I expect members of this group, who are suffering from Diabetes (whether Type 1 or Type 2) to write any incident/acident or peculiar experience they have faced as a patient of Diabetes. I, as a Diabetologist would like to point out medical messages from them

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Comment by Cody Turner on September 28, 2007 at 10:15am
Just today a friend of mine told me that I shouldn't be going out and doing things because I am so "sick" right now as my blood sugar is bottoming out. I have been more active recently and with the increased activity I haven't had to use as much insulin. I get tired of people thinking I am "sick" and shouldn't live my life because of diabetes.
Comment by Dr. L.K. Shankhdhar on October 4, 2007 at 3:31pm
Exerting too much can certainly cause Hypo and one might feel run down for some time, but this can be treated easily by taking some glucose or sugary thing. Regading your thought that "should,nt live my life because of Diabetes," I would like to tell that such depressive thought spoil control. Secondly Diabetes makes you learn how to live with discipline and in the longer run it becomes a way of life.
Comment by Dr. L.K. Shankhdhar on November 12, 2012 at 10:13pm
As a part of World Diabetes Day I am pasting some information in Q&A format:-
1. How do I know if I have diabetes?
- Mostly diabetes is diagnosed after blood test but many symptoms raise suspicion and they include: increased thirst, increased urination and increased appetite along with progressing weakness and weight loss. These are classical symptoms of diabetes but quite sparingly found.
- Diabetes should also be checked along with hypertension, heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, rapid change in eye sight, decreased sexual performance in men and recurrent abortions and foetal loss in women.
- Pain in legs, tingling and numbness of legs and feet may also be associated with Diabetes.
- All obese subjects must be screened for diabetes.
2. When is the right age to test for diabetes?
- Western literature suggests 3 yearly screening of diabetes after 45 yrs but since diabetes occurs at an early age and Indians have higher predilection for diabetes, there is a reasonable consensus among Indian physicians to suggest yearly screening of diabetes after 30 years.
3. My parents are diabetic. What are my chances of getting diabetes?
- Genetically speaking if one of the parents is diabetes risk of diabetes among offspring is 30% but the risk rises to 80-100% if both are diabetics.
4. I am diabetic. Can I eat rice and roti? Can I take fruits? What other foods should I restrict?
- Broadly speaking a person with diabetes may take any thing but not in unspecified quantity. What item of diet shall increase more or less sugar depends upon Glycemic Index (GI) of an edible. Simpler to say this index compared sugar raising power of any edible with Glucose.
- Glycemic index is also influenced by state of edible and method of cooking. Thus compared to liquidated forms, solids have lower GI and fatty edibles have lower GI.
- Thus wheat and rice have almost equal GI and hence there is no reason why rice should be prohibited for patients of diabetes.
- Higher the fibre content of any edible, lesser is the GI. Thus whole fruits are welcome and juices discouraged.
- Regarding the fruits, thumb rule is that fresher a fruit more suitable for consumption by patients of diabetes. Thus green guava and green grapes can be taken but stale yellowish fruits should be avoided. Reason for this is simple. Greener fruits have Fructose but yellowish ones have more of glucose content.
5. I love sweets and eat them a lot. Will it cause diabetes?
- Eating sweats does not cause diabetes but such a habit might increase weight which can cause diabetes.
6. My doctor said, I am “glucose intolerant” – what does it mean? – Am I diabetic?
- If a person gets himself tested after a glucose drink he might belong to any of the 3 states- Normal or Euglycemic state, Diabetic state or glucose intolerant state, also called Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT). Thus IGT is a pre diabetic state and heralds higher risk of diabetes in future.
7. My friend developed diabetes during pregnancy. I am planning for pregnancy. Will I have diabetes and is it permanent?
- Pregnancy is a state of physical stress for any woman and stress is a known risk factor for diabetes.
- One is more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy if there were such a history in the past, or lady were obese and conceiving at older age.
- Such a Diabetes is called GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus). Only one third of these cases continue diabetes after delivery. Rest remain at higher risk to develop diabetes in future.
8. What is the best treatment for diabetes – allopathy or alternative medicine or combination (ayurveda/homeopathy)?
- I personally feel, allopathic treatment is the best for diabetes because there used to be no treatment of Diabetes until Insulin was discovered in 1921. At that time other pathies must have been tried but average patient could survive for a year or so. Now you can see even 100 year old diabetes patients.
- In Allopathy we use a phrase- Evidence based medicine which means that our approach depends upon evidence supplied by research.
9. Some say insulin is bad. What is your opinion? Will I need to take it for life?
- I don’t feel that Insulin is bad. For that reason nothing is bad in right hands.
- There are many situations when Insulin is indicated absolutely such as Type 1 Diabetes, Diabetes with pregnancy; not controlled with diet and Metformin, Old cases of Type 2 Diabetes not getting target glycmeic control with Oral agents and during major operations.
- Insulin is often preferred since glycmeic monitoring is easy as tablets can not be broken into many pieces while Insuiln can be administered in smaller doses of 1-2-3 units.
- Regarding how long it will be required depends upon individual need. Often in Type 2 Diabetes Insulin is added to existing oral therapy and after sometimes it is withdrawan.
10. I have diabetes. People say I will become blind. Is that true?
- Good glycemic control has proven value in preventing eye complications including blindness. There is ample proof that even existing Retinopathy diminishes in intensity with better glycemic control.
11. Can I live healthy with diabetes? What measures to be taken to lead a normal life like that of a person who never had diabetes?
- Journey with diabetes becomes easy if you follow advice of Y. Joslin, the father of Diabetes. He said- “He who knows most lives most.”
- As a senior Diabetologist, I advise following tips to my patients for having a trouble free future with diabetes:-
1. Always take treatment of diabetes in specialized multi doctor Diabetes clinics, not merely by any physician.
2. Increase your information pool by any and every modality such as discussing with your physician, dieticians and podiatrist, reading books on diabetes, searching material on internet etc.
3. Be a disciplined patient first by reporting on time. Very few patients take regular treatment.
4. Patients should undertake necessary tests as mentioned in International guidelines and advised by treating physician.
5. Do file your reports and prescriptions and bring them at the time of every consultation.
12. Can it be cured? I heard of stem cells - is it effective?
- Not today but cure should be expected in near future especially with Stem cell therapy.
- Lot of change is expected soon in diabetes management such as an era of glucagon based therapy instead of Insulin based approach.

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