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‘For every lakh kids in Delhi, 32 affected by type 1 diabetes’

The disease is highly prevalent in children, which is why it is called juvenile diabetes

Health News, Nation, (New Delhi), March 20:-Around 97,000 children in India suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, with around 32 per lakh children affected in Delhi.

Doctors are keen on busting the common myths on Type 1 diabetes and spreading awareness on various ways of managing the disease. Modern therapies which include glucometers and insulin pumps help people manage the disease and live healthier and better lives.

India is host to over 97,000 type 1 diabetic children, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, leaving children painfully dependent on insulin injections for survival. Due to the exact cause of the disease being unknown to date, many myths surround the disease, which go unattended and affect the treatment of patients.

The disease is highly prevalent in children, which is why it is called juvenile diabetes, but it is usually manifests when the immunity of a person turns against the body killing insulin producing cells in pancreas. We receive 10-20 patients per week. Life of a type 1 diabetic patient becomes traumatic and limited due to the need to regularly inject insulin for managing glucose levels in the body, and this specially becomes a stigma for children, who gradually come to grasp the reality of the disease,” said Dr IPS Kochar Senior Consultant, Apollo & Fortis Hospital, Noida.

The diabetic children do not check their blood sugars and do not take insulin due to social stigma in school and when with friends. The children miss insulin doses during stay-over’s with friends. They feel insecure and inadequate in comparison with peers due to having diabetes.

Adolescents have erratic eating habits. Children and their parents have reservations about taking part in sports. People see them as a burden to the community and think that these children will never able to lead a normal life. Persisting myths and ignorance about the disease hinder the treatment awareness around the disease. For instance, people are not aware of emerging ways of tracking and managing glucose levels, such as that by a Glucometer or insulin pumps, which help in better management of disease and lead to more active and better lifestyle.

Kochar said that it is important that the myths are busted and awareness is spread pertaining to the management of the disease.

“Parents should avoid adopting a high demand approach of going overboard with strict management, which has a negative impact on the children. They should lead by example and have healthy eating habits and regular exercise,” Kochar said.

“Children should be encouraged to have a normal life without excessive restrictions due to diabetes. Parents should do regular blood glucose monitoring and know about managing hypoglycemia. Today home monitoring systems such as Glucometer have become the most common method of tracking glucose levels. With these attached to insulin pumps, it has become even easier to administer insulin timely and as required,” he concluded.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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