Is weight loss surgery good for you?

We all know that type 2 diabetes (T2DM) makes up the majority of diabetes chunk. Adding to it, obesity in T2DM poses a challenge in achieving and keeping the diabetes goals. So, obesity and diabetes pose threat mutually to one another.

Diabetes + Obesity = Diabesity !!!

Diabesity, is a double-edged sword. Surgical weight loss is the quick and effective remedy. Since, diabetes is longstanding and progressive, a close supervision and strict adherence helps in subduing the clinical severity. However, road blocks in long-term supervision and compliance can result in worsening of the situation leading to silent complications and aggressive socioeconomic burden.

So is a quick-fix surgery a good option?

Bariatric surgery has a good success rate (90%).

Long lasting benefits over risks:

  • Reduced to normalised sugar control and overall health
  • Notable clinical reduction in medication.
  • In some cases, total elimination of anti-diabetic medicines.

Benefits over risks – Definitely, every surgery has its own risk. Every surgery is different. Every individual is different.

Nonetheless, in most of the cases, the risk of surgery is far lesser than the risk of continued worsening of diabesity. The risk of bariatric surgery is comparable to that of widely accepted gall bladder surgery.

In the position statement of International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), bariatric surgery is considered to be the powerful tool to treat patients with diabesity.  However, the position statement also suggests the features of the ideal candidate for the same.

So is surgical weight loss a good idea for you?

Your doctor will take a final call on this. Here, I will pen down the considerations for surgical weight loss.

BMI

Guided by the position statement of IDF,

  • You are the right candidate if you are obese with a BMI 35 or more?
  • If your BMI is somewhere between 30 to 35, surgery is a choice only when other medical therapies don’t work.

Failed alternate weight loss regimen

When behavioural and medical routes fail your doctor may recommend surgical weight loss. Provided the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks involved.

Weight loss benefits extend beyond T2DM. Obese or overweight patients with either of the conditions benefit well –

Hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea or other breathing problem, lipid abnormalities, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, digestive disorders, or heart disease.

Why is surgery so effective?

The benefits are attributed to reduced physical space in the stomach and a little extent to hormonal changes too.

health benefits after surgical weight loss
Comparison of health benefits of surgical weight loss (Photo: DS Surgery)

After gastric by-pass surgery, the food particles by pass most of the stomach and partially the small intestine. Similar effects are seen in duodenal switch.

Sleeve gastrectomy involves partial removal of stomach through a vertical incision. Another option is adjustable gastric band (AGB) that ties away the upper portion of the stomach.

Surgical Methods (Photo: National Institutes of Health)

All, these procedures enable weight loss owing to reduced food transit space. Eventually, patients experience benefits on sugar control due to weight loss, better glucose metabolism and favorable gut hormonal changes. However, the benefits with AGB is largely attributable only to weight loss.

What is the recovery time?

Most patients experience lack of energy after surgery.

Work:

Most people hit back at work in a week or two. In case your work demands a lot of physical activity or running errands, it is better you take off for a longer period. Your doctor will help in this decision.

Heavy weight lifting after surgery does not result in hernia, as against common idea. Hernia may otherwise is still possible due to infection. Therefore, it is important to take your medicines and supplements as advised by your doctor.

Exercise:

It is good to stay active however, slow and steady is the key. Do low impact exercises for the first month and then slowly building on from there. Listen to your body and you will do fine.

Water workouts will have to wait till you get a green signal from your surgeon. Else, you do not want the infections.

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Research Finds Hope in Natural Remedies for Glaucoma

Glaucoma – a condition that damages the optic nerve in the eye caused by increased fluid pressure – is the leading cause of blindness. This condition is often hard to diagnose, since there are no visible symptoms that can warn people of its onset. In fact, nearly half the people suffering from glaucoma never even realize they are living with this condition.

Certain types of people are more vulnerable to glaucoma than others. These would include the following:

  • People who are over 60 years old
  • People who have a history of glaucoma in the family.
  • People suffering from chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and heart disease.
  • People who’ve suffered eye injuries such as eye tumors, retinal detachment, and eye inflammations put you at higher risk of glaucoma.

