Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I sweat profusely while eating food even when it is not spicy?

After some years of uncontrolled diabetes, a complication called autonomic neuropathy develops. One of its symptoms is gustatory sweating in which patient starts to sweat while eating food. The cause is nerve damage due to long standing diabetes. There is no specific medicine to treat this condition. You should keep good control of blood glucose and avoid certain foods that cause more sweating.

Why do I get dizzy when I stand up?

After many years of uncontrolled diabetes, autonomic neuropathy develops, that is damage to nerves supplying various organs. As a result when you stand up suddenly your heart and blood vessels cannot regulate your blood pressure. Blood pools down in the legs due to gravity and blood pressure drops which makes you feel dizzy. This is also called postural hypotension. The best advice is to change postures slowly, when you stand up from sitting or lying position, do it slowly. There are also some medicines to control this but they can have harmful effect in heart patients.

Why do I have leg pain when I walk?

The blood vessels supplying your legs tend to become narrow with time in diabetic patients. This leads to inadequate blood supply to leg muscles when you walk hence the pain. This pain is relieved when you take rest. This is called intermittent claudication. Your doctor will advise you to walk till you start having pain in legs then rest for few minutes and then start walking again, in this way you can increase your pain free walking distance gradually. Another reason can be sore muscles due to fatigue, such pain will improve with rest.

Why do my feet burn at night?

The burning sensation in feet is caused by painful peripheral neuropathy. It is due to damage to nerves supplying your feet caused by persistent high blood glucose level. Some patients also experience pins and needle sensation or leg cramps. These symptoms are more pronounced at night because there is nothing else to distract you at that time. It can be prevented by maintaining good glucose control. Once developed, neuropathy can benefit from anti-depressant medicines, vitamins or capsaicin cream (made from chilies).

Can I eat chocolate when I have hypoglycemia?

Many diabetics love chocolate so they save it as a treat to eat during hypoglycemia episode. It can be used but chocolate is rich in fats that digest slowly and raise the blood glucose level slowly and for longer time. whereas during hypoglycemia emergency, you need to raise blood glucose level urgently, so you need foods like juice, honey, sugar that have high glycemic index and raise blood glucose within minutes.

Why does my blood sugar soar too high after I treat hypoglycemia?

When you have low blood sugar, your body releases hormones that try to raise blood sugar by releasing stored glucose or fats in the body. Secondly, when you eat something sweet to treat hypoglycemia, it may be more than what is required. Both factors combined together can raise blood glucose more than required. It is advised to take only 15-20 gram carbohydrates like half a glass of juice or glucose tablets and recheck blood glucose level after 15-20 min to see if it is corrected.

Why is it important to warm up before exercise and cool down after finishing exercise?

When you start exercise, you should warm up your muscles for 5 min by gentle stroll or stretching the joints, it increases blood flow to the joints, gradually increases your heart rate to 20% of your target level. Then start your routine exercise. Warm up will reduce the chance of injury to muscles or joints during exercise. After exercise, aerobics or brisk walk, you need a 5 min period of cool down and stretching of all joints of the body. It will prevent sore muscles after exercise and help the heart rate return to normal after exercise.

Can I prevent eye disease by keeping tight control of blood glucose?

When your blood glucose comes down to normal, you may feel temporary blurring of vision or worsening of eye disease but it will improve with time. In the long run good control of blood glucose will prevent progression and worsening of eye disease (retinopathy). It is proved from results of two large studies, DCCT (diabetes control and complication trial) and UKPDS (United Kingdom prospective diabetes study).

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