Diabetes, if managed well, can increase your lifespan: Ashok Jain

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A diabetic for the last 22 years, the founder of Lifespan began diabetes management clinics across India to help other diabetics lead a healthier and longer life

Ashok Jain has been a diabetic for the last 22 years. The experience put him a position to be empathetic to others who were dealing with the same situation. This is why, three years ago, he started Lifespan, a chain of diabetes management clinics across the country, to help other diabetics lead a healthier and longer life.

The beginning
Diagnosed a diabetic at 37, the chemical engineer and CEO of a chocolate and soft
drinks manufacturing company, went through great pains to manage the disease. He jostled a demanding job along with a lifestyle disease that required running around the city to find the right products, the tests, dietician consultations and more. Years of managing diabetes and reading up every book he could find on it, he knew he had to do something for fellow diabetics.

Eight years into the diagnosis, a doctor told Jain that henceforth he doctor told Jain that henceforth he had to be on insulin. “In those days that was like a death knell,“ he said adding, “When someone says you have to take insulin and then does not even teach you how to take it, you are left shattered.”

An all-encompassing facility

Jain says, “This disease not only requires 24×7 management, but also needs educators who can explain to patients what it is about. In my 22 years of being a diabetic, I must have lost only two days of productive work because of it.”

Lifespan was born out of this aim to help diabetics lead full and productive lives. He says, “At Lifespan, we have all the products a diabetic might need, all the diagnostic tests and tools, along with a large team of diabetologists, dieticians, counsellors and educators – under one roof.”

Pre-diabetes: A serious issue

Lifespan was one of the first organisations to create awareness about
pre-diabetes. The company announced a pre-diabetes day, because it believed that if there is a pre-diabetes day then one day there will be no need to have a diabetes day. “Among the 20 per cent pre-diabetics in India, around 60 per cent will turn diabetic. The patients are getting younger, which is disastrous for the country.”

Reversing pre-diabetes

Jain says, “Unless one takes it in their stride, all this can have an emotional affect. Lifespan helps a diabetic to outsource diabetes management. One no longer needs to wait for hours for tests – we send a phlebotomist home at your convenience. There are doctors and counsellors available 24×7 on phone or on the internet. Our team helps you change your lifestyle, weight, and control diabetes. We have helped many young diabetics reverse pre-diabetes.”

Increasing your lifespan

It is a documented fact that diabetes reduces a man’s life by around eight years. Jain says, “If the average lifespan of a person is 70, a diabetic will live up to 62. But if you manage your diabetes well you may live up to 78.”

An opportunity to help others

Statistics have revealed that 10 per cent of Indians are diabetic and 20 per cent pre diabetic. Jain says, “This means that around one-third of Indians are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. The number of patients runs into crores. In the last three years since Lifespan began, we have created 33 centres and touched the lives of 65,000 people across the country. So yes, it is satisfying. But with the number of patients in India increasing, even 2,000 clinics will not be enough. The opportunity to do good is huge. We require more doctors and people to help us in this endeavour.”
At Lifespan, we send a phlebotomist to your home. There are doctors and counselors available 24×7. Our team helps you change your lifestyle and control diabetes’

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