Friday, 27 June 2014

How Diabetes Affects Your Beauty

Please raise your hand if you've ever felt conscious about:
  • About your skin?
  • About your oral care?
  • And, in general about your beauty?

Overall, if you are conscious about the way you look and concerned about its wellbeing, this article is for you. I’m sure not a single person will say “NO”, that they are never bothered about beauty. Early morning when you wake up and start your day the level of confidence increases if you are happy about the way you look, it’s not about just plain beauty but the bare elements which affect the health of your skin, your hair, your oral hygiene. In this modern era of ‘selfies’ and social media, everyone is certainly concerned about the way they look.

You must be thinking that today why are we talking all about beauty in a diabetes blog. Well, let us break the ice, DIABETES AFFECTS YOUR BEAUTY. Yes, diabetes affects your skin, your dental care and in general diabetes can create beauty challenges which you might not even notice or be bothered about, like use of some cosmetics which contains phthalates and other chemical found in personal care products like nail polish, hair spray, soap, and some perfumes, which may cause high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Moreover, poor body image can also lead to anxiety and depression - and that can make it even more challenging to manage your diabetes.

Not only are the above beauty products but there a few beauty treatments at spa / salon also which are advised to be done with care or not to be done at all on diabetic patients. Generally, most beauty treatments are fine to be carried out on a person who is suffering from diabetes but while having pedicure or manicure a diabetic person should ensure that they don’t have any cuts or ulcers on feet and the therapist takes care when cutting corns, cuticles and removing calluses. The reason for this is because diabetics suffer from low or impaired immune systems which means they take longer to overcome any inflicting wounds, making the wound to become a blood clot which in turn can lead to complications. Any cuts or ulcerations can lead to cellulitis which is a spreading infection of the skin leading to fever, excessive sweats and swollen lymph nodes.

Likewise, waxing is also not recommended for persons suffering from diabetes as they are most susceptible to infections. 


Due to diabetes and high blood sugar, the body is prone to lose fluid through frequent urination and this can cause skin to become dehydrated. It is quite common to find people with diabetes having such skin problems. 

Studies have found that insulin (taken as medicine for controlling your blood sugar levels) acts like a growth hormone which may cause skin tags to grow, skin around your face to become red or pale yellow. The skin apart from becoming dry due to dehydration is also affected by diabetic neuropathy resulting in more dryness. Dry skin as is known to become red and sore and may crack/ peel. Germs can enter through the cracks causing infections too.

Skin is also affected by high blood sugar as it proves to be a good breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, reducing the body’s ability to self-heal. Luckily, most of such skin conditions are avoidable and can be effectively treated if detected on time by a medical practitioner, but if it isn’t detected and treated properly on time, this minor skin condition can turn into a serious problem with potentially severe consequences due to diabetes. 


Your oral hygiene is probably the biggest but silent beauty aspect. I said ‘silent’ because until and unless you don’t open your mouth your oral beauty will be intact; it is only after you open it the reality sets in. Jokes apart, we all know how diabetes shows its ill-effects (and to an extent if not treated well, can damage too) on the:
  • Eyes
  • Skin
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Reproductive Organs
  • Reduces the body’s stamina
  • Reduces resistance to various infections
  • Slows down the healing process
  • and many more...

Well, apart from above stated health issues, you will have to now add other problems arising out of diabetes which can affect your teeth, gums and oral cavity as well.
Watch out for following oral issues:
  • Frequent gum swelling with pus,
  • Increased bone loss in a short duration of time, and
  • Gum disease not responding to normal treatment

