Ace academician, medical scientists, clinician par excellence, epidemiologist and researcher Padmashree Dr. V Mohan spoke at length on how to live long, healthily & happily without any complications of Diabetes on social media through RSSDI platform.
Dr. Neeta Deshpande, Senior Diabetologist, Obesity experts & RSSDI member from Belagavi chaired the session and moderated the interactive session in Hindi & English.
Dr. Neeta Deshpande: Is it true that Diabetes shortens life span?
Dr. V Mohan: No not all. If Diabetes is properly managed it will not affect the lifespan. Even I have patients who are Diabetics for 60+ years who are on regular follow-up, on medication and are healthy. I have a few patients who are 90+ years with no complications. But, uncontrolled/mismanaged Diabetes may reduce the lifespan by almost 7-10 years in Type-2 Diabetes and 10-15 years in the case of persons with Type-1 Diabetes. I once again reiterate if Diabetes is managed scientifically one can live his full life span. He quoted evidence of various scientific papers. RSSDI is committed to improving the life span with quality of life.
Dr. Neeta: Why there is a disparity in Life Span among HICs & LICs ?
Dr. Mohan: High Income Countries (HICs) like Canada, USA, etc patients with diabetes live longer as compared to Diabetics from Low Income Countries (LICs). The population in HICs is covered by health Insurance, Government takes care of their health expenses in the majority of the cases they don’t pay from the pocket, they are literate and empowered to manage the Diabetes better. Hence there is an increased life span in HICs. However, in LICs like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan patients with diabetes have a reduced lifespan. Hardly any insurance coverage, an individual has to spend from out-of-pocket expenses, no regular follow-ups and a large number of dropouts from treatment due to the cost of treatment. Hence, Asians are facing the brunt of diabetes these factors reduce the life span of diabetics from LICs.
Dr.Neeta: What are the important parameters to live long?
Dr. Mohan: Three important parameters to live long without complications of Diabetes are
Control your HbA1C
Keep Blood Pressure will under control
Lipid profile parameters need to be within normal limits.
Regularly keeping these above 3 parameters well within the normal limits will ensure longevity & one can live healthily 40-50 years with Diabetes.
Dr. Mohan stressed that Excess body is weight is harmful, obesity is dangerous, excess fat in the abdomen is unsafe, the surplus fat will deposit in all internal organs like heart, kidney, livers, etc, Obese person likely to get an infection. Poor weight and too skinny is also not good. Too low or poor in weight is not fine at the same time too high weight is also not advisable. Standard Body Mass Index (BMI) 21-24 BMI is good. More BMI more mortality. He cautioned extreme BMI is dangerous. He advocated for maintaining an ideal body weight which is safe. He quickly added and quoted the saying of ‘Buddha’ to take the middle path. A strict diet and excessive exercise are harmful. He advised us to ‘listen to your body and act’. He strongly advocated for regular check-ups. Early-onset of diseases and their complications could be dramatically reduced by undergoing regular medical check-ups. Irregular follow-ups, not adherence to mediations, skipping medications adds to problems. Sudden stopping medicines will have a bad impact on the body. There is no scientific evidence to prove that Diabetic drugs cause kidney damages. He vociferously impressed upon, trained doctor prescribing medicines in the right quantity produces good results and does no harm.
Replying to query on is there a particular food can prolong the life of Diabetics
Dr. Mohan said, one man’s food is another man’s poison. There is no standard of food. Balanced food is good. Extra protein is good. Carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins are to be in the right combinations which makes it balanced. He strongly opposed finely polished, refined rice, refined wheat are not acceptable. Brown rice, whole wheat is better. Add a lot of green leafy veggies that are loaded with vitamins. Green leafy vegetables reduce heart attack. Fruits in moderation are good even for the diabetic. He advised plenty of Salad is a must in every meal. He called on all the practicing physicians and diabetic patients to have a balanced nutrition plan for the next 20 years. He also advised eating sensibly.
He also strongly advised to involve in some form of exercise and it is mandatory particularly for diabetics. It definitely adds years to life. It makes you fit, improves digestion, reduces sleep disorders, and improves collaterals in the heart and legs. Exercise reduces stress, charges with happy hormones. In his interaction, he advocated for the FAR formula.
F-Flexibility. Exercise infuses strength and reduces the process of aging.
Aerobics. walking, swimming, cycling, lung capacity improves
R- Resistance training. Light weight lifting; strengthen shoulders, advised for squatting strengthen thigh muscles, calf muscles. He called all Indians to need to do more exercise. 45 mins to 1 hr exercise for 6 days in a week.
Simple Mantra of Longevity
Diabetes appears without any symptoms, early Screening is desirable. Yearly check-up. Initial years of ( first 5-10 Years) of diabetes strong commitment and discipline to control sugar levels is very essential to prevent complications arising out of diabetes.
Follow a healthy diet. Eat-in moderation, exercise, be positive. Don’t be negative.
The most important factor is to trust your doctor and they are here to help every patient who is coming for consultations.
In his closing remarks once again Dr. Mohan stressed that HbA1C, Blood Pressure, Lipids well within limits, regular exercise, eat in moderation, maintain body weight within BMI. He also advised us to have good sleep, reduce stress, perform yoga, pranayama, be happy & create happiness surrounding. Follow the instructions of your doctor and take regular medication as advised by the doctor will definitely improve the life span of Diabetics.
Dr. Neeta Deshpande, a Senior member of RSSDI moderated the session. Dr. Amit Gupa, Welcomed. Dr. Sanjay Agarwal, Dr. Banshi Saboo, Dr. Purvi Chawala, proposed a vote of thanks. A large number of RSSDI members & Diabetic patients attended the virtual session. It was live on Facebook & youtube and on other social media.