Articles on diabetes australia victoria

Controlling Diabetes Is Like Playing Cricket

Dr. Sachin Chittawar, Endocrinologist
Type 2 Diabetes is a day to day affair in our locality. The recent upsurge in diabetic patients has given the disease a complete new status. Patients start thinking of doom, look for instant cures and end up being stressed and worried. People are more concerned with the diagnosis rather than management and control of sugar level in the body.Like diabetes, cricket is also a common day to day affair. Look at the popularity of T20 /IPL When I say diabetes is like cricket, I end up making it a simple disease with fixed targets and a common goal to achieve. The fixed 20 overs go with our lifespan and type 2 diabetes mostly come after 10 overs are gone.In T20 mostly, the run rate becomes the primary aspect to win a match and it becomes indispensable especially when the first 10 overs are gone. The required run rate needs to be followed. Like cricket, in diabetes your run rate for fasting sugar should be within the range of 100 to 125 mg % and after meals it should be below 180 mg%. The average glucose of last 3 months should be around 7%. When we score as per the runs required per over, we have a strong possibility of winning the match. The same rule stands for diabetes. We need to keep blood sugars in range to avoid complications which is equivalent of losing the cricket match.What is meant by losing a match in diabetes? We should play to win the match against diabetes to avoid, delay or prevent the microvascular complications like retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy.Changes in blood sugar levels can cause the following complications:Uncontrolled sugar levels can cause changes in retina leading to blindness.Urinary protein loss in the form of microalbuminuria can lead to poor renal functions which means dialysis and even renal transplant.Feet can become numb and you can lose your sense of touch. This leads to injuries even while doing daily activities. The skin around the feet has no immunity which gives way to infection, gangrene and in severe cases amputation of foot.This vicious cycle can be completely avoided by playing the match according to the run rate fixed. However, do keep in mind that as run rate changes as per certain factors, it is the same for diabetes. Your sugar levels would be best decided keeping your age, gender, co-morbid illnesses, etc. all into consideration. No two goals would be the same. Just as your favourite batsman would have different run rate according to the current status of the match, your sugar levels would be different from another individual.The best way to know your run rate, is to consult your endocrinologist. The need of the hour is playing with zeal and with a clear idea about your goals. Just as India is the cricket capital, let’s all strive to make the country a diabetes-free capital too. Let the cricket spirit win! Chak de India!

