Diabetes is a sugar-coated poison, with over 400 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes. This includes 69 million from India, a country worst affected by diabetes. Worse is to come, as this deadly statistic might increase to 140 million by 2024.
Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, and Founder of Narayana Health discussed diabetes at length – the harmful effects, causes, symptoms and treatment methods worldwide for diabetic patients.
Dr. Satish Kumar, Head of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bariatric Medicine, Narayana Health City, Bangalore, and Dr. Prem Kumar Patidhar, Consultant Endocrinology at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jaipur, joined Dr. Devi Shetty in a 40-minute webinar Q&A session.
Types of Diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes – also known as juvenile diabetes as it mostly affects children. This is due to the absence of insulin, the hormone that breaks down sugar or glucose into energy.
- Type 2 Diabetes – diabetes in people aged more than 20 years.
- Gestational diabetes – Glucose intolerance/a form of high blood sugar that affects pregnant women.
Common Signs of Diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- A constant feeling of tiredness
- Fungal infections that take too long to heal
- A family history of diabetes
Factors Causing Diabetes:
Diet and lifestyle are an important part of preventing or causing diabetes.
Another factor is ‘Acanthosis Nigricans’ – black lines behind the back of the neck. Approximately 50 percent of heart patients undergoing cardiac bypass surgeries are diabetic. It shows the lethal connection between diabetes and heart disease.
This explains why people following a healthy, well-balanced diet and who regularly exercise can more easily avoid diabetes.
Diabetic experts at Narayana Health advise patients to avoid sweets and food items containing a high content of sugar. White sugar is literally sugar-coated poison!
- Type 1 diabetes – insulin injections
- Type 2 diabetes – treatment varies depending on the patient’s age, sugar level, genetic factors, and lifestyle habits.
An alternate option is oral medication or using an insulin pump.
Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the pancreas and can cause pancreatic diabetes. Better to avoid consuming alcohol, even a small quantity because there is no point in swallowing even a small amount of harmful liquid.
Too much insulin or too little food can trigger hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, palpitations, headache, burring of vision, hand tremors, anxiety, emotional liability, and hunger. Eat a small snack such as a cereal bar, nuts, biscuits, fruit juice, and a glass of milk, fruit or light yoghurt. This can stabilize and maintain blood sugar levels.
Important takeaways from the Q&A session:
- Exercise daily for a minimum of 30-40 minutes
- Follow a healthy diet
- Strictly follow the above two conditions and live a happy and healthy, diabetic trouble-free life!
Dr. Devi Shetty, Founder, Chairman, and Senior Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bommasandra, Bangalore