“Daktre nange sugar ide!”
This is something I get to hear from every fourth person I meet. ”Doctor, I have sugar!” With India being the diabetes capital of the world, a spacious home to about 60 million people living with this disorder there is a lot more that needs to be done in this regard. As a doctor I would like to share a few thoughts today on World Diabetes Day. 'Healthy Living And Diabetes' is the theme for the period 2014-2016.
Diabetes has no longer remained a problem of the rich. A day ago one of the house keeping staff of my laboratory came to me.
“Madam! 279 Madam! Is it because of the Diwali sweets?”
I gave him some serious advice. I told him to go for a check up, for some more laboratory tests and for a dietitian consultation, but the indifference with which he responded only made me realize that this diabetes problem is a tough one to deal with in this country. It requires a multifaceted approach. Do visit the Diabetes Foundation Of India to know more on what is being done in India.
My concern is that there are innumerable myths around this non-communicable disease. I would like to throw some light on the most popular.
- SUGAR is synonymous with DIABETES.
No. Diabetes has reached such magnitude that we need to be a tad serious about it. Sugar does not mean diabetes, let us get more rational and scientific.
- INSULIN is worse than TABLETS.
No. Treatment has to be monitored by a diabetologist. Do visit one before getting into self medications. What works for one patient may not work for the other.
- I only have to STOP EATING SWEETS.
No. Diabetics require a diet. There is nothing like no sweets. We all are born with a sweet tooth, aren’t we? And that too with so many festivals that have to be celebrated every fortnight! But yes, we need to watch what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat!
- My PARENTS DON’T HAVE DIABETES, So I WON’T GET IT.
No. Although there is familial predisposition there is no science behind this baseless thought. Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder, mind you it is a DISORDER and not a disease.
- I HAVE 'ONLY' DIABETES.
NO. This is a major misconception among diabetics. You know that constant feeling of self assurance 'Nothing is wrong, it is only diabetes' The first step towards living with and solving a problem is accepting it followed by gaining knowledge about it. Diabetes can lead to multiple health issues, if I were to list it as a risk factor for the number of other diseases I can begin and end a major medicine textbook.
Some diabetics do good and live with it like they have no problem at all, what I see in them is the difference in attitude - diet, exercise, medicines, health updates and most importantly 'HAPPINESS'- Hakunamatata! :-)
My mother is someone who believes not in fighting with diabetes, but in living smart with it :-D
She was the one who reminded me this morning.
“Aren’t you going to wish me today?” she asked.
“Why?” I questioned in reply looking at her adorable smile.
“Today is World Diabetes Day, it is kind of my day” she said.
And we laughed.
We had gorged on this last week. Haha! :-)