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Diabetes and Your Personality

A research conducted on 3500 patients by a school in Westminster, USA concluded that there are two major personality characteristics in the management of diabetes:

1. The Interactive personality

2. The Independent personality

The Interactive personality type includes patients who interact freely with other people in discussing their issues and readily seek help from family and friends in managing their condition.

The Independent personality type is marked by a strong trait of being self sufficient and self reliant in managing their own lifestyle and condition.

The outcome of this research was that people with the ‘Interactive’ personality were found to be more successful in managing their Diabetes and had longer life spans.

Diabetes management correlation with ‘how you feel today’

One of the most neglected areas when it comes to Diabetes management is the emotional state of mind. It can have a strong and direct impact on how successfully one is able to manage Diabetes. Hence, you will find a lot of advice from experts on taking care of not just the physical aspects, but psychological, social and spiritual aspects of dealing with life with Diabetes.

Most chronic conditions and progressive diseases such as Diabetes can prove to be quite challenging to manage, not just for the patient, but the families too. It is quite normal for people and families with diabetes to undergo tremendous emotional upheavals through the years.

Psychologist Mariella Mendell explains that being diagnosed with Diabetes is a major life stress and, therefore, it requires dealing with psychological challenges ranging from grief, denial, anxiety depression, shame and guilt. This roller coasting set of emotions could affect one’s control in managing their blood glucose levels. The same goes for their families. They also undergo anxiety, irritation and “compassion fatigue” a term used for burnouts among caregivers and partners of people living with Diabetes or other chronic conditions.

Researchers in Joslin Medical Centre, USA discovered a link between high levels of glutamate (a neurotransmitter in the brain that is produced by glucose) to symptoms of depression in people living with Diabetes. So, if you are a patient or spouse/family of someone living with diabetes, it is recommended that you talk about your condition, your feeling of that day, and, if required, opt for medical/psychological help or counselling. Many people have also turned towards meditation and spirituality to find an emotional balance that helps them remain calm while dealing with their condition.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the links below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Diabetes food

Diabetes excercise 

Diabetes food myths and facts

Myth: People with diabetes should never have sweets! 

Truth: Good news folks! People with diabetes can have sweets occasionally. American Diabetes Association advocates that desserts and sweets are  to be relished and consumed on special occasions and festivals albeit, your blood glucose level are under control and you are taking prescribed medicines regularly.

Myth: People with diabetes cannot have juices.

Truth: People with diabetes can very much enjoy fresh juices, but they definitely need to avoid canned and packed juices because of its added sugar content and high glycaemic values.

Myth: People with diabetes cannot have fruits.

Truth: People with diabetes should offcourse have fruits keeping in mind the glycaemic indexes.  According to National Institute of health, USA fruits are a very good source of fibres and vitamin C “ascorbic acid”. All citrus fruits are rich source of vitamin C which boosts our immune system to fight against common diseases.

Myth: A big NO-NO to potatoes

Truth: People with diabetes may have potatoes (baked, grilled or steamed) in meals. Potatoes are to be ideally consumed, along with non-starchy vegetables and salads.

Myth: Diabetes diet is a very strict diet

Truth: A Diabetes diet is one of the healthiest diets, and has no hard and fast rule. Diabetes diet can be even followed by people without diabetes. You may select from a variety of options like the Mediterranean, flexitarian, vegan, Ornish to know more refer to Diet options in Famhealth.

Myth: Say no to all carbohydrates and yes to proteins

Truth: Yes carbohydrates do turn into sugars, but having overload of proteins and no carbs may lead to fatigue and cardiovascular diseases. Having more of proteins eventually leads to accumulation of fats in the body leading to cardiovascular diseases. ADA suggests, making a smart choice of having low carbohydrates will keep you energetic and prevent you from feeling low and tired.

Myth: Diabetes diet does not contain eggs, as they contribute to high cholesterol levels in the body

Truth: People with diabetes may have eggs, as eggs are a good source of protein and vitamin D. ADA says, “What really matters is the way it is cooked”. Boiled eggs with yolks removed can be consumed, to ensure that it does not aid to cardiovascular complications.

Myth: You can eat whatever you want if you are taking medications

Truth: This is one of the major myths associated with diabetes. Medications only help you to convert sugar to energy, but if you supplement your body with more than required amount of food then, it will lead to spiking of blood glucose levels and poor diabetes management.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping Items

Going for grocery shopping for yourself or your loved one? Take a look at the nutritive items you must bring home and stock up your Frigidaire. Besides nutrient content, the glycemic index (GI) of a food may also help you make healthy choices. The GI measures how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, while high GI foods have a score of 70 or more. In general, lower GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes. Foods that are both nutritious and have a low GI are helpful in managing health and blood glucose levels.