In many a cases, these oral complications are early indicators of diabetes and if detected well in advance it can help in the early diagnosis and to initiate diabetes control. If you are a diabetic, the gum disease can happen more often, can be in more severe form, and can also take longer to heal.
Diabetics have following most common problems in the mouth:
  • Mouth Dryness - Dryness in mouth occurs due to drying of the mucus membranes owing to high blood sugar, lack of hydration or diabetic neuropathy which weakens the function of the salivary glands thereby decreasing the production of saliva. A dry mouth can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and in long duration tooth decay too. 
  • Tooth decay - Bacteria in the mouth interact with starches and sugars in food to form plaque on your teeth. In a diabetic person, the increased blood sugar level increases the chances of bacteria forming plaque and thus resulting risk of tooth decay.
  • Gum diseases - Our body has inborn immunity to fight bacteria that causes plaque which in turn causes gum disease and decay. However, diabetes reduces the body’s immunity which in turn leads to increased plaque formation. Plaque makes the gums to have inflammatory senses causing it to be swelled and become red which results in gum bleeding. To remove the plaque regular brushing is required, in the absence of proper care the plaque will harden up to form tartar leading to periodontitis (a serious gum issue) in which the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth are destroyed leading to loss of teeth.
  • Fungal infections - High glucose levels in the saliva boosts the growth of a type of fungus called Candida (yeast) and this can cause an infection called the oral thrush. Generally, small amounts of this yeast are anyways present in the mouth, digestive tract, and skin of healthy people and are normally kept in check by other bacteria and microorganisms in the body. However, diabetes can disturb this delicate balance, causing the fungus candida to grow out of control, and thus causing thrush. Thrush produces glossy white or red patches (looks similar to curd) in the mouth that can be wiped away to reveal red tissue that may bleed easily. These patches may be painful or may become ulcers. Thrush on the tongue can cause painful burning sensation, causes difficulty in swallowing and changes your taste sensation.
Since diabetes lowers your resistance to infection it delays healing process and can complicate gum and oral surgeries. As in any surgery involving a diabetic person, it becomes difficult to control blood sugar levels after surgery.  Doctors ask for blood glucose levels to be checked before any invasive oral procedure or surgery, and in case if the diabetes is not well controlled, the surgical procedure is usually postponed.


But, HOW? can help a non-diabetic to avoid diabetes and help him/her to lead a life without having to face trivial situations which affects when your life adversely. 

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A diabetic person has to watch and manage complications arising out of weight, blood sugar, the person has to control his anxiety and stress levels, they need to be aware and take remedial steps for complications which may arise from infertility and sex related issues. Think of it when apart from these bigger issues if you have to worry about your beauty too, it certainly can make life miserable.


Those of you who are diabetic and have to take care of health and beauty concerns, for them the word of advice for having confidence is this:

  • Maintain eye-contact while talking to people, it helps in gaining confidence and reflects in your mood
  • Maintain your correct sitting and standing posture - It gives immense confidence
  • Be with people who are positive and who smile. Believe me having people who greet and smile with you makes good positive impact on everyone
  • Practice self - compassion. You will always feel good when instead of getting low in negativity, it is much better to control your thoughts and feel how those negative thoughts doesn’t makes you who you are. Life has much bigger purpose than to worry about smaller trivial negative emotions which would have clouded you.  

If I can be of any help in guiding you and in your diabetes treatment, it will be an honor. Email us, comment on this blog, or leave your message on our Facebook or Twitter platforms. We are always watching the ways to get connected with you.

Dr. MS Singhal
Managing Director
Grass-Diabetes.comAn initiative of Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar

Monday, 23 June 2014

Diabetes and Infertility

If you go just by definition; Infertility is fundamentally the inability to conceive offspring. Infertility also refers to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological causes of infertility, including some that medical intervention can treat.

But the bitter fact is: Infertility is much more than just an inability. Infertility is considered almost a taboo in India. The immense mental and psychological pressure a couple is made to go through when they are not able to bear a child is incomprehensible. Even in this era of social media, smart phones, nuclear family, double incomes, and fast paced lifestyle still nothing can take away the pain of not having a child. For some not having a child is a matter of choice but for those whose luck and fate hangs on having a child, the pain is immeasurable.

You are considered infertile when even after a year of unprotected sex around the time you ovulate, trying to conceive, you aren’t able to conceive. Infertility can’t be viewed in isolation but has to be looked with relation to timeframe. The timeframe is an important aspect to understand the fertile period and if in between that period someone isn’t able to conceive, the panic button is hit upon. Some fertile couples take upto age of 35 to conceive naturally, while older women above the age of 35 are advised to seek help sooner since fertility declines rapidly with age. In general, about 10 to 15 percent of all couples experience infertility. Of those, about 40 to 50 percent are caused by female infertility, while another 30 to 40 percent are caused by male infertility. The rest are either a combination of male and female factors, or is simply unexplained as one of life’s much anonymity. 

