Instead, encourage children to be physically active and do yoga,” he suggested.