Keeping the Indian supermarket in mind we bring together some easily available items extremely beneficial for you health.

Here’s your guide:

Starchy foods:

Starchy foods are always referred Carbohydrate rich foods. This category stands very important as it provides energy to the body to perform vital actions. Whenever you are going to the supermarket next for grocery shopping make sure, a good portion of your cart contains items from this category. So, we bring you some healthy options which can help you to shop quickly. Of course the options given below are not the only options you may choose, but incorporating some or all into your diabetes meal plan may help you and partner improve the overall health. 

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole-Grain Bread/ Flour

Non-Starchy

This category of veggies goes a long way in satisfying your hunger and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals. They are the lowest in calories and carbohydrates. Non starchy vegetables are highly recommended by dieticians around the globe for weight loss and diabetes management.

Here are some non-starchy veggies you may wish to bring home today.

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Brinjal
  • Red peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Lettuce

Fruits

You may choose to add non starchy low glycaemic index fruits in all your meals and snacks. They contain natural fructose which may act as a dessert after meals to satisfy your taste buds.  According American Diabetes Association guidelines, at least 4-5 servings of fruits needs to be consumed daily by people living with diabetes. They nourish the body with plenty of vitamins and fibres.

These are some options you may choose to shop today.

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Star fruit
  • Papaya

Dairy products

ADA recommends, we should include dairy products as a part of our healthy diet, as they are high in both protein and calcium.  Evidence till date suggests, that milk product consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes. So, we are sharing a list of milk products you may wish to add in your cart. But it’s advisable to check on fats while consuming milk products.

Here are some healthy options.

  • Low fat Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter milk
  • Unsweetened lassi
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Protein containing products

You may choose to include a variety of protein-rich foods in your diabetes meal plan.  Proteins are derived from both animals and plant origin, which are very essential for the repair and growth of human body. As you already know protein also provides energy and is an excellent source of macro nutrient known as the “building blocks of life”.

Here are some healthy choices; you may wish to take home today.

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Nuts

Nuts and Seeds

Research conducted in Louisiana State University found, that people who regularly consumed nuts have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes. So, next time, you crave for foods high in sugar and fat, you have healthier options and can choose to munch on some assorted nuts. It can be an excellent snack option as well, such as pumpkin seeds known to deliver taste and crunch, or peanuts and other seeds which are rich in protein, fibre, and good fats. They’re also a source of magnesium, a mineral that’s key to blood-sugar control because it helps cells use insulin. So, on the basis of their great benefits, we are recommending you these

  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Musk melon seeds

Oils and Fats

As you may already know, oils and fats are also a very essential part of our diet, as it provides nourishment and a major chunk of cooking is done with them. Oils and fats are a good source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is true that all fats are high in calories, so it is important to watch portion sizes you are consuming. But a smarter way can be adopted by opting for unsaturated healthy fats than saturated and Trans fats, while substituting the healthy fats in their place. 

Here’s a small list of Cooking oil and fats.

  • Mustard oil
  • Soya bean oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Low fat butter
  • Margarine
  • Peanut butter
  • Ricotta cheese.

Herbs and Spices

The herbs and spices from our Indian sub-continent seem to be the most explored and active component in maintaining blood glucose levels.  A number of research and studies are being conducted to support this theory.

Let us find the essential spices and herbs one must have in their kitchen

  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • And other salt free spices
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Beverages

As you may already know, if you are having diabetes, doctors recommend that you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink specially canned or packaged drinks which contain hidden sugars. So to prevent spiking in the blood sugar levels, American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends choosing zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks.

Here are some options which may benefit you while consuming beverages.

  • Water (unflavoured or flavoured sparkling water)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Sugar-free fruit juice
  • Low-fat milk

Snacks

Who doesn’t love snacks?  Everyone loves to much on snacks in between meals; there are lots of healthy choices that can be used as snack foods.  As you may already know, while taking medications you are advised to snack in between meals to avoid low blood sugar levels.

So we bring together some quick readymade snacks you can directly pick from the super market.

  • Popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Fruits (as mentioned above)

Remember this list is not exhaustive you may pick and choose other food items as well, according to their Glycaemic Index. This list is quick shopping guide keeping the Indian market in mind.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

7 Smart Eating Strategies To Lose Weight And Reverse Diabetes

1. Keep a Diary:

One of the smartest ways to begin with, is to record what you are eating throughout the day. Leading dieticians all-round the globe recommends maintaining your own small diary, to keep a check and analyse the food items you are consuming. Studies in the U.K confirm, people who maintained food records lost extra amount of weight, than people who didn’t record.

