14th November is widely recognised as World Diabetes Day. India has the dubious distinction of being known as the World Capital of Diabetes. A lot of our patients are increasingly amongst the young. It is a largely asymptomatic disease and hence for every case that is diagnosed, there are much more waiting to be diagnosed. There is a huge burden of Pre-Diabetes where prevention of progress to Diabetes is possible.

Here are a few tips to manage Diabetes:

  • Diet, Exercise, Medication, and Monitoring are the four pillars of Diabetes Management.
  • A balanced diet is the backbone of Diabetes Nutrition.
  • Avoid Sugar, Jaggery and Sweets made with them.
  • Eat small frequent meals in time
    - Vegetables and Fruits should form a major part of the meal.
    - Cereals like Wheat and Rice are important but should be taken in moderation.
    - Cooking oil should be about 1/2 litre per patient per month.
    - Milk low in fat can be taken.
    - Lentils or Dal are important sources of protein and about 1gm/kg body weight per day should be taken.
    - Some dry fruits like Almonds, Walnuts can be taken in small amounts.For meat eaters, lean meats like fish and chicken are preferable.
  • Regular exercise has great health benefits.
    - Several studies have proved that exercise for about an hour every day improves blood sugars and has many health benefits
    - This should include, about 30 minutes of brisk walk followed by about 15 minutes of simple exercises for the joints, spine, abdomen hands and legs, and about 15 minutes of Pranayama and Meditation.
  • Frequent monitoring will provide the right direction for treatment.
    - FBG and PPBG should be done every 30 days.
    - HbA1c, Lipid profile every quarter
    - ECG, Urine Micral, Eye check yearly.
    - Tests may have to be done more often if needed.

With a little discipline and sincerity, one can live their life better in spite of Diabetes.