Dr. V. Mohan, Chairman & Chief Diabetologist Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, has made an urgent plea to all diabetes management organisations, institutions and people including doctors, hospitals, clinics, NGOs, Governments, and the public to undertake efforts towards better diabetes control and management. For people with diabetes, he has released a 9-point action plan to ensure health.
Calling for the need to recognize June as the ‘Diabetes Control Month’, Dr. V Mohan said, “Diabetes control is of paramount importance in India, to protect people against the ill-effects of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The negative impact of poor blood sugar levels management in a person is amplified in the event of an infection, ailment or even surgery.”
TheCOVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need to manage blood sugar levels and prevent complications which have been recorded to be more for people with diabetes. Mucormycosis is seen to impact people with uncontrolled diabetes more, indicating the increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
Dr. V. Mohan suggests the following measures to be taken up as part of the ‘Diabetes Control Month’ program, across the country:
- Screen everyone who comes to any doctor’s clinic for any illness, for diabetes. By-standers and relatives of patients can also be screened, even if it is with a simple glucometer. It is known that 50% of people with diabetes remain undiagnosed. The opportunistic screening can also be done at workplaces, corporates, educational institutions, parks, beaches, and religious places. In this way people with undiagnosed diabetes can be detected and treated.
- Encourage everyone with diabetes to test their blood sugar levels both before and after food. It is good discipline to maintain ‘before food’ blood sugar levels between 100-110 mg/dL and ‘after food’ blood sugar levels less than 160mg/dl.
- Aim to bring the glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (3 months control test) of every person with diabetes to be below 7%.
- Wherever possible, test the ‘time in range’ of people with diabetes using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and see that at least 70% of the day, blood sugar levels are maintained within the range prescribed by their physicians.
- Encourage people with diabetes to follow a healthy diet with less carbohydrate (rice or wheat), more plant protein (like bengal gram, green gram, or rajma) and plenty of green leafy vegetables and healthy fats including nuts and seeds.
- Motivate people to follow a regular exercise regime
- Enhance lung capacity and minimise stress through yoga and /or pranayama
- To ensure regularity with antidiabetic and related medications, and with health check-ups
- To visit a diabetes clinic at least once in 3-4 months for expert advice and guidance.
Dr. Banshi Saboo, an eminent diabetologist and the president of Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), reinstates the vital importance of diabetes control, in this pandemic situation. “If the control of diabetes is not maintained well, the risk of suffering from poorer outcomes from COVID-19 infection, increases. It is, thus, imperative to maintain blood sugar level within prescribed limits, and follow a healthy lifestyle on a continual basis, even when being at home for prolonged periods of time. A balanced healthy diet, regular physical activity, control of stress with activities like yoga and meditation, avoidance of tobacco consumption and smoking, and limitation of alcohol, are simple measures that lead to a substantially healthier life.”
He further added, “The lockdown situation prohibits visiting the doctors for regular health check-ups. For a patient with diabetes, it is of crucial importance to have a regular health check-up, generally once in three months. In the present situation, tele-consultation has considerably helped in overcoming this situation. Self-monitoring of blood sugar at home is very important for patients with diabetes. This not only provides an opportunity for continuously monitoring the diabetes status, but also facilitates timely corrective intervention, as needed, through a virtual consultation. The Diabetes Control month is a call for affirming holistic care of diabetes, to be followed as a way of life, for healthier today as well as tomorrow.”
Dr. Shraddha Bhure, Medical Director, Boehringer Ingelheim India, stressed, “In these unprecedented health care crisis times, one needs to not only manage the acute infectious state of the patients but also address severe implications of the current crisis on chronic diseases like diabetes. The realization of proper diabetes control as a key health aspect, is of vital importance. Boehringer Ingelheim India supports the naming of June as Diabetes Control Month, with utmost solidarity.”
Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that improve the lives of humans and animals. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. Around 52,000 employees serve more than 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com
Established in 2003, Boehringer Ingelheim India, manages the India and the neighboring markets operations of the global enterprise. The Company enables access to innovator products as part of its Human Pharma and Animal Health businesses. The focus Human Pharma therapy areas include diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. www.boehringer-ingelheim.in