Saturday, 26 July 2014

Monsoon with Diabetes

Monsoon is beautiful and is loved by most of us. It has the potential to turn a dull day into cheerfulness and brings joy and happiness on faces. After the long summers’ everyone waits for rain which apart from being beautiful respites us from the scorching heat, it fills up our water reservoirs for drinking throughout the year and also gives a boost to the economy. India being largely an agrarian economy is very much dependent on monsoon to arrive so that farmers can start new crop cultivation of rice, sugarcanes and oilseeds.

This year monsoon in India is playing a spoilsport possibly (as told by scientists) due to El Nino Phenomenon which triggers poor monsoon. The delay and scarce rains this year has triggered inflation to surge lowering the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India is the second largest producer of rice and wheat in the world; hence any delay in monsoon has large ripple effects. However, as per recent releases by government the monsoon deficit has come down to 31-32 percent with rains picking up in end of July across the country giving a much needed relief to farmers, the government categorically asserted that, “there is no need to be alarmist”. The recent statements by Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Earth Science shows some positivity to it and shows the optimism for the entire nation because while during the month of June and first two weeks of July, the monsoon was deficient by 43 percent, in the week beginning July 13, 2014, the deficiency is reduced to 32 percent, thus, recording an improvement of 11 percent in the monsoon level.

Being an optimist, I’m expecting more of rains sooner….

Now, let me discuss with you, how monsoon affects a diabetic:

Monsoon Problem in Diabetes: Rain Walking!
Most of the people stop going out for a walk and same is with diabetic people or people who are trying to be fit in order to avoid Type 2 diabetes. Lack of exercise or suddenly stopping the exercise routine will send your sugar levels for a toss.

Instead of completely stopping, you can try following: Choose a time for walking in a light drizzle and enjoy the monsoon walk by wearing a proper headgear and raincoat with a comfortable shoes/ floaters.  If the rain is heavy, you can try walking on staircase of your apartment and do a few rounds at your own slow pace. This will give you the comfort of your home without getting wet and affecting your exercise routine. Ofcourse those of you who have their own treadmill at home can continue the exercises without having to step out.

Monsoon Problem in Diabetes: Pakora’s & Bhajiya’s
Well, this one is really a mouthwatering problem to be dealt with. In India, rains are synonymous with Pakora & Bhajiya’s, what when you have diabetes?

The more mouthwatering it sounds, the more the problem for you to have self-control. Yes, “self-control” is the only possible solution for this issue. Understand that such oily stuff is sure to give your complete dedication towards maintaining health a run of money. You may try 1-2 pieces but just avoid indulgence. The ill-effects of such fast-food/ snacks are long term on your mission to avoid diabetes. A section of people start indulging in alcohol in rain to enjoy it more, a limited and very controlled portion may not be harmful but avoid soft-drinks which have very negative effect on blood sugar levels. You can revise about what to eat and what not to eat at our earlier blog on food.

Monsoon Problem in Diabetes: Fungal Infection/ Foot Care
Monsoon comes with a rise in different kinds of fungal/ foot infections. For a diabetic the most common reason for hospitalization is foot problem

Yes, most people suffering from diabetes visit the hospital when foot problem starts affecting their quality of life. It is very clear that the footwear you choose plays a very important role in fighting this disease. Utmost foot care is required in diabetes and a person should be more attentive towards it in monsoon. You are required to wash and clean the feet and other body parts exposed to continuous moisture or after coming wet from rain. To keep them dry use simple talcum powder or medicated powders as suggested by a medical practitioner/ over the counter prescriptions. Make sure not to use wet shoes or other footwear unless they are sun dried. Change your socks every day to avoid bacterial growth which is very common in monsoon. Use open toed shoes in rain. Take care of your open wounds. We had written a detailed blog on foot care in diabetes in March. You can try reading it again and refresh your memory.

Monsoon Problem in Diabetes: Respiratory Problems
Diabetes lowers your immune system. Many a time people have complained of breathing issues in humid environment, since around monsoon the humidity also increase, people with diabetes should be cautious.

Monsoon prompts respiratory tract infections and asthma. The best solution is to keep your inhalers, sprays and medications as suggested by your doctor all the time when you go out. You may also find it helpful to keep your friends and colleagues aware of your breathing problems, so that in case of a sudden or severe attack they can be of prompt help.

