Published On: Mon, Oct 15th, 2018

Do’s and Dont’s for Diabetics during the festival season

Kolkata: Pre-festival consultation with doctors, dietary restraint and continuing with exercise schedule should be adhered to by patients of Diabetes mellitus to enjoy Navaratri and Durga Puja celebrations, senior doctors have said.

Diabetic patients tend to eat sweets, eat out more often, not stick to the daily routine of exercise and eating pattern.

People with diabetes should be cautious about controlling their blood glucose level during Navaratri and Durga Puja celebrations owing to the periods of fasting and feasting associated with the festivals, senior doctors opined.

Those with poor blood sugar control and life-threatening complications should avoid any disruption in their day-to-day routine during the festivals, the doctors said.

“Since Navaratri and Durga Puja festivals are invariably associated with periods of fasting and feasting, diabetic patients tend to eat sweets, eat out more often, not stick to the daily routine of exercise and eating pattern, all of which worsen blood sugar control,” Dr J J Mukherjee, senior endocrinologist and diabetologist, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals in the city said.

Visiting doctors before the onset of the festive season to assess one’s blood glucose level and undergoing a screening for possible complications to help assess how much one can indulge in deviating from one’s routine is also a must, he said.

“Sweets and sweetened beverages must be avoided whenever possible. And we must also avoid fried food. It is prudent to stick to daily timely meal schedules. Another good option is to have your meals at home. If eating out, try to avoid food items containing refined sugar and saturated fats,” Dr Mukherjee said.

Family members and friends should help persons with diabetes to be on the track during festivals and diabetic patients should discuss with their doctor how to adjust their oral anti-diabetic medications or insulin regimen, Dr Varsha Khatry, head-medical and scientific affair, Roche Diabetes Care India told PTI.

“One would definitely love to have sweets to enjoy the festival with family and friends. However, the high level of sugar content makes the delicacies risky for individuals suffering from ailments such as diabetes.

“Hence, it is best to substitute sugar with natural alternatives such as jaggery, dates or figs,” Dr Khatry said.

It is mandatory to monitor the glucose level in one’s blood at home more frequently during this period to become aware of periods of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This is especially important for those on insulin treatment or on complicated anti-diabetic medication regimens, Dr Khatry said.

“With proper planning and careful execution, most persons with Diabetes mellitus can enjoy the festive period.

“Careful pre-festival planning in consultation with your doctor, a little discipline in dietary choices, maintaining timely eating schedule as much as possible, continuing daily exercise schedule, and monitoring capillary blood glucose more frequently to manage the highs and the lows, must avoid any major untoward event,” Dr Khatry adviced.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with an estimated 8.7 per cent diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years, diabetes is a growing challenge in India.

PTI

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