The inability to conceive and bear children can be a major life crisis. After months and months of trying to conceive, a couple may feel like their entire life has stopped. They may also become depressed; relationships between the couple often become strained. The worse situation in India is that infertility is hidden in society. It’s an extremely private topic, rarely discussed openly at work or even in casual conversation. Unfortunately, the physical problem of infertility often causes psychological effects, such as: 
  • The loss of an experience of pregnancy, birth, parenting, and even grand-parenting
  • Losing focus from work resulting in loss of work productivity
  •  Losing confidence and doubt feelings of self-worth
  • Sense of loss of family legacy and genetics
  • Loss of stability in family and personal relationships


Several factors can lead to infertility: age, weight, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Fallopian tube disease, exposure to a chemical known as Diethylstilbestrol (DES), smoking and alcohol use.

In most instances, simple lifestyle changes like weight loss through proper exercise and nutrition can help reverse the effects of infertility. However, diseases like diabetes can cause extra complications for both women and men when it comes to fertility. 


Dealing with infertility and diabetes can feel like energy-draining marathon of health issues. Generally, there’s a group of women with diabetes who require more maintenance and medical supervision to understand why their bodies aren’t able to follow the regular path which seems to be normal for everyone else.

Diabetes generally has an indirect role in infertility. Conception requires specific timing, eggs being released, sperm being hard enough to penetrate, and your body being friendly to nurturing for the next forty or so weeks, if something in your chemistry isn’t exactly right, you may have a tougher time breeding. Crudely saying, the poor glucose control as associated with diabetes creates a situation where someone might not get pregnant because the body doesn’t view that condition as appropriate for becoming pregnant.

With diabetes conceiving becomes tough and riskier there are many a cases where despite the potential risks, plenty of women with high Hemoglobin A1c get pregnant - so blood sugars aren’t the only factor when it comes to figuring out why you’re not yet ready... 


Diabetes and insulin-related infertility are quite common. 
Consider this: Insulin is a hormone. So when you have diabetes, or any form of insulin resistance, you have a hormone imbalance. When one hormone is out of balance, it can trigger a domino-like effect with the rest of your hormones. These hormone imbalances can cause a wide variety of side effects, ranging from ovarian cysts to erectile dysfunction and infertility among male and female bodies.
In most of the cases, this hormonal imbalance can be controlled by exercise programs, consuming vitamin supplements and working out to lose the excess weight. These simple steps alone will result in ovulation in among one third of patients. In the end, when the help of medicines is taken to treat the remainder of infertility patients, more than 80% of infertile couples are able to conceive, considering they don’t have any other infertility problems.
Type 1 women who develop diabetes because of the body’s autoimmune response can be prone to developing other disorders such as thyroid disease or autoimmune premature ovarian failure. The body, similarly to what happens with type 1diabetes, might decide to wrongly attack healthy cells that maintain thyroid hormones or ovarian function - both of which play important role in getting pregnant.


Obesity and insulin resistance are two of the most common factors that lead to infertility, especially among female infertility. Healthcare centers across India are seeing more patients diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Dysmetabolic Syndrome X. In fact, PCOS is known to be one of the most common causes of female infertility. Both of these disorders are associated with obesity and eventually, diabetes. 
Insulin resistance is found in up to 60% of obese women and 40% of non-obese women. One-third or more of women with PCOS experience some degree of infertility, but the incidence may be lower in non-obese women. Failure to ovulate is the cause for about 25% of female infertility cases, with PCOS being the most common cause. This means that PCOS could be a factor in about one-fifth of all infertility cases. Of the people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, 80% to 90% are also diagnosed as obese. This fact provides an interesting clue to the link between diabetes and obesity. 
Note following if you want to improve of chances of getting pregnant:
  • You need perfect control of your blood sugar
  • Keep a track of your insulin and hemoglobin levels
  • Whether you have diabetes or not, watching what you eat, exercising properly and ensuring adequate nutrition with a vitamin supplement will improve your chances of conception


There are many myths that diabetes affects mostly women with infertility issues. In fact,  counterpart male is also responsible for the same due to low male hormone (Testosterone), less sperm count and abnormal mortality found to be common (in uncontrolled diabetics), while certain diabetes complications like nerve damage, multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury which leads to retrograde ejaculation causing issues for men that contribute to infertility. In retrograde ejaculation, the semen never reaches the female reproductive system hence infertility becomes an issue. Erectile dysfunction (due to diabetic impotency), or the inability to achieve an erection, is another diabetes complication that can lead to fertility problems for men. 


