Diabetes Quick Facts

BY Dr. Sreekanth Reddy Malikireddy, MBBS, FDIAB Published on September 22, 2021

The Complete Picture

  •  Diabetes affects well over 34 million individuals in the United States, and one in every five of them is unaware of their condition.
  • Over 88 million US adults—more than a third—have prediabetes, and above 84 percent are unaware of it.
  • Diabetes is the seventh most common reason for mortality in the United States (and maybe underreported).
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90% to 95% of all diagnosed instances of diabetes, while type 1 diabetes accounts for roughly 5-10%.
  • The percentage of adults affected with hyperglycemia has risen in the last 20 years as the American population has aged and gotten more overweight or obese.


Diabetes-related medical costs are close to $327 billion every year, which are twice as expensive as those of non-diabetics.

India's present diabetes mellitus scenario

Diabetes is quickly approaching the position of a major pandemic in India, with over 62 million diabetics presently diagnosed. By 2000, India seemed to have the highest number of patients with diabetes mellitus (31.7 million), trailed by China (20.8 million) and the United States (17.7 million) in second and third place, correspondingly. According to Wild et al., the worldwide prevalence of diabetes is expected to double from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030, with India experiencing a substantial increase. Diabetes mellitus is expected to impact up to 79.4 million people in India by 2030, with China (42.3 million) and the United States (30.3 million) seeing large surges in those afflicted. In terms of the possible impact that diabetes may place on the country, India today faces an uncertain future. Many factors influence illness frequency across a country, and identifying those causes is crucial to promote change when confronted with health concerns.

Rising numbers

The ninth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas has forecasts that keep India in second place until 2045. And the figures are staggering: nearly 134 million Indians will develop diabetes in the next 25 years. India leads a group of Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Mauritius. However, Bangladesh, which ranks second among the top five diabetic countries (20-79 years), has only 8.4 million diabetics.


The following are the initial indications and symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia:

· Shakiness

· Dizziness

· Sweating

· Hunger

· Fast heartbeat

· Inability to concentrate

· Confusion

· Irritability or moodiness

· Anxiety or nervousness

· Headache

Nighttime signs and symptoms

If you have diabetic hypoglycemia while sleeping, the following signs and symptoms may awaken you:

· Damp sheets or nightclothes due to perspiration

· Nightmares

· Tiredness, irritability, or confusion upon waking

Extreme symptoms and signs

Signs and symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can occur if diabetic hypoglycemia is not treated. These are some examples:

· Clumsiness or jerky movements

· Inability to eat or drink

· Muscle weakness

· Difficulty speaking or slurred speech

· Blurry or double vision

· Drowsiness

· Confusion

· Convulsions or seizures

· Unconsciousness

· Death, rarely

Symptoms can differ from individual or occurrence, and some folks have no discernible signs. It's also conceivable that you won't have any symptoms of hypoglycemia, so it's critical to routinely test your blood sugar levels and keep a record of how you feel when your blood sugar is low.

When should you see a doctor?

Severe hypoglycemia can lead to serious problems, including seizures or unconsciousness, that require emergency care. Make sure your family, friends, and co-workers know what to do in an emergency. If you're with someone who loses consciousness or can't swallow due to low blood sugar:

  •  Don't take insulin, as this will cause your blood glucose levels to plummet even more.
  • Don't provide fluids or food because they could cause choking. Glucagon, a hormone that accelerates the release of sugar into the blood, can be administered orally or intravenously.

Consult your doctor if you experience hypoglycemic symptoms more than once a week. You may need to change your medication dosage or timing or otherwise modify your diabetes treatment programme.


Low blood sugar is more prevalent in insulin users, but it can also happen if you take some oral diabetic treatments.

  •  Consuming too much insulin or diabetes medicine;
  • Not eating enough; delaying or missing a meal or snack;
  • Increasing exercise or physical activity without eating more or modifying your meds; and
  • Drinking alcohol are all common causes of diabetic hypoglycemia.

Blood sugar control

When blood sugar levels are excessively high, the hormone insulin helps to reduce them. People with diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, who take too much insulin risk having their blood sugar drop dangerously low, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you take your diabetes medication and then eat less than usual (most of the body's glucose comes from food) or exercise more than usual (which utilizes more glucose), your blood sugar can fall dangerously low. You may find it difficult to keep insulin, food, and exercise levels balanced, but your doctor or diabetes educator can help.

Risk factors

Some people have a greater risk of diabetic hypoglycemia, including:

  • People using insulin
  • People taking certain oral diabetes drugs (sulfonylureas)
  • Young children and older adults
  • Those with impaired liver or kidney function
  • People who've had diabetes for a longer time
  • People who don't feel low blood sugar symptoms (hypoglycemia unawareness)
  • Those taking multiple medications
  • Anyone with a disability that prevents a quick response to falling blood sugar levels
  • People who drink alcohol


If you neglect hypoglycemia symptoms for a long period, you run the risk of passing out. This is because glucose is required for proper brain function. Identify the clinical symptoms of hyperglycemia sooner since uncontrolled hypoglycemia can cause: 

  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Take any early signs you may be experiencing very carefully. Diabetic hypoglycemia can raise the risk of catastrophic and even fatal accidents.


To help prevent diabetic hypoglycemia:

  • Check your blood sugar levels: Depending on your treatment regimen, you may need to check and record your blood sugar level several times per week or several times per day. The only way to ensure that your blood sugar level stays within your desired range is to check it carefully.
  • Don't skip or postpone meals or snacks: If you use insulin or oral diabetic medicine, keep track of how much you consume and when you eat it.
  •  Measuring medication carefully and taking it on time is essential:  Take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you boost your physical activity, you may need to modify your medication or consume more snacks: The adjustment is determined by the results of your blood sugar tests, the type and duration of your activity, and the drugs you are taking.
  • If you prefer to drink, pair it with a meal or snack: Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia if consumed on an empty stomach. It can also cause delayed hypoglycemia hours later, making blood sugar monitoring even more crucial.
  •  Keep track of your low-glucose reactions: This can assist you and your health care team in identifying and preventing trends that contribute to hypoglycemia.

 Carry some diabetic identification with you so that others will know you have diabetes in an emergency: Use a medical identification necklace or bracelet, as well as a wallet card.


Dr. Sreekanth Reddy Malikireddy, MBBS, FDIAB

Diabetology, Kurnool, India

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