2. Watch your food labels:

Picking up a fruit juice can? Or your favourite soft drink? You’re advised to read the nutritive label. Knowing the calorie content and glycaemic index can get a little cumbersome, but research suggests, awareness of the calorie content and high sugar levels help people living with diabetes in keeping away from harmful food items which may spike their blood glucose levels.

3. Start with a good breakfast:

Research is on our side, starting the day with a good breakfast powers you with high energy and helps you maintaining your blood glucose levels throughout the day. The old saying “breakfast like a king” stands correct if you choose low carb breads & cereals, fresh juices, boiled eggs, nuts, oats, yogurt, cheese, milk and not to forget your medicines.

4. Eat by the plate method

Eating by the plate method advocated by ADA recommends, filling half of your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables, one fourth of your plate with lean proteins like grilled fish or chicken and the balance with low carbs. This is a popular model which not only aids in weight loss, but also keeps the blood glucose levels on check.

5. Carb counting

Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is not a diet plan, it is a meal planning strategy for people with type 1 or type-2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day.

Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks and it is very important.      Completely cutting down on carbs may lead to fatigue and restlessness. One must choose wisely and replace with diabetes friendly and healthy low carbs.

According to National Institute of Health USA, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are vital part of a healthy eating plan because they provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and most importantly fibre. Fibre can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight.

Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients and they often spike your blood glucose levels leading to poor diabetes management.

6. Eat more small meals

People with diabetes should eat 4-5 small meals during the day instead of three larger meals, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Eating small meals allows replenishment along with slower, continuous absorption of food, which prevents you from cravings and hunger pangs. Among the benefits are also decreased blood sugar levels after meals, reduced insulin requirements during the course of the day, weight loss and lower blood cholesterol.
 

7. Always stock up your refrigerator:

Stocking up your refrigerator with healthy food items is more or less like keeping your supplies ready. This prevents you from eating high calorie and sugary food items in times of hunger. You may choose from a wide variety of fruits, nuts, cheese, and low carb multigrain breads and protein shakes to quickly make minimeals and avoid binging.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Diabetes Diet Options

Hello everyone! Here’s introducing everybody, to absolutely amazing diet options you may wish to choose.  We all require a break from the monotony of the diet plans we are currently following, so read on to pick your option this month. Remember before you switch to any plan or diet options, it’s always wise to check with your doctor/dietician and be doubly sure if this plan will work effectively for you.

DASH Diet

Did you know along with diabetes you can keep your blood pressure under control?

Try the DASH diet, best known for keeping high blood pressure in check; Dash diet has been one of the favourites of people with diabetes, research reveals majority of people have come on top of their condition following a blend of Dash Diet, workouts and lifestyle changes.

Diet Composition:

“It’s a plant-focused diet that’s rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, as well as low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats,” says Sonya Angelone, RD, a consulting nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It’s easy to follow, healthy for the whole family, and great for weight loss.”

The Mediterranean Diet

Cholesterol problem? Now no problem, follow the Mediterranean diet.

One of the favourite healthy diets followed globally by people with Diabetes and without diabetes. Mediterranean diet comprises of cooking meals with the goodness of “olive oil” to keep cholesterol at bay.

Lots of fresh, seasonal food, plenty of produce, heart-healthy olive oil, and a little wine make the Mediterranean Diet an enjoyable choice for people with diabetes, says Constance Brown-Riggs, RD, a certified diabetes educator and author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes.

This style of eating can help with blood sugar control, as well as heart disease risk, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Studies show that people are more likely to stick to this plan, “so it may help you avoid yo-yo dieting,” Smithson says.

Vegan Diet

Tried eating meals minus dairy products and meat?

The theory behind vegan diet is simple and healthy. You can cook a healthy meal without adding dairy products such as milk, cream, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese. Vegan diet also does not comprise of any kind of animal products a no-no for any meat. Research suggests, vegan diet aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.

The Flexitarian Diet

Do you want to try some flexible option? Here you go

Flexitarian as the word suggests, is a concoction of two words: “flexible and vegetarian”. Wait! there’s more to eat …….Along with eating veggies one can easily flip to eating lean meat and eggs as and when required by the salivary juices in our stomach.

The term was coined more than a decade ago, “The Flexitarian Diet: Research is on our side as this diet mostly aids in losing weight, keeping healthy, building immunity  and Adding years to our lives.

Dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner says you don’t have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits.

Vegetarian Diet

People with diabetes “Old is Gold”……..but its Famhealth we will make this extra interesting

This diet as the name suggests, comprises of vegetables, dairy products, legumes, pulses but no meat. This Diet helps in checking in blood glucose levels, obesity and keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay.

We shall share some interesting, amazing mouth-watering vegetarian recipes with you on Famhealth recipe corner. We bet you cannot resist Do check out!

Mayo Clinic Diet

“Watch your calories” and eat smartly!

