150% Surge In Cases Of Diabetes In India: ICMR Releases New Guidelines, Measures

According to the ICMR guidelines “India is home to the World’s second-largest adult diabetes population”.

As India continues to witness mild surges in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country, the Indian Council of Medical research has released new guidelines for people diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. The health body said that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has disproportionately affected people with diabetes, exposing them to a high risk for severe illness and mortality.

According to the ICMR guidelines “India is home to the World’s second-largest adult diabetes population  and every sixth person with diabetes in the world is an Indian. The past three decades witnessed a 150 percent increase in the number of people with diabetes in the country.”

Adding that matter of immense concern is the progressive lowering of the age at which type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed, with the disease prevalence becoming apparent in the age group of 2534 years in both urban and rural areas,the guidelines said.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes? 

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by insulin deficiency and hyperglycemia in people with underlying genetic susceptibility. The risk of Type 1 Diabetes is three per cent, five per cent, and eight per cent, respectively, when the mother, father, and sibling have a disease history.

It generally  develops in children and teens as the pancreas either stops making insulin or makes it in very low amounts. Without insulin, blood sugar can’t get into cells and builds up in the bloodstream. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, which destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, called beta cells.

How To Prevent Type 1 Diabetes?


There are around 1.1 million people below 20 years of age estimated to be affected by type 1 diabetes globally  as per the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Atlas.

South-Indian and East-Indian diets are rich in simple carbohydrates. The intake of complex carbohydrates should be encouraged to constitute at least 70% of the total carbohydrates,” the guidelines read.

Meanwhile, regular physical activity increases the feeling of general well-being and helps prevent obesity, and mitigates increased cardiovascular risk.


All children and adults with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) require insulin as soon as they are diagnosed and continuously thereafter throughout life

. Therefore, it becomes important to be careful while using them. ICMR in its guidelines states that whatever the insulin regimen, its optimal use depends on the painstaking care taken by a diabetes team, including the physician, diabetes educator, and nutritionist, to educate and support the patient and his/her family regarding their best use as well as insulin dose adjustment.

ICMR has also identified some side effects that could happen due to insulin, which include Hypoglycemia, weight gain, and infection. “An optimal insulin dose is one which will achieve good glycemic control without frequent hypoglycemic episodes,” the report states.


ICMR in its new briefing states that blood glucose monitoring is a key factor that predicts glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that patients with type-1 diabetes should monitor blood glucose prior to meals and snacks, at bedtime, prior to exercise, when they suspect low plasma glucose, and after treating low plasma glucose (till blood glucose is normal), and before starting any critical tasks such as driving.


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