Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know why I got diabetes, I never eat sweets ?

About everything we eat is converted into glucose — sugar — so for most people with type 2 diabetes, what we eat is not as important as how much we eat. When we overeat, we ‘re adding extra calories which our body doesn’t need for energy, so our body will convert these extra calories into fat. Being overweight is a predisposing factor for developing diabetes.

If I have to go on insulin; that must mean my diabetes is really bad?

It is our blood glucose control that determines whether we go on insulin. Sometimes when diet alone or diet along with oral or non-insulin-injectable diabetes medication(s) cannot control blood glucose, then insulin becomes necessary.

Once I am on insulin medication, I will have to continue taking it forever?

That may not be so. It may vary from patient to patient and depends on the control of the patient’s sugar levels. Multiple drug and insulin therapy may be needed in severe cases and if appropriate and strict diet and exercise regimen is followed, it may very much be possible to cut out insulin from the medication, based on the doctor’s discretion.

Insulin will lead to complications in my Diabetes?

That is untrue. Insulin is a natural hormone and is probably one of the safest medications around. Insulin helps control the blood glucose, which in turn slows down or prevents diabetes complications.

Can a diabetic fast for more than a day?

A diabetic should not keep fast at all, as the body will start breaking down the stored fat to glucose and when glucose is not available it will break down the protein for energy and this could lead to ketoacidosis which is a serious and life threatening complication of diabetes.

Can a diabetic take steroids?

Steroids can exacerbate or worsen the diabetes in a patient, but if they cannot be avoided, then the dosage must be monitored by the doctor.

Can a diabetic donate his/her blood without affecting the recipient?

A diabetic should have no problem in donating blood but it is not recommended as the Indian Red Cross does not accept blood from people with diabetes.

Is drinking alcohol harmful for a diabetic patient?

Consumption of alcohol increases weight and worsens diabetes control by pushing up or bringing down sugar levels. However, in case a diabetic patient wants to consume alcohol, then the maximum daily intake recommended is one small peg (25-30 cc) only.

Can a diabetic eat mangoes?

If a diabetic patient’s sugar levels do not show too alarming arise after eating mango, then it is ok to have an occasional slice. Generally, mangoes are avoidable as they have high calorie content.

Does taking bitter gourd decoction on empty stomach decrease blood sugar levels?

Bitter gourd is known to reduce sugar levels but is definitely not a substitute for medication and such methods must be adopted only after consulting the doctor.

Are artificial sweeteners harmful for the heart?

Artificial sweeteners like Sugar Free, Sugar Free natura, Sugar Free Gold, Splenda, Equal, Sweetex etc. are all considered safe for consumption.

Is it safe to take insulin during pregnancy?

It is quite safe to take insulin injections during pregnancy.

Does diabetes affect brain function?

Diabetes does not affect brain function directly unless there is evidence of stroke or vascular disease which can reduce the blood flow to the brain. However, frequent low blood sugar attacks can affect the functioning of the brain.

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