Home Remedies To Stop Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu, Diabetologist
Approximately 95% people suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is primarily obesity & lifestyle related diabetes and can be prevented by diet modification & exercise. We normally diagnose diabetes when fasting blood sugar is more than 125 mg/dl, which is primarily affected by hours of fasting and quantity & quality of carbohydrate meal consumed at dinner last night. Also, 2 hours post prandial blood sugar depends on what we consume at breakfast or lunch. More than 200 mg/dl is diagnosed as diabetes. Majority of obese people, who are in the range of fasting sugars 100-125 mg/dl and/or post lunch sugars in range of 140-200 mg/dl, are about to develop diabetes in succeeding years are termed as Prediabetic. Diabetes can be reversed at Prediabetes stage with lifestyle modification (diet & exercise).Home remedies can help you a lot to control blood sugars at Prediabetes stage to prevent its progress to Diabetes.Now, we have a more reliable test called HbA1c ( Glycated Hemoglobin), which shows an average of blood sugars over last 3 preceding months which is not affected by hours of fasting and quality of food consumed. Normal person has a HbA1c value of 5.7% or less. Prediabetic person ranges between 5.7 -6.4 % of HbA1c , 6.5 % & above is diagnosed as Diabetes.(HbA1c value is also affected by certain rare conditions like blood loss, hemoglobinopathies, adminstration of certain drugs like aspirin, Vitamin C, etc.)Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive disease. When diabetes develops approximately 60% of pancreatic beta cells are dead and eventually over the time beta cells keep on diminishing and finally a stage arrives when exogenous insulin is necessary to control blood sugar.Natural home remedies are fruits and vegetables which helps to lower sugar by reducing carbohydrate absorption from gut, delaying gastric emptying or preserving and promoting beta cell function.In prediabetic stage these home remedies can help a lot to prevent its progress to diabetes. Also, in case of already developed diabetes these home remedies along with medication, can help to keep sugar under control. In diagnosed diabetes patients it is not an alternative to medication but adjunct to medication.Commonly used Natural home remedies includes :Fenugreek (Methi): Methi seeds can be soaked in water overnight and can be consumed in morning along with water or powdered methi seeds can be consumed along with milk or water. Normally two tablespoon is an appropriate quantity.Bitter gourd (Karela): Drinking karela juice daily on an empty stomach helps to lower sugarCinnamon (Dalacini): Adding dalacini to beverages and food helps to lower blood sugar to some extent.Indian Goosebery (Amla): Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C. Drinking small quantity of amla juice daily helps to lower sugars.Black Plum (Jamun): Powdered dried seeds of Jambul can be consumed along with water on empty stomach daily or jambul fruits can be consumed directly.Other Natural home remedies includes consumption of guava, powder of mango leaves with water, black coffee without sugar, green tea, okra, aloe vera, cloves, peas etcAll these home remedies are effective only if they are consumed daily for atleast 2-3 months. In known diabetes patients already on insulin or certain medication, occasional or sudden use may induce Hypoglycemia. In such a case, it is advisable to consult your diabetologist before starting such home remedies.Other Home remedies includes:Lifestyle modification with diet & exercise.Daily high quality sleep to minimize stress.Avoid smoking & tobacco.Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.Staying lean with healthy diet & regular exercise is key to prevent diabetes.If you like this article , Please share it with your friends & family.Awareness is Prevention!

10 Home Remedies to Control Diabetes

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Diabetes is basically caused due to the lack of production of insulin or improper use of the produced insulin, which eventually leads to a deficiency in the blood glucose level. Diabetes is of two types, one where the insulin production is insufficient therefore the glucose level cannot be balanced; two when the body cannot produce insulin at all and therefore patients must inject insulin to maintain close levels. Apart from synthetic drugs, you can use various home remedies to cure or at least improve your diabetic condition. Here are some great home remedies to effectively maintain your blood sugar level:Bitter gourd – Have juice extracted from bitter gourd every morning on an empty stomach. Having this everyday for a few months will help maintain blood sugar levels.Guava - Have guava every day after peeling the skin off. It contains Vitamin C and fiber which help maintain the standard blood glucose level. Excessive guava eating is not recommended.Mango leaves - Soak fresh mango leaves in water (say a one litre bottle) over night and consume first thing in the morning. You could even let them dry out, powder the leaves and have half a teaspoon everyday.Basil leaves – Have 2 tablespoons of juice extracted from basil leaves empty stomach, in the morning. These are loaded with antioxidants that relieve stress and also contain oils that help lower blood sugar levels.Jamun - Jamun’s leaves, seeds and berries are effective in improving blood sugar levels and they also prevent spikes in the level of insulin. You could eat a handful of the berries or powder the leaves and seeds- which you should consume twice a day.Amla – Combine 2 teaspoons of amla juice in water and have it as soon as you wake up. Make this a part of your everyday routine to maintain blood sugar levels.Flaxseeds - Eat one tablespoon of flaxseed powder with a glass of warm water every morning, on an empty stomach. Flax seed can bring down your sugar level by almost 28%. But be careful not to have more than 2 tablespoons per day, as that could be bad for health.Neem – Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity, improves circulation and lowers blood sugar levels thereby reducing your dependency on synthetic drugs. Drink the juice of the need shoot everyday on an empty stomach for best results.Fruits – Fruits are rich in fiber and other minerals which help stabilize blood sugar levels of the body. Consume at least 5 fruits a day! Choose fruits like banana’s, blackberries, cranberries, grape fruit, blueberries, kiwi and other citrus fruits.Apple cider vinegar - Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a class water and consume before every large meal. The nutritional components in apple cider will help control the rise in blood sugar levels after eating.

