The sweet killer - Kaidul

The sweet killer

With around 70 million Indians living with diabetes, it is a major public health problem with prevalence rates reported to be between 4.6% and 14% in urban areas and 1.7% and 13.2% in rural areas, says SHALINI SAKSENA



With around 70 million Indians living with diabetes, it is a major public health problem with prevalence rates reported to be between 4.6% and 14% in urban areas and 1.7% and 13.2% in rural areas, says SHALINI SAKSENA


India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes (8.7%). Of these, it remained undiagnosed in more than 36 million people as per WHO reports. The risk of diabetes has increased mainly because of obesity and lack of physical activity. All individuals with abdominal obesity are at an increased risk of diabetes. The consumption of high calorie foods like fast food, soft drinks, deep fried foods, cakes and biscuits is contributing to both weight gain and risk of diabetes. It is advisable to keep your weight under control and avoid junk food. Diet plays a major role in diabetes, so always have a balanced diet and opt 4-5 meals daily in a small amount.

If your blood sugar is consistently high, over the time it can affects the vital organs of your body and reason for health hazards. Diabetes can affect your heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes and other parts of the body. People with diabetes don’t realise that they have the disease until they begin to have other health problems.

— Dr Saket Kant, senior consultant, Endocrinology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute

Women more at risk

Diabetes can increase the risk of developing several other complications, particularly in women. What is unique about this disease in women is that it affects both mothers and the unborn child. Women often receive less aggressive treatment for conditions related to diabetes than men. The complications and warning signs in women are also often more difficult to diagnose thus delaying treatment and leading to premature mortality.

Speaking about this, Dr Sanjay Kalra, consultant endocrinologist, Bharti Hospital Karnal and Vice President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies said: “Women with high body mass index, waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and cholesterol are more at risk of developing diabetes.”

Complications arising out of diabetes such as vaginal yeast infections and thrush, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sexual dysfunction, and urinary tract infections can make this problem even worse. Lack of support and adequate care can further result in poor metabolic control, higher complication rates, increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, lower quality of life, as well as increased risk of death.


  • Include whole grains in the diet, such as whole wheat bread, wheat pasta and brown rice.
  • Cheese and yogurt prepared with skimmed (non-fat) milk may be taken.
  • Use garlic, onion, bitter gourd, spinach, raw banana and black plum.
  • Make a flour mixture of 1 part barley, 1 part black chickpeas, and 4 parts whole-wheat flour and use this to makes rotis.
  • Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, grapes and mangoes etc.
  • Avoid sweet, sour and salty foods, potato, sweet potato, colocasia (taro), yam, fresh grains and pulses (legumes), whole yogurt (high in fat) and heavy, oily and spicy foods.
  • Exercise regularly, take a brisk walking. Build up to a brisk walk of 30-40 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
  • Avoid sleeping in the daytime as it increases Kledaka Kapha, a kind of dosh.

Home tacklers

  • Dry the leaves of mango tree and grind to a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon dry powder in a glass of water and drink it daily to reduce high blood sugar levels.
  • Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (karela) juice once a day. One can also increase its use as a cooked vegetable.
  • Take 1 teaspoon of amla juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of karela juice twice a day.

Every individual’s diagnosis is different, which requires a treatment that is customised. Only that can truly address the problem and help the individual to recover and eventually lead a healthy and happy life without any dependence on pills or injections.

— Dr Pratap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda

Home tacklers

you are at risk if you…

  • Are obese or overweight
  • Physically inactive
  • Have been previously diagnosed with glucose intolerance
  • Have unhealthy dietary habits
  • Are above the age of 40
  • Are a patient of high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes
  • Are from a particular ethnicity (higher rate of diabetes has been reported among Asians, Hispanics and African Americans)

manage your diabetes to avoid complications

Women in India should be more careful as nowadays women are living a stressful life leading to hormonal imbalance, obesity, low immunity and depression which put them at more risk of diabetes. Diabetic as well as non-diabetic women should lead a healthy lifestyle and should include some physical exercises in their daily routine as suggested in Ayurveda. Ayurveda considers diabetes as ‘Dhatukshay’ and some ayurvedic herbs should be taken as precaution during pregnancy with the advice of an Ayurvedic physician. Some women with diabetes wonder if it’s safe to become pregnant. The good news is that you can have a healthy pregnancy after being diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, it’s important to manage your condition before and during pregnancy to avoid complications.

— Dr Pratap Chauhan

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