This diet has been specially designed for diabetes and people with a risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

We recalibrate our eating habits, breaking bad ones and replacing them with good ones with the help of the Mayo Clinic’s unique food pyramid.

The pyramid emphasizes fruits, veggies and whole grains. In general, these foods have low energy density, meaning you can eat more but take in fewer calories. Think of it this way: For about the same amount of calories you could have a quarter of a Snicker’s bar or about 2 cups of broccoli.

American Diabetes Association Carbohydrate Counting

This is not a Diet! Its traditional sense!

The famous American Diabetes Association advocates, that nothing can go wrong if you count carbohydrates you are consuming. The main purpose isn’t weight loss but consuming only the amount of low carbs which is required by the body to convert into energy form.

Carb counting is a great way to manage your blood glucose levels. Many high-carb foods also tend to be high in calories, so cutting back on them often leads to shedding pounds resulting in weight loss.

If you choose this approach, remember to ask your doctor or a diabetes educator how many carbs to eat at each meal (for example 45-60 grams per meal is an average, but your number could be different because body types and conditions are always not the same for everyone.) A lot depends on the physical activities and body requirement of the person.  “An exclusive individualized meal plan must be designed based on your nutritional requirements, caloric needs, medications, and exercise routine.

The Fertility Diet

As the name suggests, fertility diet enhances the strength of reproductive organs in the human body and increases the chances of becoming parents of offspring to manifolds.

Research is on our side, a health study conducted in USA from the Nurses which began in1976 and grew to include 238,000 female nurse participants aged 30 to 55 has shown that tweaking aspects of your diet, from fats to beverages, can increase ovulation and improve your chances of getting pregnant.

In “The Fertility Diet: Ground breaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant,” Drs. Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health created a diet plan based on the study, which showed that women who consumed “good” fats, whole grains and plant protein improved their egg supply, while those who ate “bad” fats, refined carbohydrates and red meat may make fewer eggs, thereby increasing the risk for ovulatory infertility.

Fertility diet also hints that full-fat dairy products are good for fertility compared with skim milk and sugary sodas.

Ornish Diet

Want to reverse your condition? Good news follow Ornish Diet.

Research is on our side, studies have revealed that people who followed the Ornish Diet (which is essentially a vegetarian diet) for a year lost an average of 5-7 kgs, and many of them specially Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes were able to lower their dosage of diabetes medication or switch from insulin to an oral drug.

The catch, however, is that this diet may be a little too restrictive for some people, which means it could be difficult to maintain if you’re not used to eating only plant-based foods.

“Most people aren’t able to make a 180-degree turn,” Brown-Riggs says. A more flexible version, called The Ornish Spectrum, might be easier to follow.

MIND Diet

Sharpen your brains!

The MIND diet takes two proven diets – DASH and Mediterranean – and zeroes in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health.

The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. Meanwhile, MIND adherents avoid foods from the five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

Keto Diet

As per NCBI Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. The goal is to quickly lose weight and ultimately feel fuller with fewer cravings, while boosting your mood, mental focus and energy. According to Keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy. 

While similar in some ways to familiar low-carb diets, the Keto diet’s extreme carb restrictions – about 20 net carbs a day or less, depending on the version – and the deliberate shift into ketosis are what set this increasingly popular diet apart.

The Keto diet has its roots in the decades-old therapeutic ketogenic diet. Clinically, the ketogenic diet is used in neurologic medicine, most notably to reduce hard-to-control seizures in children. Studies also suggest possible benefits in other brain conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

Just Detected

Being diagnosed with diabetes can be an overwhelming experience In fact, it can be a major life stress for many people. This is especially true as most chronic conditions and progressive diseases can prove to be quite challenging to manage emotionally.

If you or your family are feeling anxious and disheartened, you should know that it is natural to feel that way. You should also know that you are not alone, and that 70 million other people in India are living with Diabetes. This is a condition that needs to be “managed”.

In brief, Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce enough insulin, and at times no insulin is produced at all. Insulin is required to remove sugars and toxins from our system, and when they do not get flushed out, they tend to accumulate, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

You will be happy to know there are countless cases of people who have reversed their condition simply by making changes in their daily lives, especially when it comes to food, exercise and stress management. With some precautions and care, we are confident that you too can be a winner.

Remember, with a clear plan, appropriate guidance, right (and on time) medications, timely tests and appropriate modifications to your lifestyle you can not only overcome your condition but stay on top of it. To know more, please refer to our Let’s Understand section

Remember, we are here to help you in your endeavour to stay focussed and on target!