Can Surgery Resolve Diabetes?

Dr. Sarfaraz Baig, General Physician
If I were a diabetic, often I ask myself- Would I take a surgery that promises to halt the disease even for a few years- and lasts an hour with a hospital stay of one day and that would leave me 4 tiny scars on my belly and would make me satisfied after eating a grilled fish? Well I don't know. I am not a diabetic and I am not an expert in mind reading either. But I have always judged a procedure by asking myself one question- would I recommend it for my own kin, if yes then I wouldn't hesitate to offer it to my patients.Now let's evaluate this fascinating and awesomest claim that a surgery can reverse a disease so far thought to be irreversible. Diabetes per se is a disease of absolute or relative insulin deficiency. Insulin is required by the body to push in glucose from the blood to all the cells in the body. In type 1 diabetes insulin itself is deficient and in type 2 it is there but unable to work. The net result is same- the body cells are starved and undergo progressive degeneration. Ultimately a diabetic therefore has multiple organ damage including the eyes, heart, kidneys , liver, nerves, blood vessels, etc. It is no surprise therefore that diabetic patients frequently have to undergo eye surgery, heart stenting, kidney dialysis, nerve vitamin supplementation and leg and feet amputations. In the last 3 decades there has been evidence that the reason why insulin doesn't work in type 2 diabetics is because they have chemicals in the blood that inhibits it's action. They are called anti incretins. It is further known that a certain part of the gut is responsible for liberating it. So if we were to bypass the food from entering this part of the gut it would lead to amelioration of diabetes. This has been adequately exemplified in rat models (Rubino et al) and it is this knowledge that is fundamental to the concept of diabetes surgery. But there is a lot more than this. The fat cells in the body earlier thought to be an inactive body tissue is now known to liberate chemicals- adipokines- that have been shown to be pro diabetic. This comes as no surprise since it was common knowledge that diabetes affected the obese more than leaner individuals and the weight loss is instrumental for diabetes control.More research to excavate the cause of diabetes has revealed the role of liver and bile salts. The liver when laden with fat is also unable to perform its function of reducing blood glucose. Bile salts- secreted by the liver and absorbed in the gut via receptors - have been shown to be instrumental in keeping the blood glucose at optimal levels. It has been demonstrated that these bile salt receptors in the gut go haywire in diabetes. Metabolic or Diabetes surgery - the gastric bypass in particular - have profound effects on all these aspects of diabetes. To enumerate once more they are:1. Calorie restriction - obviously by reducing the food intake and hopefully the carb intake in a sensible compliant patient, the glucose load is decreased thereby allowing insulin to breathe easy2. Duodenal bypass - this arguably reduces the anti incretins and allows insulin to perform. It is therefore no surprise that gastric bypass- conventional or mini gastric bypass- works better in diabetes than procedures like sleeve (Stampede trial) 3. Adipolysis - fat melting is the biggest boon after the metabolic surgery - in the eyes of most patients - and helps in reducing the adipokines - chemicals liberated by fat cells. Yes they are not as innocent as you might think. This leads to improved insulin function and normalisation of blood glucose4. Resolution of fatty liver ( NASH) The liver post surgery becomes less fatty. This translates into better liver function and diabetes resolution5. Alteration of bile salt pool - this has become an area of active research in recent times. It is known that the gastric bypass especially the MGB has pronounced action on them.Phew! That's a lot to digest. So what am I suggesting to my readers - the diabetics more so? Am I recommending diabetes surgery. Well I put the evidence as it is - plain and simple- without resorting to gobbledygook. The patient should always have the last word. However if I were a diabetic and obese with blood fat also high, I would consider a surgery. I would definitely go for surgery if medicines were failing to control diabetes. I wouldn't accept the risks of damage to eye, heart, kidney, nerves and vulnerability to infections lying down. Accepting to eat moderately and sensibly and taking vitamins daily sounds like a good trade off for diabetes in that situation. Especially if it promises to halt the disease progression. Yes, I would take it.