The most general query we have received from couples who are expecting a child and the woman who is pregnant is suffering from diabetes, what kind of diabetic complications may arise putting the woman and her expected baby at risk?
The main diabetes complication related to pregnancy is Macrosomia - a condition in which a baby is abnormally large (and over-weight) before birth. Sometimes these babies are not able to pass through the birth canal, so there are higher incidences of cesarean sections, and sometimes it’s necessary to encourage labor early. There is also an increased risk of birth defects. For this reason, women with diabetes should plan ahead and get their insulin levels under control before attempting to conceive.

At the end the best we can say that is there is HOPE. More than 80% of all infertility cases are treatable - and almost one-third don’t require treatment other than what you can do for yourself: a healthy diet and proper exercise.

************************************************************************Learn how to avoid diabetes by calculating your risk of type 2 diabetes which is dependent on your genetic factors and lifestyle by logging at

You can get following answers pertaining to your diabetes risk at 
 Sign up at

Stay active. Stay Happy.

Dr. M Singhal is an initiative by Singhal Diabetic Clinic

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Ask any common person on their perception on the worse medical ailments and most probably the answers will be HEART issues. Yes, heart is what which pumps day and night and each and every second which makes us going ahead in our life, hence any heart ailment becomes the biggest scare of their and their loved ones lives.

As a medical practitioner during my decades of experience working with and working for diabetic people I have had many fair experiences where the diabetic complications use to show different results in different physical, physiological and medical conditions. What if a patient is affected by both - diabetes & heart ailment?

A recent study has suggested that people with diabetes have an increased risk of problems after heart bypass surgery. The research was based on a large database of patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and found that those with diabetes had worse outcomes after two years than those without the condition.

With India’s burgeoning problems which include population, unemployment, lack of education and lack of proper healthcare facilities, as usual the costs associated with any medical conditions are always an important aspect of understanding the seriousness it holds among public. With heart surgeries one of the priciest treatments combines it with diabetes the costs are bound to increase. These expenses are mainly due to additional hospitalizations and medical procedures, and the use of insulin and other medications. Doctors recommend individualized treatment plans and a heart team approach for patients with diabetes who require CABG surgery.

There is a need for more research involving treatment of CABG surgery with diabetes which will help researchers to better understand the problems and take necessary actions in planning the care for this higher-risk patient population. The said study adds concerns in doctors with clear results of rising rates of diabetes globally. By 2030, 439 million people worldwide are expected to have diabetes.

The study finding is significant and raises the question of whether surgeons should focus on the right factors in this often challenging group of patients. While the findings are perhaps not surprising, the doctors and researchers are left with the problem of how to change strategies so that diabetic patients have improved clinical and economic outcomes. Moreover, it is important to curb the pace at which pre-diabetic population are inching to become diabetic. The huge population in India consists of pre-diabetic, non-diabetic and diabetic people but the worst part is due to lack of knowledge and self - awareness majority of these people are not even aware of their risks towards diabetes. This non-awareness puts them all in a more risky state.

India’s hospitals are witnessing a steady increase in heart patients who come to know about their diabetes status during the starting of their heart treatments. The increased exposure to risk and specialized treatments involving heart surgeries in a diabetic patient puts enormous pressure on our hospital systems. Of course the costs involved will be a very high in private clinics/ hospitals and which can only be accessed with the power of money but the general public which can’t avail such costly treatments have no choice other than depending upon the government run hospitals, the conditions of which are not hidden from our eyes.

We all know the hard reality, "THERE IS NO CURE FOR DIABETES - neither for Type 1 and nor for Type 2". The only best and possible solution is, stay away from this disease. You can only help yourself and your family members by knowing how to PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES. Seriously, if you wish to improve your health and want to start working forward in avoiding diabetes we will help you how to do it. was conceptualized only to prepare the public in working and avoiding the diabetes by knowing what risk they stand in. The complex algorithm developed by various medical researchers, computer programmers and academicians has evolved into a system called GRASS DIABETES where you get to learn everything you need to know about your risk of getting diabetes.