People who fall in this category should get a comprehensive eye checkup done every two years. This can help detect glaucoma in its initial stages, allowing the patient to seek early intervention that can prevent vision loss.

There aren’t too many known treatments for glaucoma. Effective alternate remedies are also few and far between. However, there seems to be some hope for patients since a recent trial found that the herb ginkgo biloba was effective in fighting against glaucoma.

Studies indicate that having 120 milligrams of ginkgo every day for a period of two months has an extremely positive effect on the vision. This ancient herb has the ability to improve blood circulation which, in turn, goes a long way in improving the vision. In addition to ginkgo biloba there are other supplements that are known to reduce pressure in the eye. These include vitamin C, melatonin, and cod liver oil. Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids are also known to be extremely beneficial in promoting healthy retinal function.[1]

Word of caution – Ginkgo is sedative. It is best not to use Ginkgo during day (working) hours or ahead of a planned surgery.

Did you know?

Gingko Biloba (Balkuwari) is one of the oldest trees dating back to 270 million years. Contemporary to the Jurassic era, this is the only survior from the ancient tree species and is on the verge of extinction.

In India, these trees are found in Darjeeling. Also, they can be grown in garden or for commerce in hilly areas. Its medicinal value extend frurther to brain tonic in migraine, vertigo, Alzheimer’s,  and Parkinson’s disease.[2]

Zeaxanthin and lutein are also two amazing vision powerhouses, but not a lot of people know about them. Both are cartenoids that have the ability to protect eyesight. Lutein is found in green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens, kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. One thing that you must remember is that lutein requires oil to be absorbed by the body. Consuming vegetables without healthy fat will not do you much good.

When it comes to zeaxanthin, eggs are a great source of carotenoid. However, once the eggs are cooked, they tend to be of very little use. So, you can either consume them raw by adding them to shakes or cook them minimally – sunny side up or poached with runny yolks.

Finally, eating dark-colored berries, such as Indian blueberry can help reverse muscular degeneration. Additionally, the bioflavonoids in cranberries and blueberries strengthen the capillaries that are responsible for transporting nutrition to the nerves and eye muscles.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the major risk factors for glaucoma. Regular exercise (do not neglect for more than 2 weeks) is a good way to reduce the pressure in the eyes.

Also, avoid or limit caffeine (energy drinks – red bull) as they can sharply increase intra-ocular pressure.

Enjoy all the antioxidant vitamins-rich vegetables and fruits such as –

  • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, berries, cauliflower, cantaloupe.
  • Vitamin E – wheat germ oil, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, avocados (butter fruit), sea food.
  • Vitamin A – carrots, sweet potato, papaya, red peppers, cheddar cheese, mustard greens, beet greens, collard greens, whole milk, egg yolk, broccoli.
  •  Zinc – lean meat, seafood, green leafs, soybeans, peanuts, whole cereals.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin – green beans, green peas, green peppers, cucumbers, corn, pumpkin, lettuce, broccoli, spinach.

Sources:

[1] Cybulska-Heinrich, A. K., M. Mozaffarieh, and J. Flammer. “Ginkgo biloba: an adjuvant therapy for progressive normal and high tension glaucoma.” Molecular vision 18 (2012): 390.

[2] Ginkgo biloba L. Ginkgoaceae). Medicinal plants of India. Wednesday, February 11, 2009

 

Disclaimer – This article is for medical information purposes only and is purely author’s opinion. Any actions to treat or recover from your illness should be strictly performed with notice to your doctor only.

Home Remedies to Fight Diabetes

Treating diabetes is one thing and fighting it is another.  This article elaborates on the natural diabetes fighters we can rely on. Let me warn you before going ahead that, these fighters are definitely not a substitute to prescription medications.

These natural remedies are a part of lifestyle changes a diabetic can include going forward. These diabetes fighters work along with a diet recall, regular physical activity, regular sugar monitoring, and doctor visits. Remember, none of these diabetes management methods are to replace either one.

