A back to the basics approach to diabetes

Annual campaign focuses on monogenic diabetes

(Article by Chennai Connect)

Awareness campaigns on lifestyle change may often not be taken seriously enough by people as doctors do not emphasise them enough.

The ongoing International Diabetes Update 2016, organised by Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Education Academy, aims at correcting that.

The focus of this year’s event is monogenic diabetes — single gene mutation that could be responsible for onset of the condition.

Endocrinologist and professor of medicine Louis Philipson, who discovered the insulin gene mutations that result in neonatal diabetes, delivered the Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Education Academy gold oration on ‘Personalised genetic medicine for diabetes’.

V. Mohan, chairman, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, said the message was all about going back to the basics.

Although environmental factors played an important part, genes are a crucial factor. A family history of the patient was enough to arrive at the risk for diabetes in a patient. In India, data about diabetes is available from 1972, when 1 to 2 per cent of the population had diabetes. Now, 25 per cent has the condition.

The data could be used to identify the possibility of a dominant gene for diabetes being handed down in families, he said.

Sometimes doctors need to be retold the importance of basic steps. Doctors should write out a prescription specifying “Diet as advised and Exercise” as the first point of treatment instead of focusing on medicines, Dr. Mohan said.

“The cheapest drugs — Sulfonylureas and Metformin — that have since been discarded for more expensive tablets are still the best,” he said, adding that patients who had been prescribed only Sulfonylureas had lived for 50 years

Although the environmental factors play an important part, genes are crucial too

Read more at: thehindu.com

 

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