When 23-year-old Sumanth Vaid, who weighs 120 kg, started feeling tired and urinating frequently, he knew something was wrong with his health. After consultation with a doctor, it was revealed that Sumanth, who was a BPO employee and had been working at odd hours for an year, was down with high blood sugar. He was diagnosed with early type-2 diabetes.
Sumanth was immediately put on insulin to control the rising blood sugar levels. “Initially, I was shocked. My initial concern was that surviving with diabetes for the next 50 years would lead to several health-related complications. But when my doctor explained that obesity and erratic lifestyle and diet have been responsible for me getting an early diabetes, I took it up as a challenge to alter my lifestyle,” said Sumanth. Brisk walking, two hours of aerobics every day and a stringent diet for a year not just helped Sumanth in shedding 40 kg of weight, but also helped him reduce blood sugar level. Today, Sumanth is under no medication, but only on diet and exercises and is leading a normal life. Diabetologists from the city opine that as opposed to the data available in medical literature where it is said that type-2 diabetes is seen among people above 40 to 45 years of age, youngsters between 20 to 30 years are increasingly falling prey to the disease.
“Of the total diabetic cases that we have been seeing for the last three to four years, around 15% of the cases involve patients around 25 years of age,” said Dr Aravinda J, Dr Aravinda Diabetic Centre, Basaveshwaranagar, and consultant diabetology, Suguna Hospital. The doctor gets around two to three fresh cases of diabetes every week from patients below 30 years of age.
Not just the obese youngsters, but diabetes is now common among lean youngsters who have consolidated fat around their stomach region. Diabetes-related complications like stroke and cardiac complications are also common among these population, said Dr Raman Govindarajan, head, India, Research and Development, Sanofi.
“The concern is that diabetes-related complications for this young lot also start off early, affecting various organs like eyes and kidney. Diabetes management among this population is both challenging and critical,” he said. “Fat accumulation around vital organs like heart, liver, kidney etc, known as visceral adiposity, is more dangerous than peripheral fat accumulation,” he added.