Starting Out - 101 Series

Diabetes in India: Prevalence, Diagnosis & Treatment

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

In India, the incidence of diabetes is steadily increasing. According to experts, it varies depending on the ratio, but it is an issue of great concern in most countries. Diabetes can be caused by a variety of factors including a poor lifestyle, stress, unbalanced eating habits, a weakened immune system, and limited knowledge. As a result, living a balanced lifestyle is essential for good health.

Why Is Diabetes Common In India?

India is the second-largest country in the world in terms of population. With a population of around 1.3 billion people in India, the diabetes range in India was around 72.9 million, calculated in 2017. Presently Indian culture is highly influenced by western lifestyle and eating habits. The global scenario of work has severely affected the work-life of people too. Hence, packaged food, refined eatables, and processed food are frequently used, consisting of excess refined carbohydrates and trans fats. Apart from poor eating habits, more minor sleep cycles and mismanaged routines are some causes of increasing diabetes in India.

Other Risk Factors For Diabetes In India

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is spreading in India rapidly. Risk factors of diabetes are increasing due to constant junk food intake, less physical activity, and high intake of packaged food. It has increased in type 2 and type 1 diabetes in India. Risks are higher for young people (around 47 per cent) who have been living such a lifestyle for quite a while. 

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How To Control And Prevent Diabetes In India?

There are several measures to control and prevent diabetes levels in India. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing in India, and around 39 per cent of India need assistive insulin dosage. Here are some of the measures to prevent and control diabetes in India:

Diabetes Screening and Education

Diabetes self-management education is essential for diabetes management. It is critical for diabetes patients to understand the nature, risk factors, treatment, and associated complications of their illness. It aids in getting the appropriate therapy to mitigate the consequences. A study was conducted among individuals with type-2 diabetes to see if there was a link between complication awareness, health literacy, and diabetic control. It was discovered that patient awareness ratings and health literacy were inversely connected to diabetes control.

1. Foot and Eye care for Diabetes

Blisters, fungal infections, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, corn, athlete's foot, and other foot issues are common among people with diabetes. Therefore, washing feet daily and thoroughly examining them is a must for patients with diabetes. However, in case of redness, blisters, and infections, it is advised to consult a physician immediately. Additionally, people with diabetes often suffer from eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. Keeping the blood sugar levels under control is one of the greatest methods to avoid diabetes-related eye problems. It's also critical to see an eye specialist at least every 6 months for a thorough examination.

2. Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetes

Some diseases can be treated entirely, or certain disease states can be reversed if detected early. Treatment is also greatly simplified, the standard of living is retained, and the disease's hazards are minimised. So, more straightforward treatments and higher survival rates result from early identification of diabetes.

3. Blood Glucose Control with Insulin and Oral Medication

Medications might be an essential part of your diabetes care plan. Insulin is commonly used to control the glucose levels in the bloodstream. People with diabetes should see their doctor, who will provide them with specific instructions on testing their blood sugar and delivering insulin. Patients with diabetes should consider following the advice strictly to manage the illness.

4. Screening of Kidney Problems

The sooner the symptoms and signs of diabetes-related chronic kidney disease are recognised, the lower the risk of severe kidney disease and the requirements for transplantation and dialysis. People with diabetes must get their blood and urine checked once a year for early indications of serious kidney damage. In case of severe kidney ailments, the physician will advise medication or lifestyle modifications to prevent further complications.

5. Regular Workouts to control Diabetes

Exercising can help people with diabetes manage their diabetes and improve their overall health. The body will use glucose to energise the muscles during a workout. This will help an individual regulate their condition by lowering their blood sugar. Furthermore, exercise allows the body to become more insulin sensitivity. As the sensitivity improves, the body can control blood sugar levels with less insulin.

Indian Diet Chart For Diabetic Patients

The patient dealing with diabetes needs a balanced diet with good fibre and protein content. It is necessary to lower the diabetes range in India to balance the blood sugar levels and strengthen the immune system. This Indian diabetic diet foods also strengthen and prevent the adjacent body organs from preventing the complications caused by diabetes. Let us have a look:

1. Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables are considered the ideal unit of the Indian diet chart for diabetic patients. The green leafy vegetables are low in calories, and they consist of digestive carbs, which help lower blood sugar levels. The vegetables included in this category of the Indian diabetic diet are kale, spinach, etc. They are enriched with iron, minerals, and vitamins. Leafy greens have vitamin C, which lowers the fasting blood sugar and helps balance the blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.

2. Cinnamon

In India, cinnamon is good for diabetes and also it is a finest superfood. It has several antioxidant properties and is a highly potent control food for diabetes. According to various reports, cinnamon maintains insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Dieticians usually advise a limited intake of cassia cinnamon in the Indian diabetic diet as it has coumarin. Excess intake of coumarin can invite specific health issues. Ceylon cinnamon is a safe substitute for the cassia type.

3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the most effective ingredients in any Indian diabetes type 2 diet plan. They comprise low-level digestive carbs and are extensively rich in fibre. With their dense consistency, Chia seeds good for diabetes to lower blood sugar levels and strengthen the body's metabolism. These seeds also help weight loss as they slow down food movement in the gut. These seeds also lower inflammation and blood pressure.

4. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the ideal dairy food products for the type 2 diabetes diet for Indians. It helps reduce heart disease and lower the blood sugar level in the body. Greek yogurt is enriched with essential probiotics, which elevate its efficacy in lowering the blood sugar level in the body. It has a high level of protein which helps in weight loss and carbohydrate balance. Compared to traditional dairy products, Greek yogurt good for diabetes and more effective in controlling type-2 diabetes.

5. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds, also known as Alsi, are one of India's greatest foods for diabetes management. Flax seeds are enriched with the fibre termed lignans. Lignans are insoluble fibres that help improve blood sugar levels and control high blood pressure. According to several health reports, flaxseeds help improve haemoglobin A1C. Flaxseeds good for diabetes to lower the risk of heart attack and help improve insulin sensitivity, metabolism, and gut health.


There is a rapid increase in the cases of diabetes across the world. This rate is increasing due to urbanisation, modernisation, and poor lifestyle. Specialists recommend specific foods to control diabetes among the population in India. Research and studies suggest healthy lifestyle habits and a balanced diet to counter diabetes.


1. Why is the rate of diabetes so high in India?

Rapid urbanisation, poor lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and increased stress are some common causes of the increase in the rate of diabetes in India.

2. Which state has the most diabetes in India?

According to the studies and reports, within the age limit of 18 to 49 years, the highest ratio of people with diabetes in India is in Goa. People with diabetes make up around 8.6 per cent of its total population.

3. What Indian food should people with diabetes avoid?

Refined flour, sugar, potato, rice, sweetened beverages, and fat-containing sweets are some Indian food items that people with diabetes should avoid.

4. Is chapati suitable for people with diabetes?

Chapati made from whole wheat is considered an ideal option for controlling diabetes. It contains a high amount of fibre and a low glycemic index.

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