How Homeopathy Gets Into Root to Cure Diabetes & It's Complications!

Dr. Kinjal Shah, Homeopath
How homeopathy can contribute to the management of this condition, improving quality of life and helping to control complications.Diabetes mellitus* is a condition in which the normal mechanism of the body for controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream has gone awry. A hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the movement of sugar, in the form of glucose, across from the blood stream into the individual cells of the body. Intracellular glucose is the “fuel” of the cells, without which they cannot work. In diabetes, either the pancreatic beta cells fail, and thus insulin is not produced; or the body become insensitive to the action of insulin with the same end result. So diabetes is really a condition of “starvation in the midst of plenty” where the glucose piles up in the blood stream and spills over into the urine, but the individual cells are starved of glucose.In the case of pancreatic beta cell failure, insulin is the only possible treatment, and must be given regularly by injection. This type of diabetes is known as type 1 diabetes or formerly “insulin­-dependent diabetes mellitus”. Let me say at this point that there is no homeopathic alternative to insulin,although some remedies may help to reduce the insulin requirements. People with type 1 diabetes are often quite young at the time of diagnosis, and will often have lost a lot of weight before diagnosis is made.In the case of the cells being resistant to insulin, management can often be achieved by a healthy diet, regular physical activity, drugs and sometimes insulin – this is type 2 diabetes and used to be known as “non-­insulin dependent diabetes mellitus”. These people are often in their middle years at time of diagnosis, and are often overweight, and can thus be helped considerably by dieting and regular physical activity.Management of diabetes So where can homeopathy contribute to the management of diabetes? First of all,homeopathic treatment can help improve the general health of a person with diabetes. If a person with diabetes is in good health, his or her insulin requirements will be steady and the blood glucose well controlled. If the general health is poor, it can be very difficult to achieve good control.This can be helped by administering a “constitutional” remedy, based on the totality of the patient’s symptoms and characteristics. The effect will be to improve the general sense of well-being, to improve diabetes control, and maybe to lower the insulin or drug requirements.The remedy Syzygium (Jambol seeds) has a reputation for a specific effect on diabetes, and can be given in mother tincture, three drops daily in water. I cannot claim much success with this, but a veterinary colleague has reported excellent results in dogs.Boericke’sMateria Medica mentions several other remedies, which cause diabetic symptoms,such as an increased urinary output and the presence of sugar in the urine (glycosuria), in their provings. Uranium nitricum is one of these, and it is associated with great emaciation and fluid retention, thirst, nausea and vomiting. It can be tried in low potency, twice daily.Phloridzin(obtained from the root of the apple and other fruit trees) is another remedy indicated.Specific complications Unfortunately,if the blood glucose level is not well controlled in diabetes, several serious complications can arise. It is important that people with diabetes have regular checks to detect any complications early. However, homeopathy can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of these complications.NeuropathyThe peripheral nerves can be damaged giving rise to blunting of sensation in the feet and hands. This can be dangerous because minor injuries, such as blisters,will not be felt and will thus be ignored. They can then progress to seriously infected ulcers which will take a long time to heal. I must stress that although homeopathic remedies can help here, they must be used in a complementary and not alternative way, because conventional medicines such as antibiotics may be vital to prevent gangrene from occurring.The numbness may be helped by Conium (hemlock) especially if this is accompanied by weakness of body and mind, difficulty walking because of trembling and weakness, and dizziness.Plumbum(lead) may