Samaira Khan, 32, developed diabetes when she was only 27 years old. “I used to weigh 90kg. While genes were partially responsible, it was my love for eating good food that caused the real problem,” she said.
Khan, who is an engineer with a multi-national firm, said she had a difficult time coping with diabetes. “I could not come to terms with the fact that I had to completely do away with sugar. The first time I was diagnosed, my sugar levels were over 400 mg/dL (normally, the levels should be less than 110 mg/dL).
Kaushambi-resident Mridula K Verma, 24, who has had Type 1 diabetes since she was four years old, says she has learnt how to hand her sugar levels. “At school, my sugar levels would fluctuate and I had to be careful when I was on insulin injections,” she says. “Pumps have made diabetes management easy,” Mridula adds.
One in every five patients at any general clinic has diabetes. “Poor eating habits, obesity and lack of physical exercise are triggering the rise in the number of young diabetic cases,” says Vikas Ahluwalia, senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket.
Researchers have now identified a gene called myostatin, which leads Indians to have more body fat and low muscle mass, factors important for genesis of diabetes, lipid disorders and heart diseases.
“In this study, we clearly show that there is a genetic basis of not only low muscle but also more fat in Indians,” said Dr Surya Prakash Bhatt, co-investigator of the study and researcher at AIIMS. The study was published online in Journal Plos One (USA).
One in 10 pregnant women develops diabetes in their second trimester. In the past six months, a pilot project at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has treated diabetic pregnant patients with excellent maternal and foetal outcomes using insulin pumps.
“Considering its high cost (Rs 2 lakh) and the fact that the pump is usually required only transiently during pregnancy, we are letting out insulin pumps,” said Dr SK Wangnoo, senior consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist, Apollo Hospitals.
“We have enrolled about 12 patients so far, of who about three have delivered successfully. The usual insulin shots involve multiple needle pricks along with a risk of sugar fluctuation, which is not good for the mother or the baby,” he said. Insulin pumps provide continuous insulin delivery and also display blood sugar levels every five minutes.
Curing diabetes foot
Fortis hospital has introduced Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) at Fortis C-DOC Diabetes & Allied Disorders Hospital for treating diabetic foot and wounds. “HBOT is the administration of 100% oxygen to a patient in a pressurised environment. The combination of pressure and oxygen increases the number of oxygen molecules that are dissolved in the blood plasma, which is then delivered to the tissues,” Dr Ashok Damir, head, Advanced Centre for Diabetic Foot & Wound Management, Fortis C-DOC.
Your weight or having a wide girth puts you at risk of diabetes.
While Body Mass Index (BMI) under 23 indicates healthy weight, you must make sure your abs are as flat as possible.