Here, we shall discuss the anti-diabetic features of the below home remedies. They are also rich in antioxidants, vitamin and minerals that are a healthy pick for an individual irrespective of diabetes status.

Bitter melon (gourd) or hagalkai

Enjoy this bitter tasting veggie to help your body lower body glucose. This veggie works by reducing the appetite and acting like insulin in the peripherals and brain. Its lectin is the major component behind the hypoglycemic effect.

Anti-bitterness tips:

  • Set aside the finely chopped bitter melon mixed in salt and turmeric. And then sprinkle some water to remove the bitterness that has oozed out so far. Use it in any of your recipes to enjoy its goodness.
  • Sprinkle a spoon of Stevia into the recipe at the end.  Note: Jaggery has glucose load similar to that of natural sugar, so avoid it.

You will still have the bitter after effect, but it is all worth it.

Ivy gourd or tondekai

Ivy gourd fruit and leaves both are known for their anti-diabetic effect from the ancient times in the science of ayurveda. Use leaves in soup and fruits as salad or cooked vegetables. The leaves help in better management of glucose load from the meal.

Cinnamon or chekke

Studies suggest the improvements in insulin sensitivity and post meal glucose levels. Also, cinnamon helps in controlling risks and complications associated with diabetes and heart diseases[1][2]

Cinnamon goes well along in any Indian style oggarane (tadka) and sweets. Also, if you are a baking enthusiast, use them in whole wheat baking recipes.

Fenugreek seeds or menthye kalu

Soak two tablespoons of methi seeds in water overnight. Consume both these methi seeds in water the next morning. This is effective in both type 1 and 2 diabetes patients, it has good control on fasting sugars especially in type 1 diabetics. When consumed in meal, fenugreek has better control on post meal glucose load too.

Amla or bettadnellikai

Amla stimulates pancreas and manage glucose better. This fibrous fruit has a tangy flavor and a bitter, mouthwatering after taste. Enjoy it whole or squeeze its juice (2 tablespoon) and mix in a glass of water. Either ways, enjoy this fruit in empty stomach.

Black plum or nerlehannu

Enjoy the fruit anytime you love to. Its leaves and seeds are also rich with hypoglycemic qualities. Grind them into fine powder and mix with water and have it twice a day.

Aloe vera

Alove vera when combined with common kitchen spices  – bay leaf and turmeric has a potent anti-diabetic effect. Aloe vera alone helps in better management of fasting sugars, body weight and fat deposition.

Mango leaves

Mango leaves aid in regulating insulin levels. Its other anti-diabetic components work like your GLUT4 medicines that help in storing excess glucose as glycogen. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels.

Soak around 10 leaves in a glass of water overnight and drink this water in the morning for good results.

Basil or Tulsi

Tulsi boosts insulin release and insulin sensitivity and has effects both on fasting and post-meal levels. Chew upon them or drink them soaked in water to enjoy the minty flavor.

Flax seeds or alsi

Flax seed powder (1 tablespoon only) in a glass of warm water forms a healthy flax meal which is rich in good fat and fibre. With improved post meal sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and reduced stress, flax seed is a must add to the antidiabetic army.

Neem leaves

Neem not only works by improving the insulin sensitivity but thereby also reduces the amount of insulin needed by the body drastically.

Curry leaves

Curry leaves work by reducing or slowing the breakdown of starch into glucose. Since Indian cookery is mostly starchy (wheat/rice), curry leaves are a must have ingredient. Chew them nicely before swallowing, it is effective in preventing and controlling diabetes.

Ginger

Ginger enables improved blood glucose and insulin levels and offers protection against eye damage.

Guava

Guava is the best fruit choice for a diabetic. However, restrict its consumption to not more than one medium sized fruit a day. The fruit enables slow metabolism and thus better absorb glucose from the meal.

In this era of excessive stress and pollution, there is no such natural therapy that is a documented cure for diabetes. They otherwise help you by keeping health under your control.

Sources: 

[1] Journal of Clinical Epidemiology; The Effect of Momordica Charantia Capsule Preparation on Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Needs Further Studies; A.M. Dans, et al.; June 2007.