be useful if the numbness is accompanied by hypersensitivity with neuralgic pains. These pains are better for hard pressure and rubbing, and worse at night.The infected ulcers can be helped to heal by using Calendula (marigold) both  externally as a lotion, and also internally, using a 6c potency twice daily.NephropathyThe urine must be regularly checked for the presence of protein which would indicate that the kidneys have become affected. Good diabetes control will minimise the risk of kidney damage.Unless severe damage has occurred, homeopathic remedies can help renal function. Apis mellifica (the honey bee) can stimulate a good urine flow and improve fluid retention. Natrum muriaticum (salt), Lycopodium (club moss) and Sulphur are all wonderful constitutional medicines which can improve renal function if the patient fits the type.ThrushAlthough not a life-threatening complication, recurrent thrush can make life pretty miserable. Again good blood glucose control minimises the problem, but there are several homeopathic remedies which can help with the symptoms.The one I most commonly use is a potency of the fungal organism itself, Candida. I use Candida 30c three times a day until the symptoms remit. This also tends to prevent recurrences.Otheruseful remedies are:Helonias(unicorn root): Profuse, thick, creamy discharge. Severe itching and soreness.Kreosotum: Smelly, yellow-staining discharge. Rawness and itching.Erectiledysfunction (impotence) This is a problem that causes a lot of distress, and for which there is no easy conventional solution. Good diabetes control is of the essence, but homeopathic treatment can also help. Again, I would use a constitutional remedy wherever possible, with the addition of the following remedies in low potency:Coca(divine plant of the Incas) – especially where associated with exhaustion and palpitations. Irritable, prefers to be alone.Phosphoric acid – mental debility. Cannot maintain an erection. Testicles tender and swollen.Moschus(musk) intense desire, but impotence. Fainting fits – tends to be hysterical.Worse for cold. Desire for stimulants.ArteriopathyPeople with diabetes in the past were put on diets rich in fats to compensate for the sugar and carbohydrate that they could not eat. It is now realized that this is not necessary and nowadays people with diabetes have much healthier diets, low in fats and with an average carbohydrate content. It is possible therefore that the high rate of atherosclerosis (furring of the arteries) seen in people with diabetes is as a result of their diet, and not of the disease itself.Atherosclerosis causes heart disease, stroke, poor circulation in the limbs and kidney damage. Hopefully the incidence of these complications will now reduce.I would like to illustrate this complication with a case history. Mr KS (aged 69)came to see me with an infected ulcer on his big toe. It had failed to heal using conventional treatment, including an admission to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. His other leg had been amputated four years previously after a similar infection could not be controlled.He was under the care of a vascular surgeon who was very gloomy about his chances of keeping his remaining leg. X-rays showed osteomyelitis of the bone underlying the ulcer, and Doppler studies showed a very poor circulation in the leg. I treated him with a constitutional remedy (Nux vomica 1M) for his general health, and he felt better in himself very quickly. I gave him Calendula both internally (6c twice daily) and externally as a lotion to bathe the ulcer. Hehad Secale 6c twice daily to help the blood circulation.After two months the ulcer was nearly healed, but the leg became swollen, so Ichanged him on to Apis 200c, one dose weekly.The fluid retention resolved, but the leg became very painful and the veins became distended. He had Hamamelis 6c twice daily for this, which helped considerably.Although the ulcer was by this time very much smaller, it would not completely close, and continued to ooze yellowish pus. He first had Silica 6c twice daily for this, and then Hepar sulph 6c twice daily.He was finally able to stop all medication after 15 months, with the ulcer fully healed, and the leg pain-free and a good colour.Caution : Do not use any of above mentioned medicines without guidance of qualified homoeopathic consultant.

