Sunday, 21 December 2014



Diabetes is one disease for which you will take all the advices from neighbors, friends, office colleagues, your elders and even the boy next door. For diabetes, you will read if not thousands, at least hundreds of articles on web and articles coming in newspapers every now and then. You will consult everyone but may not visit a doctor for best medical treatment. Have you ever wondered why? Because somewhere in your mind you have this idea that diabetes can be controlled by just managing your diet and living a controlled lifestyle (which all this while you kept avoiding and now have been exposed suddenly to type 2 diabetes). 

There are thousands of views on diabetes which are expressed by various writers on various blogs and websites which are fairly strong opinions about how one should best manage his or her diabetes. Posting or writing such articles definitely helps to spread awareness and certainly get people thinking about their disease or just focus on their lifestyle. However, it’s all too common for misconceptions about diabetes to prosper. Whether it’s the belief that eating sugar causes diabetes, or that starting on insulin can make you go blind, or that having to start taking diabetes pills or insulin means that you’re really in danger and are a “bad diabetic”, but as a medical practitioner in the field of diabetes for more than two decades, I feel obligated to get the facts and fiction set straight whenever I can.

So, what’s the best way to control diabetes?

Depends what kind of diabetes you have. When it comes to Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for a minor share of all diabetes cases, a person with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin through proper medical practitioner to survive. The diabetic person’s pancreas has stopped making enough insulin. Obviously, a person with Type 1 diabetes has options as to how he takes insulin. The choices nowadays range from the traditional vial and syringe to an insulin pen to an insulin pump to an inhaler. In future there definitely will be more possibilities for insulin delivery as well. People affected with Type 1 diabetes must still include a proper diet plan and physical activity into their daily management, apart from their insulin intake.

Now, the majority of diabetic cases reported worldwide are people who are affected with Type 2 diabetes. But medically speaking, Type 2 diabetes is a little less defined in terms of how it is best managed. The major purpose for this so called, ‘how to best manage diabetes’ is the sheer nature of Type 2 diabetes. As it is a disease with progressive condition, meaning it slowly grows and affects your body as time passes. Hence choosing a one-fit-for-all-treatment or solution is not advisable to all patients of Type 2 Diabetes.

Initially, when someone is first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the key point of diabetes management is often, in the primarily stage is: “diet and exercise”. To put it in easier perceptive managing Type 2 diabetes is appropriately managing your, “lifestyle.” In other words, any person either pre-diabetic or a person who is in the early stages of Type 2 diabetes may will be able to control his blood glucose levels by following a carbohydrate- and calorie-controlled diet plan and focusing on exercises so as to lose some weight appropriately by adopting to apt form or regular physical activities into their daily schedule. At this primary stage of the diabetes, the body is still making enough insulin, which can be boosted by opting for healthy diet and physical activity, which further helps the body to use its own insulin. 

Over time when Type 2 diabetes progresses then depending only on lifestyle and dietary changes simply won’t be enough to control blood glucose levels effectively. At this point, a person with Type 2 diabetes will likely need to start taking medicine in addition to continuing with those healthy lifestyle changes. Medicine is usually in the form of one or more diabetes pills. Many people with Type 2 eventually go on to require insulin. 

A person suffering from this stressful and sometime painful disease of diabetes often feel like they’ve been unsuccessful in managing their diabetes and now they have to go on taking diabetes medicines. Again, this is only due to society pressure and a collective mindset that diabetes can be controlled just by lifestyle changes. The truth is that a person’s pancreases have failed to get efficiently performing the work. It’s not their fault. 

If you still think that by placing blame on someone for your diabetes woes will help you, you may start looking at your genetic family tree. Genes plays a big factor in who gets Type 2 diabetes and who doesn’t. The natural passage of Type 2 diabetes is for it to progress to a point where, if the person lives long enough, he or she will have to take insulin. 

Don’t blame anyone. There’s evidence that incorporating healthier lifestyle behaviors like diet and exercises may get us to need to take medicine or insulin for a while but more importantly people with Type 2 diabetes are advised to consult your general practitioner who can work with you in determining their health-care teams on these behaviors. 

But the bottom line is that Type 2 diabetes will eventually take its course. Family, friends, and coworkers can best help the person with Type 2 diabetes by being supportive and encouraging instead of being hurtful or disapproving.
Let us know what you think?


Dr. MS Singhal
MD - | Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar

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