Case Files : Why do I need to follow a diet if I am diabetic?

Diabetes is a disorder that is spreading like wild fire. The main cause for this are faulty diets and lack of exercise. I meet a lot of such cases daily and it is shocking to hear about their food habits. There are innumerable patients who dont even flinch nor are they worried about the consequences of the disorder.

Let us look at a case I had met 2 weeks back.

The lady was diabetic from 2 years and had been referred to me by the consultant doctor. Her blood sugar was 345 mg/dL. She came to my cabin with a very bored look on her face. Her weight for her height was alright. After checking her reports, I took a diet recall and I roughly estimated her daily intake of calories. It was approximately 1800 kCal which was her requirement. But her carbohydrate intake was very high. She was roughly taking about 350g of carbohydrates which was covering about 3/4 th of her caloric intake and this clearly showed the lack of control. Her intake of foods of high glycemic index was very high.

When I was explaining to her about her requirements, she interrupted me and asked  “Why do I need to follow a diet if I am diabetic?” Although this lady was educated, the seriousness of the disorder was not known to her.

I explained to her what are the consequences of Diabetes and its complications such as loss of eye sight, kidney failure, impaired nerve functions such as loss of sensation and cardiac problems.

This information was an eye opener to her. I removed all the high glycemic index foods ( I will write about these foods too) and replaced her diet with a balanced diet with adequate protein, moderate fats and moderate carbohydrates. I advised her on the need of exercise to lower blood sugars and the importance of fiber in her diet.

This morning I received a call from her and she informed me that her blood sugars are 135 mg/dL on fasting and she feels better than ever. Now this has convinced her to continue and come for follow ups on a regular basis. She has started reading about diabetes and is now ready to combat all the consequences of the disorder. Her aim is to maintain her fasting blood sugars between 90- 110 mg/dL which are the desired levels. She has started walking on a regular basis and follows the planned diet. From this case I have learnt about the difference one can do to a person’s life as long as the individual is convinced about themselves and is determined to make changes.

Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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3 Responses to Case Files : Why do I need to follow a diet if I am diabetic?

  1. salvadore June 15, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    Nice article, It is good to see real cases like this. Quiet an astounding example. Keep it up! Like to read more of these kinda articles. Cheerios.

  2. Sawalee October 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi Sanjana, i stumbled upon your website today and frankly very impressed reading it……i have started comparing my lifestyle of eating habits with whatever information i gathered in ur case studies….i m a foodie i do eat junk food also but not everyday once in 15 days or say month…but i m subsequently gonna stop after reading your posts…

    wanted to ask you what vegetables are rich in fibres, what should i eat coz when i m hungry i hog on my food a lot…is it good to have heavy dinners in nite…if i feel my stomach is full i sometimes drink only moongdal….recently my hair is falling a lot what food do i eat to control hair fall….when at home i dont like to venture out but sit at home and just relax watching tv….how do i energize myself…

  3. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian October 29, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi Sawalee,

    Great you are taking a call on your health.

    Vegetables are rich sources of fiber. So they can work as snacks like carrot and cucumber sticks.

    At night generally the metabolism is slower or the rate at which the body burns the calories, hence it is advisable for some to have a light dinner at night, at least 2 hours before going to sleep.

    To energize yourself, you can practice yoga or take a walk daily, you feel better. Eat a couple of fruits for a vitamin boost.

    Read my article on healthy hair. You will get a lot of tips.

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