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What is the ideal diet for diabetes?
Principles of a diabetic diet:
- Reduce simple carbohydrates– sugars, replace by complex carbohydrates. Avoid refined, white flour’– replace with multigrain cereal/bread.
- Reduce all types of fats to a minimum.
- Increase the fibre in your diet– flour (atta) with choker, bran.. brown rice, fibrous vegetables and salads
- Avoid long gaps and missing meals.
What type of exercise help control it?
Any kind of exercise is good. You must enjoy your exercise. See your doctor before you start to decide your fitness level and decide realistic goals. Decide type of exercise– ensure you enjoy it! Change from day to day– walk, yoga, dance, gym, tennis– whatever you like.
Goals should be specific, for example– treadmill @ 7–8km/min for 20 mins, or 12 surya namaskars, or any other. Set a time frame for achieving these goals. Start low, go slow. build up your activities gradually. Results begin in 6–8 weeks.
Will the family members be affected?
Type 2 diabetes runs in families.
If you have type 2 diabetes, the risk of your child getting diabetes doubles as compared to the general population. Some studies show that a child's risk is greater when the parent with type 2 diabetes is the mother. If both parents have type 2 diabetes, the child's risk is at least 50%.
Apart from genes, this tendency is also due to bad life style in the family as a whole. Children learn bad eating habits, and not exercising–from their parents.
Do any type of habits (*addiction like alcohol/nicotine affect the blood sugar level)?
Alcohol has implications for diabetics. Alcohol is a source of empty calories– the caloric content depends on the amount of alcohol consumed. Therefore it can raise blood sugar levels markedly. Even more importantly it can sometimes lower blood glucose causing hypoglycemia which can be very dangerous. Too much alcohol can damage liver. Diabetes management becomes very difficult if alcohol is taken in binges especially in diabetics with already uncontrolled sugar levels. Upto 30 ml of whisky/day or equivalent is considered safe for diabetics.
What is the precaution or specific information a diabetic patient should carry?
A card which states that the person is diabetic and if found unconscious should be give sugar and taken to the hospital.
What kind of care should a diabetic patient take?
A diabetic patient should take a healthy diet, follow exercise and medications regularly. They should check their blood sugar at regular intervals as prescribed by the doctor, using glucometers, if needed. They must test their HbA1c every 3 months– this test gives an average blood sugar value of the last 3 months. In addition annual testing for kidney, eyes, and heart is important. Tight control of BP (120/80) and cholesterol (LDL<100) are important targets for every diabetic patient.
What are the chances of development of diabetes mellitus in young children? How can it be diagnosed?
The most common diabetes which is seen in young children is Type 1, as discussed above. If the child is obese and has a family history, even type 2 diabetes can develop at younger age, i.e during childhood or adolescence. It is, thus, very important to avoid obesity in children.
Do young children suffer from diabetes if they eat lots of sugary food?
If young children eat a lot of sugary food, exercise less and gain excessive weight they are more prone develop diabetes.
Is the digital instrument used now days to measure blood sugar level sensitive?
The digital instruments are widely used and are fairly sensitive with a variation of 10% in their readings.