Frequently Asked Questions

Can insulin and diabetes medicines cause weight gain?

When your blood glucose level is too high you are excreting glucose in urine, in that way number of calories is lost, and so you lose weight. But in the long term it damages the kidneys and other vital organs. When you start insulin or medicines o sulphonylurea group ( glibenclamide, gliclazide, glipizide) you may gain weight initially as urine glucose loss is stopped. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that builds up muscles by protein deposition so you may gain few pounds. But you can maintain your weight by reducing diet and increasing exercise.

Why has my doctor prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs even when my cholesterol level is not so high?

People with diabetes have a high risk of developing heart disease as compared to rest of population. High cholesterol level is another risk factor for heart disease, so it is highly recommended that all diabetics should be given lipid lowering drugs even if their cholesterol level is only border-line high.

How often should a diabetic patient visit the doctor?

It depends on your duration of diabetes, presence of complications, and your ability to adjust your treatment dose according to your blood glucose level. Generally diabetic patients should visit their doctor every 3-6 months. On each visit they should repeat HbA1c test to access their control. Get your eye examination once a year. Test for renal functions and lipid profile should be repeated yearly. If there is a query or unexpected illness in between this period, you can contact your primary doctor or diabetes educator earlier.

Why should I take special care of my feet if they donít hurt?

Some diabetic patients have diabetic neuropathy that numbs the nerves of their feet. As a result they donít feel pain. They can burn their feet by soaking in warm water or walking bare foot on hot floors. They can develop blisters due to tight fitting shoes without noticing. It is advised never to walk bare foot, wear comfortable shoes that donít pinch, examine your feet daily for any sores, cracks or blisters. Clean your feet daily, apply moisturizer and donít cut the nails too deep. Ask your doctor to examine your feet sensations at each visit. If you have in growing toe nail or calluses consult a podiatrist.

What should I do if my blood glucose is 220md/dl before I start my meal?

If your blood glucose is too high before a meal, it means your liver is releasing stored glucose. In that case you should take your insulin shot so that it signals the liver to stop releasing glucose into blood. Wait for 60-90 min after insulin (instead of regular 20-30 min wait) before you start your meal, so that insulin gets a head start and normalizes blood glucose level before you eat food.

What changes should I make in the diet to lower blood pressure?

Blood pressure increases with high sodium intake that is present in salt. So reduce salt while cooking your meals, remove the salt shaker so that you donít sprinkle extra salt before eating. Use black pepper, garlic or lemon juice as flavoring instead of too much salt. Read food labels and choose low sodium or no added salt foods. When you go to a restaurant, order low salt dishes. Raw vegetables and fruits are very good choices as snacks, as natural foods are low in sodium.

What should I do if I donít like to exercise?

If you donít like exercise, start any physical activity for few minutes like 5 min a day and then build up gradually to 30 min daily. Choose a physical activity of your own interest like brisk walk, swimming, dancing, and aerobics. It can be daily activity like walking your dog, or playing with your grandchildren. You can pair exercise with another pleasurable activity like listening to music while jogging or taking on phone. Find a friend or family member to accompany you. You can increase your physical activity in your routine life by taking stairs instead of lift, walking to the nearby store for grocery instead of driving.

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