Well, not all things are problem in rainy season for diabetic people. There’s good news for diabetics in monsoon: Jamun (Java Plum)

Indian continent is blessed with this wonderful seasonal fruit available in monsoon and which is very beneficial in diabetes. This fruit is not common in Western markets as it is native to India and Pakistan. For diabetes not only this fruit but even its leaves, seeds and bark is beneficial. Jamun has zero calories, and helps naturally in preventing transformation of starch from our food into sugar. Since Jamun is a seasonal fruit, it is not available throughout the year, but if you want, you can used the grounded seeds and bark of the Jamun tree which is equally beneficial. Eating one or two Jamun leaves .in morning and evening everyday will help to control your blood sugar levels to a large extent.

Well, now you know how to enjoy the rain even if you have diabetes.  Knowing the risks always helps. Isn’t it? You can calculate your, your family’s and your child’s risk of diabetes just by clicking the button below:

 Click to Avoid Diabetes

Let me know if I can be of any help. I will really appreciate to get your suggestions or queries.

Dr. MS Singhal
Initiative of Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

All Work No Play Makes Jack & Jill… DIABETIC!

The fever of FIFA World Cup has started receding. For last one month or so, switch on the television, log-in to Facebook, or read your timeline on Twitter, even the advertisements from multi-national brands were revolving around a single theme and echoed the same mantra. A mantra which witnessed one of the biggest carnivals in the World - The #FIFAWorldCup2014

Spending Million and Billion dollars of money in organizing such sporting extravaganza, what could be the purpose of it? A country might lose or win. There are many countries who knew that they may not even reach the top 16 in group matches too, but still they came with all fanfare and enthusiasm. There governments have supported the teams but more than that the individuals had zeal to PLAY. Everyone eyes to win but more than that, it’s the dedication of playing at their best by each player is what matters. Ofcourse losing and winning the matches does matters but what matters most is I believe has been achieved. What it could be?

Well, in this modern technological way of living a life where all comforts of life are achieved by either pressing a button or just swiping on your smart phones. The most important part of organizing the World Cup or any kind of sporting event is to promote SPORTS in a country, to promote sports in people’s lives so that people can come outdoors and play. I believe that this “Promoting Sports” is the purpose which is largely achieved. Even in India, where our team’s world ranking is 160+ you can see the growing enthusiasm towards this sport too. Footballs are being purchased, children are playing with it and dreaming to replicate their international favorite players be it Mario from Germany, #Messi from Argentina or #Neymar from Brazil or many-many others.

A Government promoting outdoor sports in its country by ensuring quality infrastructure and organizing national level competitions ensures the health of future of a country. As it is said, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

Participating in sports ensures the overall wellbeing of a child. Lack of outdoor play also is like a health time bomb for children. The absence of suitable outdoor play opportunities as provided to children and young people alike, is like a physical and mental illness time bomb which is likely to explode. If a government tries to cut or limit its expenditure on outdoor spaces, they are directly pushing society towards physical idleness. Lack of sports is making obesity to spread like an epidemic. As compared to our olden days, we can see much younger people are now facing heart problems, diabetes and other related diseases because of their inactive lifestyles. The health risks are getting so high that it puts those young children at high risk category resulting in premature death.

There were times when we as a child used to play on the streets too, the streets around us recognized us but I’m sure hypothetically nowadays even streets would also be missing those times. Most of the roads these days are either full of traffic and streets are parked with vehicles leaving no space for children to run around and just play. Local municipal corporations are equally denying the opportunities for children to play outdoors by not allocating sufficient parks or sports ground. These corporations and town developing authorities are selling or leasing away the scarcest amount of land pockets to builders or renting the spaces for organizing commercial activities such as organizing marriages. Don’t you think it is criminal for denying our future generations to have open spaces where they can just play?

Ask any child about outdoor play and he will get excited but will equally be dissatisfied with available outdoor environments which make them prefer spending time indoors in unhealthy activities of playing video based games, surfing on internet or just being a couch potato in front of television. An increase in lifestyle disorders like diabetes is natural in these circumstances, and it is just the start, wait till diabetes leads to many other damaging diseases as we had covered earlier in our blog. 

So, how long with you allow this to happen? How long our children will be denied their basic right of playing freely in their outdoor environments? Now is the time to act, request government authorities and concerned stakeholders to provide urban spaces which will help in tackling childhood obesity. Remember, open spaces are cost effective than indoor fitness centers and also benefits the wider range of people. Children can be safeguarded from ill-effects of Type 2 Diabetes which is a huge financial burden for not only the parents but also for complete system including government. 