[2] Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Khan A, Khattak K, Sadfar M, Anderson R, Khan M. Diabetes Care. 2003; 26: 3215-3218.

Cancer in pancreas to fight type 1 diabetes

Ever heard of insulinoma? Yeah, that rare cancer of pancreas…

Good news is that it may be a possible weapon against type 1 diabetes.

Insulinoma, a special rare cancer of pancreas

Insulinomas are special cell types that have mutated to release more insulin in patients. The recipe and process of this mutation is now being closely studied by the medical fraternity. Once successful, this may mean a reversing tonic for type 1 diabetes. Yes, this means no more insulin injections.

Yeah…

Alas, there is a lot of data mining and genetic mapping going on in the labs. Once the researchers are ready with a medicine that can mimic this cell change, they will further have to optimize this change for safe amounts of insulin.

Such a cure is the need of the generation and many more in the coming years.  Researchers are quite positive that beta cells in pancreas have a lot of scope for us.

Possible diabetes reversal

Yet, we still have to wait for the good news. A possible reversal Eureka in diabetes research.

India needs it. Whole world needs it. A 2015 study in India estimates about 97,700 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).  Millions of diabetes cases are still not diagnosed.

However, immune response and overall risks of complications in the patients also play guiding role in benefiting from this possible therapy. 

Sources: 

Wang, Huan, et al. “Insights into beta cell regeneration for diabetes via integration of molecular landscapes in human insulinomas.” Nature communications 8 (2017): 767.

Kumar, Kanakatte Mylariah Prasanna. “Incidence trends for childhood type 1 diabetes in India.” Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism19.Suppl 1 (2015): S34.

Take A Chance At Regular Walking In Old Age

Ppl, slip on your sneakers and walk briskly every day. A regular activity such as brisk walking is enough to take you out of grim and bring you close to good health.

Old age, muscular disability, joint injuries, and busy schedule are several exercise stoppers or slowsters. Help me add some, if I have missed any.

Always keep your healthcare team informed about your exercise plan, changes, injuries, sickness and travels. They will help you in injury prevention and recovery from injuries.

Elder adults especially, need to take care of their stamina, endurance levels and physical fitness before going ahead with new workouts. So, walking is a easy and safe way to stay fit.

A recent study, vouch the benefit of counting 70 minutes daily  exercise, walking included.  Researchers observed a reduced death risk and complexities coming from obesity, depression, cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

What does this walk study have to say?

The benefits were further significant when the person also included moderate to vigorous exercises regularly. While the benefits improved by 70% for nonsmokers, the death risk drastically reduced by 50% for those who quit smoking.

In this study the exercise levels were measured objectively using a fitness device whenever participants moved. Nearly 17,000 women in average age group of 72 were part of the study.

The life sustaining effect of regular walking is evident in 2 years follow up. Moderate-to-vigorous exercise meant lesser likelihood of death in this period.

Exercise guide for elderly

Generally, an individual should get 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. The U.S. national guidelines advise 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

  1. Light activity – household work, mild gardening, slow walking. Stay amble and avoid being sedentary for long hours.
  2. Moderate activity (walking or swimming or cycling every day) OR Vigorous activity (running or a game of singles tennis)
  3. Strength exercises that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) – hourly yoga twice a week.

While vigorous activity is not recommended for older adults who have never exercised. Professional runners in good health can keep going with their regimen. Do not start anything new.

Based on your personal preferences and good health as judged by the doctor and personal trainer, pick

  1. Either moderate or vigorous activity.
  2. Time or duration – for example how long you swim
  3. Type of activity – running, walking, cycling, tennis (other zero contact games)
  4. Intensity – For example, how fast your run or pedal, tension or weights for strength exercises
  5. Frequency – For example, how many repetitions do you continue to train.

Tips for a beginner:

  • New to exercise? Start slow.
  • Walk just 5 to 10 minutes a day for the first few weeks.
  • Add 5 mins more and cover additional distance.
  • Make sure you are able to talk while you walk.
  • Over a period of time pick up the pace at your own comfort
  • Set a goal is to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes on most days.

