As Diwali is around the corner, chances are high that one might indulge in deep-fried snacks and sugar-laden sweets. However, this unhealthy indulgence can impact people with diabetes. Several doctors have recommended a few tips or ways through, you can tackle the situation while indulging in your favourite foods.
According to a BeatO study, festivals adversely impact people’s blood-glucose levels, especially during Diwali. People with levels above 250 mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre) saw an almost 15 per cent rise while those having blood-glucose levels above 300 mg/dL had an 18 per cent increase. Typically, this trend continued until three days after Diwali as per insights based on its data of the last three years’ festive season, beginning on Durga Puja and ending with Diwali. Interestingly, this year Diwali is being celebrated on November 14, which coincides with World Diabetes Day.
“Indian festivals reflect our rich and diverse culture along with the celebration, colors, food, and happiness, and the positive impact of which cannot possibly be quantified. Whether an individual has a chronic health condition or not, it is important not to snatch away the joy of enjoying a festival and everything that it brings along,” Dr Bhavik Saglani, Diabetes Health Physician and Consultant at Mumbai’s Apollo Spectra Hospital, told IANSlife.
Dr Saglani added, “Festivals may involve fasting or feasting or in some instances a bit of both. Exercise routine usually takes a backseat and activity levels to tend to drop. It is a combination of the above that needs to be taken into consideration in individuals with diabetes. Ensuring good pre-festival sugar control, discussing with your physician whether or not fasting is advisable in your case, ensuring that sugary sweets and other carbohydrate-rich snacks are avoided or their portion size is limited, trying to compensate for all of it by ensuring your exercise routine does not take a back seat, keeping yourself well hydrated and ensuring regular home testing are some of the key steps to strike the right balance between enjoying a festival and managing diabetes. Extra care needs to be taken for those who are on insulin and those who have high sugar levels even prior to the festive period. There is a risk of hypoglycaemia (low sugar levels) or hyperglycemia (high sugar levels) due to one or more of the above mentioned factors and it is imperative to get a review with your treating physician prior to the festive period.”
According to Dr Sanjay Ingle, Zonal Pathologist, and Technical Head West India, Apollo Diagnostics, Pune, one must monitor their blood sugar levels in order to check the insulin dose before every meal. Not doing so can invite a lot of problems. “Similarly, those with type 2 diabetes are suggested to go for intensive insulin therapy under the doctor’s supervision. Moreover, even self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is essential in these people too. There are some people who are on less intensive insulin therapy and they tend to monitor it little or not at all, this is an ineffective practice, as well-controlled patients need monitoring of glucose levels to avoid hypoglycemia, and poorly controlled patients need to control it properly.”
“Your doctor will recommend changes in the diet, will ask you to do physical activity, and opt for medication after assessing your blood sugar levels. You will have to work in sync with your doctor to help yourself get back on track. Even if it is festive season or no, make sure you monitor your blood sugar levels and manage diabetes,” explains Dr Ingle.
For those who are not fasting but prefer to feast on the variety of foods that are served during festivals, there are certain important measures to be taken to ensure the blood sugar control does not go haywire, adds Dr Nishant Singh, Consultant, General Medicine and Diabetology, Meddo Clinic.
One can follow these simple measures:
Indian festivals are joyous occasions that are marked by the serving of sweets and savoury items. Those with diabetes can still enjoy these festivals, provided certain simple measures are followed to keep the blood sugar levels under check.
(With inputs from IANS)