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes Away

Dr. Sachin Chittawar, Endocrinologist
Fruits  are a necessary ingredient of our diet. They are rich in essential vitamins , minerals  and give us a gush of antioxidants. The essence of seasonal change is beautifully incorporated in the changing availability of fruits in our market. They are a healing touch to our body, soul, and the persona.Diabetes and Fruits-The diabetic enigma begins with a flurry of suggestions telling us what to  be or not to be eaten?. The soul of the advice gets lost in between  the newly found advising, newly generated anxiety, awareness, and the wrong perceptions. Diabetics are the ones who are being controlled in a remote controlled way by their wives, relatives, and children. Social fabric in India is different from the west, it is being beautifully driven by the sense of belongingness, concern and the real worry about  the coming doom. When a person gets diabetes even the maid of the  house starts taking care of the ailing individual. Extra care is good, but sometimes we are stuck up in between various suggestions and thoughts of our relatives. What to eat and what not to eat?.The three tenets of diabetes care are to restrict carbohydrates to 40-60% , restrict fat to 20%, proteins to 20% and have plenty of dietary fibre. This is like a plate full of chaat with miscellaneous ingredients and  the beauty of chaat is that the taste varies with individual to individual. You can have more of the green chutney or imli ki chutney, you can have more of sev , papdi  or the never ending list of spices. The taste varies with individual and the savory tickles the taste buds of everyone. This is what life is for, it gives us pleasure and self  containment.The treatment of diabetes and advice to a diabetic patient cannot be different. Advice to a  diabetic should incorporate the likes and dislikes of the patient who is receiving it, life will continue even if the patient is diabetic. The ingredients for the chaat personified as life of a diabetic cannot be without choices.Rationalisation of thoughts amongst the diabetics, relatives and friends is required, brakes to be applied when necessary.Fruits in Diabetes – Diabetic needs are not different from a non diabetic individual with an extra requirement of antioxidants, fiber and the balance in the three tenets. Fruits are  a rich source of  the recommended in diabetes.Is there an absolute no for a particular fruit? Myths shroud us and sometimes we are haunted by it. All fruits are good for diabetics, they should have all of them. They should know the fact that fruit sugars are not like the food sugar, it takes time in getting converted to glucose. We  have learnt the fact that if a food stuff  does not lead to a sudden increase in sugars i.e glucose, it is good for diabetics. The glycemic index of fruits is low.Which fruit should be taken?Fruits with the less  glycemic index like apple, papaya, guava, pomegranate are the preferred ones. Chikoo, banana, oranges, grapes, mangoes, litchis are the ones to be taken in moderation. Preference doesn’t mean that the others should never be taken. Balance the fruits in the diet as per season, availability and the three tenets of diabetes. Fruits are the necessary content of a diabetic diet, they reduce the oxidative stress and gives us the elixir of life. An apple a day keeps diabetes away.

