A recent survey conducted by Practo, a leading digital healthcare, revealed that nearly 71% of doctors believe that diabetes remission (DR) is possible. DR means bringing blood sugars back into the normal range without the aid of medications. The survey was conducted to understand the attitudes of the healthcare community towards managing India’s rising diabetes burden.
The survey was conducted in April among 260 diabetologists with a 50-50 split between tier I cities (Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune) and tier II and III cities.
Diabetes management strategies
With over 100 million people with diabetes (PWD) in India and an estimation of it doubling by 2045, there is an urgent need to revisit diabetes management strategies in the country.
The survey highlighted several barriers to implementing DR in patients which included difficulty in adhering diet and fitness plans (86%), followed by lack of family support (43%) and lack of resources to follow up on patient’s progress (29%).
“While healthcare professionals believe that nearly 40% of their patients were eligible for diabetes remission, only half of the healthcare professionals (52 per cent) had access to a dietician (either in-house or externally) or a structured diabetes remission program, with the remaining having to single-handedly play many roles in a time-constrained environment,” the study said.
The survey not only highlighted a growing predisposition towards DR among healthcare professionals but also identified a crucial gap in diabetes care delivery: the need for a structured support system for healthcare professionals to enable the successful delivery of a diabetes remission plan to their patients.
Dr Hema Venkataraman, Medical Advisor, Practo Transform, said Diabetes in Indians is a unique and complex condition that poses great challenges in management. With as high as 1 in 5 people with diabetes in some cities, there is an urgent need for the rollout of widespread prevention and remission programs.
Diabetes cannot be 'reversed'
Dr Anusha N D, Consultant, Endocrinologist, Shanta Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology said the disease can’t be reversed but it is definitely possible to put it into remission with weight loss.
Meanwhile, Practo had also launched a diabetes remission program aimed to bridge this gap in delivering quality diabetes remission care. It is a 6-month program aimed at helping type 2 diabetes patients reduce their reliance on medication and achieve diabetes remission through healthy eating and activity.