Type 2 diabetes can be more severe in younger people

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New Delhi, 07 December 2017: A new study has indicated that Type-2 diabetes is more aggressive in younger people than in adults. The research has also indicated that the risk of complications in younger people with type-2 diabetes is two to three times higher than type-1 diabetes. It is alarming to note that one in every four (25.3%) people under 25 with diabetes in India has adult-onset type-2 diabetes. This condition should ideally strike only older adults with a family history of diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diets and inactivity.

Younger people with Type 2 diabetes do not need to be on insulin. However, they are at a greater risk of developing life-threatening complications such as kidney damage and heart problems than those who are dependent on insulin. The data indicates that about 56.1% of the registered young diabetics have been hospitalized at least once for acute diabetes-related complications. Additionally, 1 in 7 of them had at least one complication or “co-morbid” condition.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “A high-calorie diet rich in processed and junk food, obesity, and inactivity are some of the reasons for the increased number of younger people with diabetes in the country. Not getting checked in a timely manner and not following the doctor’s protocol further complicates matters for them, putting them at a risk of acquiring comorbid conditions at a relatively younger age. There is also a belief that because young people with Type 2 diabetes do not need insulin, it is not as sinister as it seems. However, this is a false notion. This condition requires immediate treatment and management.”

A young person with Type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. If there are some, these may be usually mild and in most cases, develop gradually and include thirst and frequent urination.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Small and gradual changes can be made in the family so that no one is left out. This will also be encouraging for youngsters with adults setting examples for a healthy lifestyle. Such changes can help a youngster lose weight (if that is the issue) or help them make better eating choices, thereby lowering the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. This is truer for those with a genetic susceptibility to the condition. Operating as a team, a family, is much more likely to be successful.”

Here are some tips to manage Type 2 diabetes in young adults.

  • Maintain a healthy weight by exercising every day and consuming a healthy diet.
  • Get your blood glucose levels monitored at regular intervals.
  • Do not consume refined sugar in any form as this can get absorbed into the blood stream more easily and cause further complications.
  • Reduce stress through activities such as meditation and yoga.

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