India a Diabetes Capital of the World

As home to 17% of all diabetes sufferers worldwide, India is frequently referred to as the “Diabetes Capital of the World.” In India, there are currently close to 80 million diabetics, and by the year 2045, that number is projected to rise to 135 million. The 14th of November is recognised as World Diabetes Day.


  • A chronic (long-lasting) medical condition called diabetes alters how our bodies convert food into energy.
  • A metabolic illness called diabetes is characterized by persistently elevated blood sugar levels in the body.

One type of diabetes is brought on by insufficient insulin.

  • Type-1 Diabetes: This medical disorder is brought on by the pancreas’s insufficient production and secretion of the hormone insulin. It is believed that an autoimmune reaction is what causes type 1 diabetes (the body attacks itself by mistake). Your body’s production of insulin is stopped by this reaction. Type 1 diabetes affects 5–10% of people with diabetes.
  • Type-2 diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes have poor insulin sensitivity and struggle to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The majority of diabetics (90–95%) are type 2.

Type-2 diabetes

  • Long-term Condition: It is a long-lasting (chronic) condition that leads to high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Over time, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune system issues might result from excessive blood sugar levels. A disorder in the body’s ability to control and utilise sugar (glucose) as fuel is type 2 diabetes. It is an improper Insulin reaction.
  • Commoner among adults: Although type 2 is more prevalent in older adults, type 2 cases have increased in younger people as a result of the rise in childhood obesity.
  • Slow indications and symptoms: Type 2 diabetes symptoms frequently appear gradually. Increased hunger, frequent urination, increased thirst, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred eyesight, slowly healing wounds, and frequent infections are just a few of the symptoms. It takes years to develop, and adults are typically diagnosed with it (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults).
  • Treating Type-2: Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, you can manage the condition by decreasing weight, eating healthfully, and exercising. You may also require diabetic drugs or insulin therapy to control your blood sugar if diet and exercise are insufficient.


  • The pancreas produces the hormone insulin.
  • Sugar is controlled by insulin as it enters your cells.
  • Insulin maintains tight control over blood glucose levels.
  • When blood glucose levels rise (such as after eating), the pancreas releases insulin to bring them back to normal.

The prevalence of diabetes in India

  • Indians with diabetes: It is estimated that 77 million Indians live with diabetes. Therefore, in India, one in ten adults has diabetes. One-half of people with high blood sugar levels are not aware of it. Only 50% of people with diabetes, even those with a diagnosis, have their blood sugar under control.
  • Rapid growth in the younger population: According to an ICMR analysis, diabetes prevalence in India has risen by 64% in the last 25 years. Prevalence has risen by more than 10% among the younger population as well.
  • Children affected more: It is concerning to note that diabetes affects a significant percentage of children in India. Because of the shift in diet to include more processed and fast foods, children are developing obesity and metabolic syndrome at an earlier age.
  • greater impact on children: Alarmingly, diabetes affects a significant portion of children in India. Because of the shift in diet to include more processed and fast foods, children are developing obesity and metabolic syndrome at an earlier age.

Indians more likely to develop Diabetes: Reasons

  • Alterations in way of life: The main cause of the current exponential growth in diabetes cases in India is ascribed to changes in lifestyle. One of the main causes of the rise in prevalence is the quick shift in food habits, as well as inactivity, increased body weight, notably the buildup of belly fat, and increased body weight.
  • Ethnically more susceptible: Although the exact processes are not well understood, Indians appear to be more ethnically susceptible to diabetes than Caucasians. Our cells do not react to the hormone insulin because we Indians have a higher level of insulin resistance. And when we eat carbohydrates, our blood insulin levels also tend to rise higher and last longer than they do in Europeans.
  • Larger genetic predisposition: Studies on migrant and native Indians and the pandemic rise in diabetes in India clearly show that Indians have a higher propensity for the disease, which may be related to a greater genetic susceptibility to diabetes in Indians.
  • Decrease in traditional diets: Our eating patterns have undergone a significant change as a result of growing “westernization,” particularly in metro areas and larger cities. Although Indian diets have traditionally been high in carbohydrates, the current emphasis on refined sweets, processed food in the form of fast food and cooking that requires little effort, and trans fatty acids is wreaking havoc.
  • Mechanization of daily work: As more machines are available to perform our tasks, daily activities have significantly decreased.
  • Eating foods high in calories and doing little exercise Due to physical inactivity, obesity, particularly central obesity and increased visceral fat, as well as diets high in calories, fat, and sugar become important contributing factors.
  • Accelerated urbanization With rising urbanization, India is currently going through a rapid epidemiological shift. With particular regard to diabetes and coronary artery disease, the current urbanization rate in India is 35%, up from 15% in the 1950s, and this could have a significant impact on existing and future disease trends in the country.
  • Migration from rural to urban regions, along with the stress it causes, has a big impact on how people live today.


With our nation having the largest percentage of diabetes patients in the globe, the sugar disease is currently our nation’s biggest health concern. A World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on diabetes states that elevated blood sugar is thought to be the cause of 3.4 million deaths worldwide.

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