more-in

Diabetologist Dr V Mohan questions our readers have about diabetics

My mother has diabetes. How often should I take her for a dental and eye check-up?

The standard recommendation is to do an eye check-up every year. This eye check-up should be a retinal (back-of-the-eye) examination and not a routine glasses testing. Regarding the dental check-up, there are no established guidelines regarding the frequency. Once a year should be sufficient, unless there are any symptoms related to the teeth in which case they should be attended to.

I have just been diagnosed with diabetes. Can I eat idlis, dosa, or rice three times a day?

One of the main reasons for uncontrolled diabetes is consuming excess carbohydrate in the diet. For those who take carbs three times a day in the form of idlis, dosa and rice, there seems to be a big surge of blood sugar levels after the meals. One should try to increase the protein content of the diet and reduce the carbohydrate intake. If one is taking carbohydrates three times a day, the amount should be reduced considerably. We recommend that half the plate (for lunch and dinner) is filled with vegetables and a quarter of the plate is filled with protein. For vegetarians, this protein can be in the form of Bengal gram, green gram, black gram, mushroom, soya beans, rajma etc, and for non-vegetarians it can be fish or chicken. The last quarter of the plate is reserved for a small quantity of rice or one or maximum two chapatis. This will help to control the diabetes better.

My son is married, and I have been under some stress of late. Do I need to worry about my blood sugar levels?

It is very well known that stress increases the blood sugar levels. Hence, you should check your blood sugar levels and if they are elevated, you should try to reduce them. Stress reduction measures like yoga and meditation, pranayama, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can help you to reduce the stress and thereby reduce the blood sugar levels.

Dr V Mohan is a diabetologist based in Chennai, who heads a WHO collaborating Center for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases and an International Diabetes Federation Center of Education

Nothing in this column is intended to be, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek independent advice from a licensed practitioner if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Email us with your questions at [email protected]