Some quick tips that the American Diabetes Association and other bodies recommend that you should follow:

  • Find a good doctor
    • We recommend seeking the advice of a specialist, in this case an ‘endocrinologist’ or ‘diabetologist’ who can help and direct you with a constructive plan of action. Check with your doctor if you have to repeat your tests.
  • Acquire as much information as you can
    • An informed person can make better decisions. Therefore, it is essential for you to get to know more about food and other lifestyle changes that will help you manage better. Newly-diagnosed people are frequently advised to control blood sugar levels by following a healthy nutrition plan along with a regular exercise regime. To know more, read recommended diets and exercise plans for people living with diabetes.
  • Seek help and support from your family
    • Research suggests that with family support one can manage diabetes much more effectively than running self-managed programmes. Your partner, family, and friends play a huge role in motivating you and helping you adhere to your diabetes management programme.
  • Make your own plan:
    • As you may already know, food plays a very important role in diabetes management. An ideal diabetes meal plan consists of low carbs, low sugar, lean proteins and high fibre diet. You may choose from a wide variety of Diabetes meal plans available to you. Before you start following one, you are advised to check with your doctor or dietician regarding the amount of calories you need to take in a day/week, according to your BMI and physical activity rate.
      You may also seek a dietician’s advice to put together a plan that works best for you
  • Check on Alcohol and tobacco consumption
    • Research suggests smoking may aggravate complications from Diabetes, such as heart diseases and may lead to nerve and kidney damage. It is, therefore, highly advisable to significantly limit or give up smoking. 
      Alcohol consumption can have a strong impact on your blood sugar levels, not to mention liver-related disorders. It is a good idea to take your doctor’s advice on whether you can consume alcohol, and how much. In any case, please remember to always eat a meal while consuming alcohol to prevent fluctuations or spiking of blood glucose levels.
  • Medicines – on time, every time!
    • One of the most crucial aspects of Diabetes management is to take your medication regularly and avoiding skipping meals. The medical explanation is that medicines and food have a direct role in keeping “good control” of blood glucose levels.
      If your doctor has advised you to take Insulin then please DO NOT skip your shots. Many people fear pain or scarring resulting from the Insulin shots, and the good news is that one can learn the right, less painful ways of taking Insulin. Refer to our “Insulin section” for more details.
      In fact, in order to keep your blood glucose levels in control, you should eat small meals more frequently and consult a dietician to plan the best possible meal plan for you.
  • Indulge yourself. Take extra care of your teeth to keep gum diseases at bay
    • While it is true that you have to follow a strict plan, talk to your doctor about rewarding yourself once in a while. 
      However, do keep in mind the fact that you have to keep up with your basic health and hygiene requirements. Do brush your teeth at least twice a day, as people living with Diabetes tend to have frequently-returning gum infections. You should also floss your teeth once a week and see a dentist at least twice a year. Inform your dentist if your gums bleed or get swollen to have the concerns addressed at the earliest.
  • Be careful about Wounds
    • Take your wounds seriously, do go and see a doctor immediately if you feel your wounds are healing slowly, or not healing at all as high blood sugar can reduce blood flow, damage nerves and delay healing. It is essential to take care of your foot as minor cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections. Infact people living with Diabetes should also monitor for tingling or loss of sensation in the hands and feet.
  • Last but not the least
    • With a strong determination and sincere effort, one can easily control Diabetes and enjoy living life like never before. 
      Join the support community for family and friends of people living with Diabetes, a unique platform to share, help and bring a change in the lives of families and people living with Diabetes.

What can I do as a family/friend of a newly diagnosed loved one ?

As a partner or caregiver, it is understandable that your feel anxious and concerned on hearing the diagnosis of Diabetes.

Please be assured that there is no cause for concern as this is a condition that can be managed with a little care and diligence. You may need to play a pivotal role in the management of the condition for your partner or a loved one and therefore, you would need to be supporting and considerate. Research points to high success rates for diabetics that have had the support of a spouse or family member.

  • No need to panic
    • While Diabetes is considered a lifelong “chronic” condition, there is no need to panic as it can be managed with lifestyle and diet changes. Please be caring and supportive as your partner/family member may have to depend on you to make the required changes and live a long and healthy life
  • Participate
    • It is a good idea to actively participate in your partner’s plans and health goals. By working as a team your support is implicit. Set reminders to take medication on time, learn how to inject insulin, figure out what food items work and what don’t. Set realistic goals, and learn the fine art of encouraging without nagging.
  • De-stress yourself
    • Diabetes can impact the whole family and not just the person living with the condition. In order to avoid the caregiver fatigue syndrome, it is a good idea to spend some time for you. Take timeout to pursue your own goals and keep up with your friends and associates outside of the Diabetic circle.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know I have Diabetes?

