Expert views on health issues that matter

Living with diabetes

ShyamprofileDr. Shyamprasad


Diabetes occurs frequently among Indians. It is higher among Indians than in other populations in the world. The incidence is nearly 30% of adult population in urban India and a little lower in rural India. The high incidence is attributed to changing dietary habits from the traditional eating habits because of modernization.

Once diabetes is established, one has to live with it all his/her life. This requires understanding of how the disease affects the body and how the diabetes is controlled.

Medication is available and is effective. It is wrong to depend only on medication for control of diabetes. Diet and exercise are equally important. A diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins is something all diabetics should work out with the help of a dietician. This transformation is difficult in the beginning and sometimes leads to resistance. This however should be overcome with determination.

Exercise is of paramount importance. It should be regular and planned. Should be for a duration of 45 minutes to one hour. It could be simple brisk walking in park or any walking track or it can be on a treadmill depending on what is practical and easy for the individual. Diet and exercise cannot be substituted with medication an option many seek as they are not used to regular exercise and not willing to give up favorite foods.

Testing your fasting blood sugar regularly, once a week if well controlled and daily if the test results are fluctuating, till you have reached optimal level of drug doses for effective control. The testing can be done at home using a user friendly glucometer now available at every drug store.

Diabetes is a cardiovascular disease, the chances of progressing to a heart disease is very high. Frequent (once in 6 months) health checkups that include ECG, blood tests for cholesterols and other lipids (fats) are necessary

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