Categories
Public Health

Diabetes levels drop marginally in India as per Novo Nordisk Foundation Study

Diabetes is a cause for greatest concern in India. The reason for that is many fold. But the most prominent among them is that diabetes is the foundation on which many other diseases come into play. As you know, diabetes is a condition and not a disease, and usually starts with the body’s inability to maintain the insulin level in the blood. As you know, diabetes is a condition and not a disease and usually starts with the body’s inability to maintain the sugar levels in the blood.

This could be a result of genetic makeup or also from the pancreas inability to produce insulin. But the most common co factor is stress. In 2018 Novo Nordisk had launched a diabetes impact challenge, in which they wanted to maintain a diabetes index to measure the HPA one c levels in the body.

HbA1C measures the Association of the glucose molecule with the red blood cell. As a red blood cell has a life of 120 days. This measure gives us an average of the sugar levels in the body for 120 days, and it’s a much better, and reliable measure of the sugar levels as compared to fasting, and post prandial blood sugar levels that were used earlier. In its recent finding the Novo Nordisk Foundation which produces this result figured out that from October 2019 to September 2020. The HbA1C levels have marginally dropped in India. Currently they are at 8.48 per cent. They ideally should be below 6.

By, the average HbA1C once he level was recorded at 8.48% for the year from October 2019 to 20. But this collection happened over 30 Indian cities with a vast average respondent rate of 55 years, or which of the 57% were men and 43% were women. Again you can see the testing levels among women are less and this is another area of concern.

The Indian diabetes care index which was also launched in 2018, to improve the diabetes care in the country has been providing a real time view of the average HbA1C levels in India.

According to the Novo Nordisk foundation, there are more than 77 million diabetics in the country. And the country, the total spend on diabetes is around INR 64,000 crores.

The second issue that comes up is that with COVID-19, it is clearly proven that anybody with comorbidity or with underlying conditions like diabetes, was more predisposed to, you know, to health issues. And it is clearly established that diabetes affects a lot of body parts, especially extremities like hands and feet, heart, circulatory system, and your kidneys. Your eyes, and overall suppresses your immune system.

I have written about diabetes and its implications on health, many times earlier, including these articles which you can refer to help you get a better understanding of what can be done.

What does this mean for you?

1)      Monitor-  I think 55 is a bit too late to check what your sugar levels are. The most important thing is to start monitoring it from the mid-30’s onwards. If India has risen to 71 million diabetics overnight. It is primarily because the awareness has increased. And the constant checking is possible.

2)      Detect- Get a blood sugar monitor machine. I think it’s very important, a very good investment, along with a Blood Pressure machine. I think these are solid investments that you should make, whether you have an HDTV or the latest Apple gadget. It doesn’t matter but these schedules can really save your life.

3)      Reduce Stress- Diabetes is related to stress to great extent, higher stress higher sugar levels, and higher and lower the body’s ability to deal with the sugar let’s see where is it that is causing stress for you and how you can mitigate it, you might do yoga and meditation to manage the stress, but the ultimate aim should be eliminate the source of stress.

4)      Watch out for added sugar- Last but not the least, which is sugar intake added sugar is the biggest reason why insulin intolerance is happening in the body. So, it is important to figure out if there is added sugar that you are eating which you are not aware of, which could have been causing this problem.

5)      Exercise if your medicine- Workout in the open for 150 minutes a week. This could be a simple walk or cycling or swimming.

As always, it is important for you to stay healthy. Stay safe. Own your health. You have to do it; nobody else will take care of.

Sources: https://www.biospectrumindia.com/news/79/17555/average-hba1c-level-registers-marginal-improvement-in-india.html

Categories
Healthcare Delivery

Why hbA1c levels are the key to your diabetes management?

The average life of the Red Bood Cell (RBC), is around 120 days. With an estimated half-life of 2-3 months, it is a good indication of the overall health of the individual. Glucose molecules in the blood combined with hemoglobin, and through this glycation form a ketoamine that is stable and can be used as a measure of the glucose in the blood. Since 1970’s hbA1c measures have been recommended as a standard of care for diabetes management.

Why is this a better measure than the traditional fasting and Post-Prandial measures(PP)?

  1. Firstly measuring hbA1c gives us the story for 90 days. So it not a point in time investigation rather its a holistic view of the system.
  2. It is human tendency to cheat if we know that a blood sugar test is looming. I have seen my mother do that many times and there are dietary adjustments made just before the test that can give us a false negative.
  3. Thirdly the test does not require any fasting or dietary restrictions, hence the compliance is better.

For more scientific details on this method, please do read this article on the research already conducted.

While these are great reasons to conduct the test, the key to the test is to go to an accredited lab. Always insist on choosing a NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited lab. I have often heard of samples getting mixed up between patients. This is mostly true of the many labs providing online services or online firms serving as aggregators.

Finally, talk to your doctor on why you should consider mapping this level. I have been doing my tests over a period of time and last few months results are below. These tests have given my physician a good indication as to why we need more aggressive intervention in my case.

Anyways do let me know if you have any questions on diabetes management and I would be happy to answer them for you.