At the beginning there may not be any symptom. When blood sugar is above 180 mg%, sugar starts appearing in the urine. Sugar in the urine drags water and you pass a lot of urine and feel dry and thirsty. You may also feel tired and lose weight. Your appetite increases and peculiarly you may notice that you are losing weight in spite of eating more. Chance of infection is higher if you have high sugar and also you’re healing from infection, cut or wound may be unusually delayed. Some people complain of poor eyesight.

Who is at risk of Diabetes?

Family history of Diabetes is the major risk factor. Sedentary life-style, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, high blood pressure and in case of women previous Diabetes in pregnancy or delivering big baby (birth weight more than 4Kg) are risk factors.

Can I prevent Diabetes when my risk is high?

If you have family history, you cannot do anything about that. Things in your hands are healthy eating (i.e., eating vegetables and fruits, avoiding fast food), healthy life-style (regular exercise, avoidance of smoking, moderation of alcohol, etc) and keeping your weight in accordance to your height. Certain medicines are being used recently for preventing Diabetes in people who have borderline Diabetes.

I have nobody in my whole family with Diabetes, how did I get it then?

Family history certainly is an important factor, but the fact is being Asian, we all have high-risk gene for Diabetes. Remember it is not your fault that you have Diabetes. You are just happened to be the person who got it. In India 4% of villagers and up to 15% of city dwellers have Diabetes. Not only we have more Diabetes we are getting it at an earlier age than people in the west (around 10 yr).

Can I have drink when I have Diabetes?

Yes, you can. Alcohol is not banned in people with Diabetes. As always a little alcohol is pleasant but a lot is not, regardless of Diabetes and can damage the body badly. Remember “Hypo” (low blood sugar) can occur with alcohol and you should not skip meal after a drink with the fear of calorie in the drink.

You need to know the medically allowed limit of alcohol. A small measure of Whisky, Rum, Vodka or Gin, a small glass of Beer or Wine is measured as one unit. The limit for men is 21 units and for women 14 units a week. It is better to space that rather than taking weekly quota on a day! Sweet wine or Sherry should be avoided as they have very high sugar content.

Do I need to stop eating out? Can I have ice cream? Can I take artificial sweetener?

Certainly not, as long as you are not planning to eat out everyday! You need to know what the right food is and correct amount.

Occasionally yes, but do not make a habit of eating ice cream regularly. There are certain ice cream available now with no added sugar, but do not forget they have calories.

Certainly yes, artificial sweeteners are safe. Do not put them in cooking, they break down when heated. So they will not be sweet any more.

Can I control Diabetes with Diet only?

Diet is a very important aspect in the treatment of Diabetes particularly the timing of it. At the beginning you may be successful in controlling Diabetes with diet only, but unfortunately a time will come when only diet won’t be enough, you will require medicine. This time is different for different people, for somebody this can be a few months while for others it may be a few years. It is very important to try with diet first; this will help you to understand the principles of diet and will convince you the need for treatment to control Diabetes.

Once started, do I need to take tablet for life?

This all depends on your Diabetes. If your Diabetes is very well controlled with a small dose of tablet, you may try only with diet. If that is fine, why not to control your Diabetes only with diet and life-style measures. But if you see, your control is not good with diet alone, you must accept that your body needs medicine and you should start again.

Who with Diabetes needs Insulin?

In Type 1 Diabetes Insulin is a must for living. In type 2 Diabetes we advice Insulin in certain situations like pregnancy, during and after surgery, severe infection and for some reason or other when you are not able to eat. Obviously, when tablets do not work, you need Insulin for Diabetes control.

Is there any job restriction for people with Diabetes?

Diabetes should not be a selecting or refusing factor in employment arena. We need to make this clear to employers and employees. Driving is a problem if you are getting frequent hypoglycemia, as a rule people with Diabetes on Insulin are not given license to drive heavy vehicle and buses. Remember it is not your fault that you have Diabetes and there is no reason to hide it. Make sure that people around you know that you have Diabetes. Tell them about “Hypoglycemia” and what they should do in case you have a severe hypoglycemia.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes

I Need Insulin

My doctor is insisting on Insulin, what do I need to know ?

Insulin is produced in our body naturally by the pancreatic cells and helps the body in converting sugar into energy. When our body produces insufficient or no insulin then doctors recommend taking Insulin additionally, to ensure body metabolises carbohydrates into sugar, and sugar does not accumulate for a prolonged period of time in the form of blood glucose.

There are myths associated with taking Insulin, read below to find out the most frequently asked questions by people living with diabetes.

I have been asked by my doctor to take Insulin, is my Diabetes getting worse ?

Taking Insulin does not necessarily mean that your Diabetes is getting worse. To control your high blood glucose levels your doctor may prescribe Insulin therapy. By not taking the Insulin therapy you may further develop Diabetes-related complications such as Glaucoma in the eyes and malfunctioning of the kidneys or the liver, neuropathy, foot problems, nerve related issues etc. People with Type 2 Diabetes often use combined therapy of medicine and Insulin to keep their sugar levels in control.

