Diabetics and their attendants, caretakers know about several desi remedies to beat diabetes,  the silent killer disease. #KhabarLive tried to discuss and debate  on myths to get a clear scientific or clinical picture.

All of us know at least one or more people in our lives plagued with diabetes. The disease is extremely common, especially among the older generation, and learning to live with it requires changes in diet, lifestyle and state of mind. #KhabarLive, with help from Dr Kiran Macha, Consultant physician at Apollo hospitals, lists ways to fight the notorious ailment.

While diabetes is usually a sickness associated with the elderly, but today, some types of diabetes are being found in the younger generation too. This is a cause for concern as it is indicative of progressively higher susceptibility to chronic illnesses. It can be genetic or a product of a person’s environment, as the levels of blood sugar in one’s body is decided mostly by factors such as diet and exercise.

Dr Kiran Macha, Consultant physician at Apollo hospitals, says that the moment one realises how diabetes can cause complications with every organ in one’s body is when they have to begin thoroughly adhering to the treatments. “I believe ‘what we eat is what we become’. Exercise burns our calories without the use of insulin in our body. Fruits should be made part of our daily meal. A balanced diabetic diet, exercise, and regular follow-ups with your physician will keep you healthy.”

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But as with many common illnesses, there has been extensive research on how to deal with it, and newer drugs have been developed to deal with the many issues it presents. “2020 is a blessing as many newer drugs are being made available to the diabetics for better blood sugar control with lower drug complications,” says Dr Kiran. He mentions the need for understanding and supportive people, saying, “Diabetics need more time with family, finances, psychological, hospital resources, and community support.”

Unlike other diseases, diabetes does not have a set dosage of medicine one can place all their hopes on. Regular health checkups should include proper eye and feet examinations. “We should not ignore mental and psychological stress a diabetic patient goes through and should introduce them to relaxation techniques,” recommends the doctor. “Always, remember to learn to apply a habit a day that will take our health to a new comfort level.”

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“Heart attack, brain stroke, kidney issues are frequently noted in diabetics. When a person’s waist size reaches 40, he or she enters into a world of health complications. The prevailing myths are that controlling sugar is only possible with medicine, but diabetics must change this way of thinking. They must implement lifestyle changes, maintain healthy diets as the situation requires and then focus on drugs.”

Some diabetic patients also suffer from high blood pressure and thyroid issues. Life becomes complicated with added comorbidities for pregnant women and the elderly. Pregnancy can bring about a condition called ‘gestational diabetes’, where some pregnant women have a shortage of glucose in the body and may become diabetic after 20 weeks of gestation period. They should get their sugars checked, the doctor advises.

“Government efforts to help diabetics survive and sensitise the public through health programs should continue,” says Dr Kiran, as the need for the public’s awareness about diabetes grows. As things stand, most of us are familiar with diabetes, but only those who are in close contact with a diabetic truly understands the need for mental support and lifestyle changes.

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Bursting Myths
With the disease having grown to be common today, there are several myths surrounding it that do more harm than good. Here are a few common ones.

Myth: Eating sugar causes diabetes
While eating a diet high in sugar, and processed foods plus other unhealthy lifestyle factors can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, sugar alone doesn’t cause either type of diabetes.

Myth: Cinnamon, bitter melon, turmeric, stone fruit, or hibiscus leaves cure diabetes.
There is no cure for any type of diabetes. While some herbs and foods can improve a person’s insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, there is absolutely no magic spice, herb, plant or food that can cure anyone of any type of diabetes.

Myth: Only children develop type 1 diabetes/only older people (over 65 years) develop type 2 diabetes.

People at any age can develop type 1 diabetes and the same applies to type 2 diabetes. Today, adults happen to be the largest growing segment of people with type 1 diabetes. Additionally, adults are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes instead of type 1 diabetes because of their age, weight or race. #KhabarLive #hydnews