There is no cure for diabetes but it is certainly avoidable. You can learn how to avoid diabetes by calculating your risk of type 2 diabetes which is dependent on your genetic factors and lifestyle by logging at

You can get following answers pertaining to your diabetes risk at 

With Love,
Dr. M Singhal is an initiative by Singhal Diabetic Clinic

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Celebrities & DIABETES

We admire them, we cherish them, we love them and we will be happy to be in their place. Whether you are a fan or not there is no denying that our lives have been affected by many larger than life celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood circle. But have you thought how their lives may also get affected by diabetes? Yes, they have plenty of resources to get the best treatment, have a best dietician to manage their daily food intake which may help them manage diabetes, they can hire the best of trainers who can help them to do exercises which helps in avoiding diabetes but once they have acquired diabetes either Type 1 or Type 2 - they can’t get rid of it.

No, Amitabh Bachchan is not diabetic. The legend has managed his life and health so well that he has been able to avoid diabetes. We really wish him to stay away from this dreaded disease forever. Senior Bachchan is though involved in promoting the cause and spread awareness in general public to avoid diabetes. Reportedly, on his 70th birthday a mobile diabetes unit was launched in the name of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, which will conduct free diabetes tests. It was launched by the living legend himself. It was exciting to read his tweet following the inauguration, which read, "Inaugurated 'Amitabh' the mobile diabetes unit from Silver Star, the noble charitable organisation that I patronise, in Mumbai". "Free diabetes tests conducted by these mobile units... proud to be associated with it in patron, and to contribute for its extension," Big B further posted.

Who would have thought that the petite and beautiful actress Sonam Kapoor is suffering from juvenile diabetes? Juvenile diabetes was an earlier name of type 1 diabetes which was also known as insulin dependent diabetes.  The Juvenile diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from the autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose. The standard symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, and weight loss. Type1 diabetes can lead to a number of complications, both in the short term and in the long term. Besides that, complications may arise from both low blood sugar and high blood sugar, low blood sugar may lead to seizures or episodes of unconsciousness and requires emergency treatment, often either glucagon or glucose. In the short term, untreated type1 diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, and in the long term it can lead to eye damage, organ damage, etc. Imagine, all such complications going through our lovely Sonam Kapoor!

The cricketer with magic fingers turning the games upside down with his balling was diagnosed of diabetes early in his life, at the age of 29, of course it would be devastating for a player who needs the stamina and energy on field to make his career. The worst part which he thought was there was no reason on why he got affected with diabetes. Diabetes had made Akram learn a lot about his body. Stress was showing its ill effects on his health. This made him monitor his blood sugar levels in different situations. So, what we the general public can learn from Akram for diabetes? PESEVERANCE is the word he says. Adopting a healthy lifestyle in young age will show the results for longer duration.

Among the other popular faces of India’s movie industry suffering from diabetes is the Charismatic Southern Star and my personal favorite who has given many brilliant performances - The Kamal Hassan. Unluckily, type 1 diabetes had been with him along with this stardom. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to “manage” their condition and live longer and healthier lives - have you noted the word, “managed”? Yes, we all know how diabetes is incurable and it can only be just managed. At this age and with the hectic work regime he has always immersed himself in, it’s a blessing that he has managed to control his diabetes through exercise and by adopting healthier eating habits.

Type1 diabetes has also affected the young and dynamic VJ turned cricket commenter at IPL. Gaurav Kapur. At the age of 22 he was diagnosed with diabetes. Ask him his mantra for controlling the diabetes? His answer will be quick, exercise routine and healthier eating habits.

Among many international celebrities who have disclosed their health status so as to inspire the general public in working harder and achieving a diabetes free life are; Halle Berry and Academy Award winner Tom Hanks. One thing is for sure, their determination and dedication have helped them and their perseverance may help us to be inspired. Always!


There is no cure for diabetes but it is certainly avoidable. You can learn how to avoid diabetes by calculating your risk of type 2 diabetes which is dependent on your genetic factors and lifestyle by logging at

What does does for you?
You can:

Eat Good. Stay Active. Avoid Diabetes.

Dr. M Singhal