Will injecting Insulin be painful ?

Injecting Insulin is not as painful as you may think. Your doctor will direct you how to inject Insulin in the right way and painlessly. Insulin should be given in the areas where one has more flab and less muscle. There are many new types of syringes which are thinner and painless to use, so this should not be a cause for worry.

Once I begin Insulin, will I have to take it for the rest of my life ?

The answer to this question is different for different types of Diabetes. For people living with Type 1 Diabetes this is true; however, for people with Type 2 Diabetes, studies have shown that taking medication on time, physical exercises and diet control can lead to reversal of the condition. Some people simply do not want to start Insulin because of the fear of having to take it forever. However studies have revealed that once the blood glucose levels are under control, patients have been able to switch back to oral medication and no longer have to depend on Insulin.

Travelling with Insulin is tedious, can I miss my injections ?

Doctors all round the world strongly recommend that people who are Insulin dependent must not miss any injections. If you miss your regular dose, it will disrupt the ground you have gained in Diabetes management and take you back to square one. Your blood sugar levels will shoot up and create an imbalance of toxins in the body, leading to further complications.

It is a good idea to make your own small back-pack where you could keep your syringes, Insulin, cotton, gauze and astringent handy. Insulin has to be kept in a cool place and, hence, sometimes needs to be refrigerated. If you are travelling, check with your pharmacist for new types of Insulin pens and cartridges, which might not need refrigeration.

What I can do as family/friend of a person living on Insulin ?

If your partner has Insulin-dependent Diabetes, we understand that you would have your own set of stresses that can be mentally and physically exhausting. You would need to be able to support your partner in different ways, such as establishing and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, checking your partner for wounds that may be concerning, learning to give Insulin shots correctly and painlessly, as well as routinely check blood glucose levels.

There are quite a few things that you can do to help yourself and your partner. First and foremost, in order to support your partner in living with this condition, you need to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Establish a health plan for yourself, which will keep you in good shape to deal with the stresses that go along with Diabetes. It is even better if you can exercise together. Taking up meditation and yoga is also a very good way to reduce the impact of stress on your body.

You do not need to give up your life and pleasures in order to support your partner. For example, develop a balanced diet plan that takes care of your partner’s nutritional requirements, but do not forget to add your favourite dish to the equation!

Consult with your doctor to plan an evening out, away from the regular routine. Understand and follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to dos and don’ts for eating and drinking on your evening out, and you will be fine.

Make sure to have a backup for yourself. As you support your partner in living with Diabetes, you need not give up your interests. Have family/friends provide you with backup whenever you need to step away for some time. This also takes care of the condition known as “compassion fatigue” in caregivers.

It is also good to have support of other people living with this condition just in case you yourself are under the weather for a couple of days.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes

Children and Diabetes

Kid eating candy

My child has diabetes what can I do?

It is difficult for any parent to have a child unwell. It is but natural to feel anxious and stressed upon your child being diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. However, with all the advancements in medical science, Diabetes in children can managed easily, without affecting their quality of life.

The majority of children are generally detected with Type 1 Diabetes, which is commonly known as Juvenile Diabetes. In this condition, the body does not produce insulin at all and requires Insulin from external sources in order to carry out vital living functions.

Children living with Type 2 Diabetes tend to produce insufficient Insulin or the receptors in the pancreatic cells malfunction, leading to high blood glucose levels in the child’s body.

 

Here’s what you can do as parents to help your child manage his condition.

