Indian doctors have geared up to put in place customised guidelines to fight the ever-growing problem of diabetes in the local population.
Although American Diabetes Association (ADA) came up with a new set of guidelines to treat diabetes in 2012, local doctors feel that the Indian medical fraternity should formulate national ones.
“ADA guidelines don’t cater holistically to the demands of Indian diabetics. Our eating habits and lifestyle are different. We are genetically more predisposed to diabetes apart from diet and stress factors which, too, are on the higher side,” said Dr Deepak Jumani, member of Indian Academy of Diabetes (IAD).
Experts say there are various drugs used across the world to treat the disease. But in India, 80% of the population is put on the standard triple-drug combination therapy. “One out of five diabetes patients has side effects — swelling in their feet, weight gain and drastic fall in sugar level. Indian doctors need to be educated on individualised treatment in such cases, which is not possible if American guidelines are followed. So the IAD is all set to bring out newer guidelines in the near future. These are in the process of being drafted,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, IAD president.
Professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in USA, Dr Sreekumaran Nair agrees.
“Our research on Indian immigrants have revealed that Indians being more predisposed to diabetes than Caucasians and having higher resistance to insulin.”
Close to 2,000 physicians attended the 12th International Symposium for diabetes in India, which was organised by IAD to discuss the challenges of tackling the disease from an Indian perspective.
“The challenge is to make devices like insulin pumps affordable. Also, it’s a high time for such chronic non-communicable diseases to be made a part of the national health guidelines for better intervention,” Jumani said.