With its focus on little known facets of diabetes, the two-day Diabetes Health Mela 2009 got underway at Agarwal Bhavan in East Punjabi Bagh on Saturday. The annual event was inaugurated by West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra.

The eleventh Mela would provide patients with more information on the impact of diabetes on their sexual life, ear and shoulders, said Dr. A.K. Jhingan, president of Delhi Diabetes Research Centre, which is organising the event.

Dr. Jhingan said that most of the current4.8 million diabetic patients India are in the productive age group. He added that it was worrisome that this number is going to double by 2030.

“In the last couple of years we are seeing more diabetic patients with different and unusual symptoms and manifestations of diabetes which is not only affecting their inter personal relationship but also causing anxiety and depression thus further making control of blood sugar difficult,” he said.

To address the various queries of the patients, there would also be an expert panel comprising sexologists, ENT specialists and orthopaedic surgeons from various hospitals to interact with patients. Besides, cardiologists, cardio surgeons, eye specialists, nephrologists and diet experts would also provide counselling. Free general check up, blood sugar tests, eyes check up, heart check up and foot care would be provided to the visitors along with dietary counselling.

Dr Jhingan said that one of the most common problems of diabetes is related to sexual functions which can be observed in 35 per cent to 55 per cent of diabetic patients, and primarily in males between the age group of 30 to 45 years.

“It can cause frustration and depression in them and affect their relationship with their spouse,” he said, adding that uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, consumption of alcohol and some drugs prescribed for control of high blood pressure can further aggravate this problem.

Stating that often men shy away from discussing this aspect with the doctors and it is the women who have to discuss it, Dr. Jhingan said the problem, which also affects women in different form, can be solved to a great extent if there is knowledge sharing and counselling of both partners.

About 25 to 30 per cent of diabetic patients have hearing problems apparently associated with the disease. “Diabetic patients between the age group of 40 to 55 years of age normally get impairment of cochlear nerve of the inner ear. Improved hearing not only reduces tension but also helps in blood sugar control,’’ he said.

As for the problem related to difficulty and pain in shoulder movements, Dr. Jhingan said often patients can’t even comb their hair, wear shirts or even sleep on a particular side. This condition is due to deposition of glycoprotein in the capsule of shoulder joint and is also called ‘frozen shoulder’. Seen in 40 per cent of diabetics, more commonly in females, he said this problem can be resolved by physiotherapy but sometimes even orthopaedic intervention is required.


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