  • Work together as a parental team
    • Research suggests that while you and your spouse may think differently and do the same things, but in a different manner; in order to avoid mismanagement of the child’s care, it is a good idea to align your approach to your partner’s.
  • Monitor blood glucose levels
    • Parents generally tend to worry or get anxious about testing their child’s blood sugar levels. Pricking a finger for the blood test can be painful, not only physically for the child but also emotionally for the parent. However, it is advisable not to take this test lightly and follow a routine to check the child’s blood sugar levels.
      Your doctor and the paediatric diabetes team will give you a blood glucose meter, with which you can check your child’s blood sugar levels. Normally, there is a variety available and your diabetes care team will help you and your child makes the right choice.
      Your meter comes with a finger-pricking device and an initial supply of lancets (to take a drop of blood from the finger) and testing strips (to apply a drop of blood to, in order to get the result). Your diabetes team will also explain how to painlessly prick the finger without leaving scars.
  • Give Insulin as prescribed
    • Children with Type 1 Diabetes must be given Insulin on time as part of their treatment plan. Insulin is the only medicine that can keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
      By giving the prescribed dose of Insulin, your child’s body will be able to convert glucose into energy. When glucose is being used by the body properly, its level in the blood generally remains within a healthy range.
      Unless they are using an Insulin Pump, most children require two or more injections every day to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Usually, they inject a combination of different types of Insulin to handle the sugar levels. Your doctor can guide you in the dosage and frequency of medication.
  • Ensure healthy eating habits
    • A healthy eating habit is the key for successful Diabetes management in children. Without planned diet and healthy eating, one cannot manage sugar levels in the child’s body. For Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-dependent) one has to provide adequate diet and nutrition to the child in order to prevent low blood sugar levels.
  • Keep school/friends/ family in formed
    • There are times when you or your partner may not be near the child. Let this not be a reason for any lack in how your child’s Diabetes is being managed. You should inform the school authorities, especially the teacher and the nurse in the school infirmary, that your child is living with Diabetes. Similarly, you should also inform friends and family so that they can help the child in treatment compliance.
  • Supplies you need to provide in school:
    • At school, kids might need:
      • Blood sugar levels checking device
      • Insulin or other diabetes medications
      • Snacks ( at least 2) plus Lunch
      • Water bottle
      • Candies to counter low blood sugar episodes
  • Consult your doctor and switch to new techniques.
    • With the rapid advancement in medical science, new treatments and technologies are developing rapidly. As parents you may need to regularly check with the doctors for new techniques in Diabetes management to ensure a healthy life for your child. Case in point: After the doctor’s recommendation, some children with Type 1 Diabetes have switched to insulin pumps to ensure smooth functioning of their biological systems.
      Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes may soon be able to sleep more soundly, thanks to new research aimed at predicting and preventing dangerously low blood sugar levels at night. You may want to consult your doctor to find which device is apt for your child’s condition.
      Previous attempts at alerting diabetics while they slept included glucose sensors that triggered an alarm when levels dropped too low. However, people often slept through the alarms. As the new system is fully automated, it works while people are asleep.
  • Let your child enjoy life, even while growing up with Diabetes
    • We understand sometimes medicine compliance and treatment can get overwhelming, but please remember, your stress and anxiety will find a way to transfer itself to the child. It is, therefore, a good idea to take up fun physical activities with your child, not just for a workout but also for de-stressing your child and yourself. This is also a good way to introduce a healthy lifestyle to your child living with Diabetes.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes

Checklist with Tips

For Patients

Here’s a quick guide for keeping a daily check on diabetes by patients/family and caregivers.
Self-help is the best help and we are with you.

  • Check blood sugar levels as often as recommended by your doctor. By checking your blood glucose level, you can know how food, physical activity and medicine affect your blood glucose.
  • Inspect your feet daily for cuts, injuries, blisters, infection and changes in skin pigmentation.
  • Inspect your mouth, teeth and gums. People living with diabetes often are prone to periodontal gum diseases, doctors’ advice brushing twice daily and flossing once in a week.
  • Check for infection, cuts, blisters, or colour changes all over the body including your underarms, groin area, area between toes, etc.
  • As you may be already aware, people with diabetes must avoid hot water baths as hot baths often lead to wrinkling and blisters in skin.
  • Keep your supplies close: Make an attractive kit bag and keep all the necessary medications and food items within your reach. Replenish the kit daily to keep your energy elevated, and blood glucose levels normal.
  • Last but not the least take your medications on time and at least exercise or walk for a minimum 45 minutes daily to regulate blood glucose levels.

For the Caregiver
 

  • Blood sugar check – Check or gently remind them about the blood sugar check as per doctor’s recommendation
  • Keep a record – keeping a daily record of his/her blood glucose readings, medicine schedule, exercise, meals, and how the person feels helps in managing diabetes.
  • Check the colour of the person’s legs and feet – check for signs such as swelling, warmth, redness, or pain. These may be signs of an infection so see a doctor right away as recommended by Joslin Diabetes Center.
  • Check the temperature – Cleveland clinic recommends you, to check the temperature of the water your patient is going to take a bath. Water should be just warm (not hot). Encourage usage of only mild soap such as glycerine soaps to prevent wrinkling and cutting of skin tissues.
  • Check on hydration – Drinking lots of fluids — like water, juices, caffeine-free and sugar-free drinks are very important to keeping them hydrated. So we recommend you, just try to keep reminding them.
  • Check their diet plan – Encourage them to eat small but frequent meals, If they are not following, try to encourage them to change their diet, we suggest you to eat the same food as them and encourage by following their diet.
  • Check the way they exercise – Offer to exercise with him or her to motivate them. Let them decide what they like most outside or indoor exercises always check with the doctor before starting any regime.
  • Check on their Oral hygiene – As we know, that a person with diabetes is more likely to have mouth related problems. We suggest them to brush with a soft-bristled brush after every meal, and floss at least once a week.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes