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Every diabetes patient needs support and families can help

Kolkata, Nov 13 (UNI) Every year the world marks World Diabetes Day on November 14.
The Day was created in 1991, by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and
World Health Organization (WHO) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Frederick
Banting, who discovered insulin. Since then, every year The International Diabetes
Federation chooses a theme for World Diabetes Day to create awareness around the
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018 and 2019 is “The Family and Diabetes” which
is very relevant in the Indian context.
India currently carries 49 per cent of the global diabetes burden with an estimated 72
million cases and this is expected to rise to 134 million by 2025. Family support in diabetes
care has been shown to have a substantial effect in improving health outcomes for people
with diabetes. Families have a definite role to play in bringing down the cases of treatment noncompliance and disease mismanagement in diabetes patients.
“When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it has an effect on the whole family.
Significant lifestyle changes have to be made not just by the patient but other family
members as well. Evidence has shown that Interventions that target the entire family
are usually more effective than those meant for just the patient,” said Dr. Binayak Sinha,
Consultant – Diabetes and Endocrinology at Fortis Hospital, Kolkata.
Dr. Sinha added, “Chronic conditions like diabetes need daily adherence to the
medication regimen, regular monitoring of blood sugar and change in diet and exercise
in order to keep the blood sugar level under control. If the same food habits and fitness
plans are followed jointly by family members, the motivation for the patient to do the
same is higher. These measures are critical to manage diabetes. Since diabetes is
caused by both genetic and environmental factors, joint interventions can be beneficial
for other family members as well.”
A little care and proper management can go a long way in improving the quality of life
for a patient with diabetes and above all avoiding tertiary complications which can require hospitalization.
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