Several researches have shown that that there is an increase in incidences of type 2 diabetes among children in last few years. The most likely reasons are obesity either in young age or even obesity during pregnancy. It is being predicted that diabetes will be a major health care problem over the next two decades. There is a need to pay more attention to the prevention of diabetes. 

Lack of play could lead to anti-social behavior, obesity, depression and mental health issues in a child's later life. Playing is a natural part of children’s lives which helps them to grow and develop the skills they need in their future life. Not giving our children the required time to play could lead to developing a generation of sedentary children, lacking in creativity and imagination. 

We at Grass-Diabetes are always towards prevention of diabetes. When sports like Football or Cricket World Cup or Olympics or Commonwealth games are organized, players are provided with support and infrastructure to perform their best and when those same players are rewarded upon achieving milestones by the same government authorities, remember, that the government is not only rewarding those players but are actually inspiring young children to come out and play. Support your younger ones to play. Tell them to break from their mundane life, tell them to switch off those televisions, those laptops, those video games and actively take part in any sport of their like. Let them make it a habit.

Remember, prevention is the only way to avoid diabetes.
  • Prevent diabetes by knowing your risk of diabetes
  • Prevent diabetes by understanding how susceptible you are to diabetes as compared to the normal population
  • Prevent diabetes by knowing at what age you might get diabetes
  • Prevent diabetes by undergoing proper pathological tests based upon your risk of diabetes
  • Prevent diabetes by following a healthy diet routine
  • Prevent diabetes by having an active lifestyle

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Write to me for any of your doubts, fears and/or worries on diabetes.

With love,
Dr. MS Singhal
An initiative of Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar 

Image Source:
Adidas Brazuca Image courtesy SnapDeal. Click the link to buy that football at & Enjoy the Good Health:-

Sunday, 13 July 2014

DIABETES - It’s not just a one word D.I.S.E.A.S.E

The Genesis

Diabetes - Shall we term it as disease or not?

Recently, there was a big debate on whether obesity should be termed as disease or not. What is your opinion?

Let me throw some more light on it when you term obesity as a disease: Of course there are many a people who are affected by obesity as a disease due to their genes; these set of people would have tried various diet and exercise regimes but either over time either because of their fault or not they wouldn’t have been able to control their obesity, leaving these people apart the truth is there are many a people who have had and still are acquiring obesity due to their lifestyle habits. The lifestyle habits simply include lack of exercise, indiscreet eating habits, eating wrong food at wrong timings, and not adopting the basic principles of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is often the root cause of getting obese. For the latter scenario, when you term obesity as disease the general perception will become more easy going on not giving due focus on maintaining a good health to avoid obesity. IT IS EASY TO JUST TERM YOUR LAZINESS AS A DISEASE AND LATER SEEK MEDICAL REMEDIES OF GETTING RID OF THIS OBESITY AS DISEASE.

All right, so the point we are trying to make is whether or not call Type 2 Diabetes as a disease or not. Hypothetically and broadly speaking, one basic reason for not terming it as ‘disease’ is the major cause of Type 2 diabetes: LIFESTYLE - which can be controlled and possibly be avoided. Well, your genes also play a major role in deciding whether or not you may get Type 2 diabetes, but again this can be avoided now. With the latest advancements in technology and decades of research, the team of GRASS DIABETES (which consists of experienced medical practitioners, research scholars & academicians in medicine field, and computer engineers) has now developed a break-through technology where you can get to know:
  • Your SUSCEPTIBILITY of Diabetes as compared to normal population
  • Your RISK OF DEVELOPING DIABETES due to diabetogenic activity & your family history, and
  • As per your risk assessment, the AGE AT WHICH YOU MAY GET DIABETIC

All you have to do is login at and know how to prevent diabetes as per your risk.

But wait, we have more to tell you this week. Generally, we talk about GRASS DIABETES’s advantages and give the web-link of our website at the end or article, but not today. Today, we started with a discussion whether we should call diabetes as a disease or not? The fact is, the moment we start calling a particular physical or medical condition as disease, our sub-conscious mind instantly starts treating that condition as something which can’t be avoided or will need only medical supervision. 

Diabetes is a condition which on its own doesn’t affects much but it has so much of adverse effects on our other body parts that it becomes hard to cope with it without expert opinion of medical practitioners. If you are regularly following our blogs you would have understood that there is no treatment or medicine for diabetes. You can only work to control it but once you acquire diabetes you will have to live with it lifelong.



