Diabetes

What is DIABETES?

When the glucose levels in the blood increase, we term it as diabetes. This may occur due to deficiency of the insulin hormone or may occur due to inefficient functioning of insulin.

 

Who are at risk?

Children of diabetic parents, ladies who had diabetes during pregnancy, sedentary stressful lifestyle and obese people are at risk of developing DM.

 

What are the complications?

DM can affect every cell of the body, but the major organs affected are eyes (retinopathy), heart (heart attacks), kidneys (nephropathy) and feet (diabetic foot – nerves and blood vessels).

 

What are treatments?

Treatment starts with diet and exercise. Oral medicines or insulin may be given based on blood glucose levels. Doses & medicines should not be substituted or altered by the patients.

 

Prevention?

Exercise is the mainstay of preventing DM. Eat healthy and wisely. Stress management is important.

 

Facts of DM:

Diabetes is a disease which can only be controlled. It cannot be cured.

People with Type1 diabetes do not produce insulin and hence require insulin replacement for life.

Blood sugars must be monitored at least once a month.

Keeping DM under control may prevent complications.

Smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase risk of complications

 

Myths:                          

Diabetes is a simple disease: Diabetes affects every organ of the body & needs specialized care. If left untreated, it may lead to complications.

Rice cannot be eaten at all: Rice is allowed in small amounts. Generally all food items are allowed in small quantities, except direct sugars like sugar, honey, jaggery and sweets

Fruits are not allowed: Fruits can be taken in limited quantity.

Diabetic drinks may be taken in plenty: Diabetic drinks contain calories and artificial sweeteners. Hence limit them.

Diabetic sweets, Jaggery and honey are good: Diabetic sweets are made o f honey or artificial sweeteners. Hence, they not only increase sugar but also the cholesterol. So they are best avoided.

Extra medicine for extra food:is absolutely wrong & may cause severe low sugars.

Insulin produces complications: Insulin is a very safe medicine and doesn’t cause any harm. Infact, it is the only safe drug to be used in complications.

Insulin is addictive: insulin may be given temporarily to the patient & may be withdrawn.

Artificial sweetners are very good: the long term side effects of these compounds are not known, hence they are best avoided.