Safety tips for all:

Slow down or stop if you notice either of these symptoms

  • coughing,
  • wheezing,
  • shortness of breath,
  • chest pain/tightness,
  • tiredness,
  • poorer performance, and avoidance of activity  (mostly seen in children).

.

A typical exercise plan for eldersA table with exercise plans for elderly seniors 65+

 

Have your shot against infections this season

If predictions are right, infections may  be pretty competitive this year. For diabetics in particular, doctors urge preventive vaccinations for this year.

Only a very small fraction of people with the blood sugar disease get their seasonal flu shots each year. Either some diabetics don’t realize they’re at risk for flu-related complications or they are misguided that the shot itself is harmful.

Viral infections can lead to extensive and high-impact health concerns that can even lead to increased heart risks followed by disabilities.

For diabetics, the risk of infections are usually greater. Adding to it, high BP, poor cholesterol and lipid profile can worsen the infection aggressively. Soon, infection is not the singular concern.

Infections and illness disrupt the sugar levels. Diabetics are at increased risk of hospitalization due to influenza, pneumonia and other seasonal infections. Poor immunity is further worsened by these aggressive infections

Vaccination can safely and effectively prevent or reduce the severity of these complications. Reducing risks are the major tenants of managing diabetes. So, go talk to your doctor today and follow his prescriptions timely. If you are 65+ years old and/or diabetic, check with your doctor for the right vaccine and dose.

What are the other things you can do to stay safe ‘Tis season?

  1. Other than boosting your immunity, stay safe and on track managing your diabetes.
  2. Hand hygiene is important in warding the flu off.
  3. Avoid eating outside, especially street food.
  4. Discuss your out-station travel plans well in advance with your doctor.
  5. If any screenings are pending, do not delay them. Get them done sooner.
  6. Just in case you do get the flu, see your doctor right away for speedy recovery.
  7. Gestational diabetes may come with pregnancy. Stay up-to-date on your medicines and doctor visits.

Enjoy the Christmas season! Let the season not affect you in any which way!

Wounds And Burns – First Aid Tips For A Diabetic

Diabetics are slow healers. With compromised immunity and sensation, diabetics need special care in treating wounds. Here are a few things you can start with…

First aid tips for diabetic wounds and burns revolve around healing, preventing infections and tissue/organ damage. Diabetics heal slow and are prone to immediate or late onset infections.

Infections:

Wounds may be totally painless or painful for long time. Painless wounds suggest pre-existing weak nerve or damaged nerve. Wounds with draining pus or any discharge, dead tissue or bad odour are infected wounds.

Tissue/organ damage:

Inflamed wounds if untreated tend to damage the underlying organs over a long time. Impaired blood circulation, hypertension or other comorbidities increase the risk of organ damage.

Action calls: [1]

  • For wounds: First step is to clean the cut wound in running water and pat dry. Next, consult doctor immediately. For burns: Do not use ice or iced water to clean. If the area is small, run under tap water to cool the skin and prevent deeper damage. Alternatively, use a cold-water compress.
  • If the injury is covered in bandage, keep the area around it clean and dry. Non-dissolvable bandage need to be removed only by the doctor. Do not disturb the bandage on your own either to remove or to clean.
  • Doctor or nurse will replace the bandage daily looking for signs of infections until the wound is completely healed. Once you get to replace dressing on your own, exercise caution and follow every instruction by the healthcare team.
  • Clean and sanitize your hands before handling the dressing. Do not use any cleanser, antibacterial, iodine, alcohol or peroxides. Do not use any cream or lotion or any remedies without informing your doctor.
  • Take anti-infective, pain-killer and/or other treatments as directed by the doctor. Consult your doctor if you have fever above 104F with/without chills, consult your doctor immediately. Chances of aggravated infections should be monitored regularly – talk to your doctor about any increased or aggravated drainage with pus, bad odour or change in colour.
  • Allow to heal – do not exert any kind of pressure on the affected area – do not rub or scrub the wounds. Foot wounds are common in diabetics, avoid using your feet till the wound is healed.
  • Bathing and showering – consider all precautions as directed by the doctor. You may have to take sponge bath to prevent wound soaking. Do not shower or bath with dressing on, unless otherwise specified. Once you get the ok from the doctor you can bath the wounds in water without rubbing or scrubbing.
  • Pat to absorb water from and air dry the wound. Redress the wound as recommended after bathing. Use lose and seamless clothing to prevent irritation.