Below, we have tried to list as many adverse and ill effects of diabetes and the medical conditions associated with it, you can avoid diabetes, but for the conditions below, you will certainly need medical supervision:

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA): It is a potentially life-threatening complication in patients with diabetes mellitus. It happens predominantly in those with type 1 diabetes, but it can occur in those with type 2 diabetes under certain circumstances. DKA is a medical emergency, and without proper treatment can lead to death. Dehydration, vomiting, breathing problems, unstable thoughts and rare coma are some of the symptoms.

  • Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS): This is a medical condition in which high blood sugar causes severe dehydration, and increase in osmolarity (osmotic concentration) is also noted and other medical conditions such as coma leading to death. This condition is mostly related to Type 1 diabetes but can’t be considered exclusive.

HEART DISEASE: One of the serious long term complications of diabetes results in heart ailments and most of the time makes heart condition severe for carrying out proper treatment. Diabetes has ill potential of almost doubling the risk of cardiovascular disease.

FOOT ULCERS: Diabetic Foot Ulcer is a major complication of diabetes mellitus. In adverse condition it may lead to leg amputations too. Diabetic Mellitus is a metabolic disorder that obstructs the normal steps of wound healing process.

KIDNEY FAILURE: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is diagnosed as a result of screening of people known to be at risk of kidney problems, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes. The symptoms of worsening kidney function are non-specific, and might include feeling generally unwell and experiencing a reduced appetite.
    EYE PROBLEM: Medically termed as Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by complication of diabetes, which can ultimately lead to blindness.  This retinal disease is observed in almost 80% of patients who have been suffering from diabetes for over 10 years. The worst part is diabetic retinopathy has no early indicators. 

    DIABETIC NEUROPATHY (NERVE DAMAGE): Damage to nerves is the most common complication of diabetes. This condition is due to micro-vascular injury involving small blood vessels that supply nerves. Muscle pain is a symptom which is largely associated due this, which mostly happens in middle-aged males with Type 2 diabetes.

    : Diabetes is known to be related with skin problems like bacterial and fungal infections, itching due to yeast infections, dryness in skin, irregular skin blotches, neuropathy related skin disease, diabetic blisters. Skin problem means beauty problem, who wants that!

    COGNITIVE DEFICIT (MENTAL ISSUES): Cognitive Deficit is a term used medically to describe any characteristics or traits that acts as a barrier to the development of mental growth affecting thought process and/or normal intellect of an individual. There are affirmative proofs linking cognitive deficit to diabetes.

    GASTROPARESIS: Gastroparesis is a disorder affecting type 1 and type 2 diabetics alike. It is a medical situation where your stomach will take too long to empty its contents. Diabetes affects vagus nerves (the nerve which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract) due to high blood sugar levels for a long period of time. The prolonged high blood glucose causes chemical changes in these nerves and damages the blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.

    SEXUAL HEALTH: Men with diabetes are bound to develop erectile dysfunction and women with diabetes suffer few or no sexual side effects. Both men and women suffering from diabetes are affected by sexual issues due to diabetes. The most common sexuality issue in patient of type 2 diabetes is decrease in libido, or loss of sex drive and which physiologically includes lack of energy, tiredness, stress and anxiety, depression, and hormonal changes due to varying blood sugar levels.

    INFERTILITY: 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.

    FINANCIAL ISSUES: Diabetes comes free but takes a lot of money in its treatment (mind you even the money can’t buy the treatment, it can only control). Well, there are direct costs, indirect costs, and a lot of intangible costs involved in diabetes. We don’t have to say much, read our e-book on cost of diabetes 

    DIABETES & LIFESTYLE: Think about controlling what you eat, when you eat, what you drink, how you drink. If you don’t happen to control your lifestyle now, diabetes takes the driving seat which than onwards leads your lifestyle.


    It is true that diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems, but well, with the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications. Our broader suggestion is stop thinking of diabetes as a disease which you could get acquired and get treated too, like you do so with flu, common cold, fever, or major diseases such as AIDS and so on... In diabetes, if you act fast and act smart there are high probability that you can avoid diabetes.

    Write to me for any of your doubts, fears and/or worries on diabetes.

    With love and wishes,
    Dr. MS Singhal

    An initiative of Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar

    Body Anatomy Image: Image courtesy of  vectorolie / & The Fantastic