Life With Diabetes

You can live a happy and normal life with diabetes.

Click on the tabs to the left or on top for resources about Life with Diabetes.

This website provides practical information and tips for living with diabetes. The information is based on the book, Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes: The Art of balancing insulin, diet, and exercise by Dr. Santosh Gupta, MD, MRCP (UK), CDE, where she says:

This is a practical guide on how to teach DSME, particularly in the Indian context. It is written for patients and their families, and for diabetes educators. It is comprehensive and provides answers to the management of T1D, especially in under-resourced areas. It has a list of the carbohydrate counts of common Indian foods and is presented in simple language along with cartoons that children can understand.

 

You can access the book here: http://manavseva.org/downloads/book-english.pdf

The full text from Dr. Gupta's excerpt can be found here:

Diabetes is a disease of high blood glucose (sugar). All food, especially carbohydrates, gets converted into glucose in the blood. Blood glucose stimulates the release of an appropriate amount of insulin from Beta cells in the pancreas to maintain blood glucose levels between 80 to 120 mg% and A1C less than 5.7%. Insulin acts as a conduit that allows the cells in the body to take in glucose and use it as energy. If insulin is not produced by the pancreas, Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) develops. If body cells cannot effectively use insulin to utilize glucose (called insulin resistance), Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) develops. T1D affects children and young adults and is the result of an autoimmune process that destroys insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas and it has a sudden onset. These patients will need insulin for immediate therapy and for the remainder of their lives. Without insulin, T1D patients develop ketoacidosis and fall into a coma, often leading to death. In the long run if T1D is not well controlled, patients will develop microvascular (involving small blood vessel) complications affecting the kidneys, the eyes and the nervous system. A Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) published in 1993 [Reference 3, page 55] proved that complications in T1D are directly proportional to the control of diabetes (A1C). A normal and healthy life is possible by maintaining a desirable level of A1C. Type 2 Diabetes occurs in adults. In these cases, initially pancreas produces enough insulin but due to insulin resistance, the blood glucose level is high. Over the years, the functioning of the beta cells in the pancreas also starts to decrease, resulting in reduced insulin production. T2D may run in families and is often related to lifestyle changes such as obesity and lack of regular exercise. It can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for years. These patients can often be managed with a proper diet and oral medicines but may eventually need insulin. Association of T2D with cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking) will often result in developing macrovascular complications (large blood vessels) such as heart attack, stroke and poor circulation in legs. Control of risk factors is extremely important to prevent complications in T2D. Blood glucose levels change after meals and after physical activity or stress, therefore insulin must be taken multiple times a day to match the changes in blood glucose levels. This schedule is called Multiple Dose Insulin injections (MDI). There is a formula to calculate the insulin dosage based on blood glucose levels, carbohydrate (CHO) count in the diet, activity level, and other factors. Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) empowers both patients and their families with knowledge on how to calculate the appropriate dosage of insulin for their lifestyle. DSME is provided by professionally trained and certified Diabetes Educators.The following quote by Prof. George Alberti, past President, International Diabetes Federation, best describes the critical importance of DSME, and full participation of patients in managing their own diabetes. Person who can properly manage the diabetes is the person who lives with it day by day, month by month, year by year. It is the role of health care professionals to equip the patient and often their family with the tools and education to do this.

This is a practical guide on how to teach DSME, particularly in the Indian context. It is written for patients and their families, and for diabetes educators. It is comprehensive and provides answers to the management of T1D, especially in under-resourced areas. It has a list of the carbohydrate counts of common Indian foods and is presented in simple language along with cartoons that children can understand.

June 1, 2018 – Dr. Santosh Gupta