Diabetes is a common disease diagnosed in people of all age groups; there are two different types of diabetic patients. Diabetes type I occurs mostly in children and adolescents while diabetes type II occurs in adults. About 90% of patients diagnosed with diabetes have type II. Diabetes management is important for a healthy life.
Dr. Atif Munir is an experienced endocrinologist/diabetologist in Lahore. In his session with oladoc, he discussed diabetes in detail. He covered the forms of diabetes (type 1, type 2), common causes of diabetes, diabetes treatment in Pakistan, and lifestyle/diet recommendations for diabetic patients.
Q.1: Is diabetology a speciality in itself?
Well, yes. Due to the advancement of medical sciences, it is decided relatively early in the career in which field will one pursue a specialization. Diabetic care is a different speciality and requires different training which takes up to 3-4 years of training of detailed study and symptoms of diabetes. This is to ensure that a doctor can diagnose, manage and take necessary precautions at each stage of diabetes to manage it properly.
Q.2: What are the causes and risk factors of diabetes?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions; the highest risk factor continues to be obesity. People who weigh heavier have a greater chance of developing diabetes. Moreover, genetics are also an important cause, if one’s parents and siblings are diabetic then their own chance increases as well. There are also other uncommon causes like certain medications, for example, steroids and medications prescribed for psychological disorders.
Q.3: What lifestyle changes should diabetics adopt?
To effectively control and manage type II diabetes, patients should adopt healthy lifestyle choices. If they have a weight above the average, they should work hard on losing the excess weight. Exercise is a must to keep cholesterol levels, blood pressure and health of the heart intact.
A combination of healthy food choices and exercise regime is important to manage diabetes. Patients can eat whatever they like but an excess of everything is unhealthy, therefore a moderate quantity of everything is advised.
Q.4: What kind of diet should diabetics maintain?
There are a lot of misconceptions in our society in this matter, for example, rice is discouraged for diabetics. Patients can eat whatever they want but the important thing to take care of is quantity, anything is fine if taken in moderate quantity. However, drinks like processed juices and fizzy drinks should be avoided.
Q.5: What advice can you give to someone living with diabetes?
I advise all my patients to not let diabetes become a burden on your life; do not let it take over other aspects of your life and health. Your life is not much different from that of an average healthy person. Take care of yourself, eat healthy foods and maintain your weight.
Go for regular checkups, get your sugar tested from time to time, and keep in touch with your specialist regularly. Most importantly, relax and live life to the fullest.
If you want to learn more about intermittent fasting, then watch the full video. Moreover, if you want to practise diabetes management, then visit an endocrinologist at your earliest.