For Burns:[2]

  • If the burn is blistered, blotchy or blackened/dry, it is severe. Burns bigger than a coin size should be seen by the doctor immediately.
  • Burns tend to swell, so remove tight clothing, jewellery and watch from injured area.
  • Use cotton fabric to pat dry and cover with a cling wrap. Do not apply fat based ointment or adhesive dressing as of now.

Take it easy, not all emergencies can be life threatening. Panics can lead to disasters severe than the emergencies themselves. Call for the emergency and  wait in patience.

For Wounds:[3]

  • For minor skin problems – redness, blisters, calluses. Do not wait till you see a cut wound for first aid. Check with your doctor when the problem is minor.
  • Contusions, crush injuries, abrasions, incisions, punctures or penetrating injuries may result in internal injuries. What is visible superficially may be very little and need expert supervision.

Avoid contact sports, accident prone activities, tight clothing or socks to prevent wounds. Quit smoking as it further reduces the chances of fast healing. Maintain healthy lifestyle, avoid immobilizing (sitting or standing for a very long time) to avoid complications.

Stay safe, heal faster!

 

References

[1] http://www.woundcarecenters.org/article/wound-types/diabetic-wounds

[2] http://www.jci.org/articles/view/32169

[3] Rosenberg CS. Wound healing in the patient with diabetes mellitus. Nurs Clin North Am. 1990 Mar;25(1):247-61.

 

 

After Type 1 and 2 now it is Type 1.5 Diabetes

What is type 1.5 diabetes?

It is a form of Type 1 diabetes that shows up only in adulthood rather than in childhood.

Type 1 diabetes is regarded as juvenile onset diabetes as it is usually seen in children, whereas type 2 diabetes is regarded as adult onset diabetes as it is usually seen in adults.

Type 1.5 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a slow progression of autoimmune type 1 diabetes. LADA straddles between the characteristics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hence the name type 1.5 diabetes.1-3

Like in type 1 diabetes, LADA results from β-cell failure and insulin. However, unlike type 1 diabetes, the progression of β-cell failure is slow and does not creep until adulthood. Therefore, LADA is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes.1-3

About 1 in 5 individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may have LADA.1

How to know if it’s type 1.5 diabetes?

Your doctor is the best person to diagnose your condition. Type 1.5 diabetes can be distinguished from type 2 diabetes by the presence of some typical characteristics. These include1-3:

  • Delayed age of onset (>30 years of age)
  • Presence of autoantibodies
  • Initial control of blood glucose levels with diet and oral drugs
  • Does not require insulin for the initial months but the need of insulin advances rapidly
  • Marked insulin deficiency
  • Normal body weight and do not tend to gain weight
  • No family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Personal or family history of other autoimmune diseases

What to do?

Talk to your doctor if you have type 2 diabetes, which is uncontrolled despite taking oral drugs and diet and lifestyle changes over time, especially if you are lean, physically active or losing weight.1-3 It is good to keep a check on the following:

  • Blood glucose levels
  • Calorie intake through diet
  • Physical activity

Seek the advice of your doctor on the best possible treatment options for you.1-3

 

References

  1. Brahmkshatriya PP, Mehta AA, Saboo BD, Goyal Characteristics and prevalence of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). ISRN Pharmacol. 2012;2012:580202.
  2. Saboo B. Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults [Internet]. [cited 2017 Jan 2]. Available from: http://www.apiindia.org/medicine_update_2013/chap39.pdf
  3. Leslie D, Valeri C. Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) [Internet]. [cited2017 Jan 2]. Available from: https://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/attachments/article_5_en.pdf

White Versus Brown rice for Diabetes

‘Replacing white rice with brown rice reduces the risk of diabetes’, says a study.