5 Important Dietary Tips to Prevent Diabetes

Mr. V Ravichandran, Physiotherapist
What is Diabetes?It is a condition whereby the amount of glucose in an individual’s blood is too high due to the body unable to utilise it properly. This is because the pancreas produces little or no insulin to help glucose to enter the body’s cells.Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to regulate the amount of glucose in blood. After a meal, our blood glucose levels will tend to rise. Therefore, insulin is secreted to break down the glucose into energy for the body to use, thus maintaining anormal blood sugar level. However, people with diabetes whom has little or no insulin produced by the pancreas, blood glucose levels remain high and they will feel tired easily as glucose is not broken down to energy for the body to use.Types of DiabetesType 1:Known as an auto-immune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin injections for survival.This disease can occur at any age, mostly in children and young adultsComplications are sudden and life-threateningType 2:Mostly associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, insufficientphysical activity and being obese.Body cannot properly use the insulin. Body become resistant to insulin.Occurs more frequent to people of age OVER THAN 40 YEARS OLD, particularly those who are overweight andphysically active.Can be controlled with proper diet and exercise but most diabetics need oral medication.Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)Occurs in about 2-5% of all pregnanciesWomen who were not diagnosed to have diabetes previously will show high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.Signs and Symptoms of DiabetesAlways lethargicFrequent UrinationSudden weight lossWounds that won’t heal or take very long to healSexual problemsConstantly hungryBlurry visionNumb or tingling hands or feetAlways thirstyVaginal infectionsComplications of DiabetesSleep apneaStrokeLung diseaseLiver diseaseCancerGallstonesArthritisGoutHeart diseaseGuidelines to Blood Glucose Levels:Random blood glucose level (Normal): < 7.8 mmol/LRandom blood glucose level (Diabetic): ≥ 11.1 mmol/LFasting blood glucose level (Normal): ≤ 6.0 mmol/LFasting blood glucose level (Diabetic): ≥ 7.0 mmol/LWhat can be done?InsulinInsulin jabs are mainly applicable for individuals with Type 1 diabetes.There are short and long acting types of insulin jabsAlways keep all insulin bottles with a spare one in fridge when not in useHealthy LifestyleDo exercises regularly such as cycling, swimming and many other activities which allows the body to use up the glucose in the bodies, therefore lowering the blood glucose levels in the body.Get a proper diet. Do not smoke. It worsens the narrowing of blood vessels already caused by diabetes. This will then reduceblood flow to many organs and this may lead to many serious complications.Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol interferes with meal plans and blood glucose control especially if taking insulin or other medications for diabetes.Eat More of..Healthy fats from raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, whole milk dairy, or avocadosFruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colourful the better; whole fruit rather than juicesHigh-fibre cereals and breads made from whole grains or legumesFish and shellfish, organic, free-range chicken or turkeyHigh-quality protein such as eggs, beans, milk, cheese, and unsweetened yoghurtEat Less of..Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foodsPackaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, dessertsWhite bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or riceProcessed meat and red meat from animals Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yoghurt 

Myths & Facts About Diabetes

Aparna Indoria
1. Diabetes is always inherited.There does seem to be a genetic element to both type 2 diabetes and obesity, which is why they can sometimes run in families. However, environmental factors, including diet and exercise, play a huge part In the development of both these conditions. It is important for everyone to eat healthy and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or obesity.2. Type 2 diabetes is not always caused by lack of insulin because some people with diabetes do not need to take insulin.In type 2 diabetes, the body has increased insulin needs due to the reduced responsiveness or insensitivity of body cell to insulin, and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to meet these increased needs of the body. The diet, exercise and drug treatments for type 2 diabetes attempt to both overcome insulin insensitivity and to stimulate more insulin secretion. Ultimately, however, the ability to stimulate the cells of the pancreas to produce more insulin is not enough and insulin injections are usually needed to achieve good control of blood glucose.3. A high level of blood glucose is normal for some people.This is untrue. People with diabetes should always try and keep their level of blood glucose as close to the normal range as is possible and convenient. High levels of blood glucose lead to an increased risk of eye, heart, Kidney and foot problems.4. Insulin use causes weight gain.Without sufficient insulin, digested food and muscle tissue are broken down and turned into glucose (sugar) by liver. This excess sugar is lost in the urine, an unnatural process not found in people without diabetes. Improved blood glucose control will reduce this loss of sugar in urine, and the calories retained are stored as extra fat, as in people without diabetes. Weight gain can also occur if too much insulin is being taken and extra calories are being taken to prevent or treat low blood glucose level.5. People with diabetes cannot drink alcohol.Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol with food has no adverse effect on blood glucose or insulin levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However alcohol can cause low glucose levels, If taken on an empty stomach or in excess. Beer contains a lot of carbohydrate, which counters the effects of the alcohol in causing hypos, but leads to weight gain if drunk regularly. People with or without diabetes can benefit from the heart protective effects of light to moderate intake of alcohol, red wine is beneficial.