Wonder how? Well, diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood glucose. The kind of food we eat affects our blood sugar.

Glycaemic index (GI) determines how fast glucose (from food) enters blood. Higher the GI, faster the glucose moves into blood. GI varies for different varieties of rice.1,2

How is brown rice better than white rice?

Brown rice is a wholegrain with low GI. In addition, brown rice is rich in vital nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fibre plays a crucial role in diabetes management as it slows release of glucose into blood.

Milling and polishing strips away most of the nutrients, especially fibre from brown rice. Thus white rice, the refined version of brown rice, has a higher GI.

As reported in several studies, high consumption of white rice can increase the risk of diabetes. Hence, researchers suggest replacing it with its whole grain counterpart, brown rice.1,3

How to control blood glucose using brown rice?

As rice is a staple food for Asians and white rice is the widely-used rice variety, it is difficult to stop using white rice altogether. Instead, make some changes to your regular diet by slowly including brown rice and reducing white rice intake. Here are some tips to make changes to your diet to control the blood glucose levels1-3:

  • Include brown rice in your daily diet at least in 1 meal.
  • Plan your meals to include more brown rice than white rice in a week. Don’t exceed the consumption of white rice >5 times a week.
  • Besides using brown rice, replace refined foods with other wholegrains including whole wheat, barley and oats.

Swapping to brown rice and whole grains is good. Nonetheless, it is important to be physically active and have a balanced diet with less saturated fats, salt and sugar and more fruits and vegetables for the effective management of the blood glucose levels.2

 References

  1. Sun Q, Spiegelman D, Dam RMV et al. White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Arch Intern Med. 2010 June 14;170(11):961-9.
  2. Does rice affect diabetes risk? [Internet]. 2010. [cited 2017 Jan 6]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/06june/pages/diabetes-risk-affected-by-rice.aspx
  3. Harvard School of Public Health. Replacing white rice with brown rice or other whole grains may reduce diabetes risk [Internet]. 2010. [cited 2017 Jan 6]. Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/white-rice-brown-rice-whole-grains-diabetes/

Women and diabetes – Our right to a healthy future

According to International diabetes federation, women living with diabetes may reach 313 million by 2040. This world will be a better place to live in if we can contain this to a manageable number.

Why is ‘Diabetes in woman’ capturing wide attention globally?

This world diabetes day is themed, “Women and diabetes – Our right to a healthy future”.

Socioeconomic factors and diabetes risk

 

women and diabetes

Call it equitable and affordable health care. This basic human rights are compromised for women, further burdened by poverty.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in woman across age and geographies.

Reproductive age and risk of gestational diabetes

GDM to type 2 diabetes

Two of 5 diabetic women are in reproductive age.  The risk of hormonal imbalance, delayed conception, ovarian problems is high with diabetes. Furthermore, high risk pregnancy with outcomes such as miscarriage, birth defects, premature birth are common these days.

Gestational diabetes is a condition of high blood sugars in an otherwise normal and healthy pregnant woman. This condition can result in disruptive blood sugar control in new born and also increase chances of the baby being obese or diabetic in future. IDF reports that 1 in every 7 child births are affected by diabetes in mother.

Stigmatization and discrimination in relation to overall health status

Gender roles, gender bias and poor self-care altogether increase the risk of diabetes in women. Studies are proof of poor family support to women in their sickness.

Modern-day woman

Working women juggle between work at home and office. Increased burden of gender roles, traffic, work stress, child bearing and caring, put together provide little time, mind and space for self. Therefore, modern-day woman are at greater risk of diabetes.

essential medicine, education and information is the key

Women and lack of awareness – identification, prevention, treatment

Keeping updated with the latest trends, including the medical advances and government healthcare benefits is important. Also, understanding diabetes and taking action is necessary for every diabetic.

Women and girls are key agents in the adoption of healthy lifestyles

Empowering women by making them aware will transcend the effects to entire family. thus, the effect of awareness program can at least be quadrupled.

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