Common Myths About Diabetes

Dr. Sudhindra Kulkarni, Diabetologist
The World Health day is celebrated on 7th of April every year. The theme this year is Beat Diabetes. The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is on the rise and so are the myths surrounding the condition. Here, we help you break some common misbeliefs to help you manage diabetes better.Diabetes is not a serious disease.You cannot afford to take diabetes lightly. But this doesn't mean that life comes to an end once you are diagnosed with it. In fact, I suggest that you don’t wait to get diagnosed with diabetes, to take it seriously. This is especially true for people who are at high risk of developing diabetes.If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop Type-2 diabetes.People, who have a genetic propensity, are overweight, follow a sedentary lifestyle and are suffering from hypertension should not wait for diabetes to be diagnosed and then take control measures.People with diabetes should completely eliminate sugar, starchy foods like rice and potato from their diet.Even if you are diagnosed with diabetes, there is no need to completely eliminate anything from your diet. What you presently eat—the type and quality, your activity and stress levels and your weight will primarily determine number of calories you need, which will be the basis for your diet plan. Control and moderation are the key words.Once I begin to take medicines to control sugar, my diabetes will always be under control and I won’t have to visit the doctor.Taking medicines does not eliminate the need for regular monitoring and consulting the doctor.In fact, the need increases because the doctor will need to evaluate how your body is responding to the medicines and will accordingly alter the dosage.

6 Common Myths About Diabetes

Sheetal Aversekar, Diabetologist
      1. ONLY OLDER PEOPLE GET DIABETESEarlier, diabetes occurring in children and youngsters was considered to be type 1 (juvenile/ insulin dependant) diabetes. However the scenario is fast changing nowNowadays, unhealthy lifestyles are causing a lot of youngsters to develop the more common variety of type 2 diabetes. Today, it is not uncommon for teenagers or people in their 20s and 30s to be detected as being  type 2 diabetic.        2. DIABETES MEDICINES SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN FOR LONG AS THEY DAMAGE KIDNEYSMany people stop their diabetes medicines once their blood reports are normal, fearing damage by long term usage of medicinesThe truth is that stopping medicines will again cause the blood sugar level to rise and an uncontrolled blood sugar may damage not only the kidneys, but also eyes, nerves, heart, liver in the long run     3. MY FASTING AND 2 HOUR POST LUNCH REPORTS ARE WITHIN NORMAL LIMITS, SO I SHOULD NOT WORRYYour sugar level at other times of the day or on other days may not be within limits. Hence, you need to do a blood test called as HbA1c every 3 months which will tell you if you are well controlled in general over the past 3 monthsApart from that, lipid profile, kidney function tests, liver function tests, eye examination, feet examination should be done at least once a year or in some cases, more frequently, to detect any complications of diabetes at an early stage        4. DIABETES AFFECTS ONLY THOSE WHO EAT MORE SUGARUnfortunately, all Indians have a  risk of developing type 2 diabetes ( we are genetically more prone). However, it is not only the sugar intake but an unhealthy lifestyle which decides whether you will develop diabetes or not. This includes irregular meal and sleep timings, over intake of fast food/ oily food leading to weight gain, lack of adequate exerciseHealthy habits need to be inculcated right from childhood. For all the mothers out there, a chubby child is NOT a healthy child!      5. A SPECIAL DIET IS REQUIRED FOR DIABETICSThis may be true in certain special cases as decided by your doctor. However, most diabetics need to follow a healthy dietary and lifestyle pattern which should be followed even by non-diabeticsWhat is more important is to have small frequent meals rather than 3 heavy meals, increasing fibre intake in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed food( tinned/ready to eat meals/ bakery foods), increasing water intake, ensuring adequate sleep and having a brisk walk for 30-40 minutes daily with appropriate footwearCrash diets should not be attempted as they will do more harm than good      6. INSULIN WILL DAMAGE MY BODYInsulin is an injection which needs to be taken daily in some individuals with diabetes. Your doctor will prescribe it only if your diabetes cannot be controlled by tablets, either on a temporary or a permanent basisIt is the best medicine to control blood sugar levels and if taken in the right dose and if precautions are followed, it will cause no harmNowadays, better varieties of insulins and insulin needles with a very fine tip are available which make the injections almost painless