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Am I diabetic?

Q: I am 33 years of age. Due to severe tension last year my blood sugar levels have increased, fasting (290) and PPBS (490). I was prescribed Rosicon tablet for 10 days and after using it my blood sugar levels comes to normal, Fasting 105 and PP 115, though I am not maintaining any diet control. Recent all pathology tests are also normal. Why did this happened and can I be treated as a diabetic life long, if so, what precautions I have to take. Kindly advise me. In this regard I want to clear my doubt that my blood sugar levels comes to normal level within 10 days after it exceeded to abnormal level and since raising of my blood sugar levels except for 10 days till date I am not using any medicine except doing brisk walking. I am being tested after two months and it always shows FB-100 and PPBS-115. I am eating sweets some times. Kindly clarify that a) Is there any chance that due to any infection to my Pancreas my blood sugar levels are increased? b) Now, am I a diabetic or not? c) Yesterday my Pancreas report was 7.5%.

A:You definitely have diabetes which is presently being controlled by exercise. By "Pancreas report is 7.5%" I presume you mean the HbA1c report is 7.5%. If that is so, then your average blood glucose (BG) over the past 3 months has been higher than acceptable, perhaps because your BG is high in the rest of the day. It implies that your BG control is fair but does need to be further improved. This can be done by: a) making sure you are getting 40-60 minutes of brisk walking daily b) controlling your diet. This does not mean just stopping sugar: in fact we no longer forbid sugar completely for diabetics. It does mean taking a sensible, balanced diet:

  • eating regularly: small meals with some light, non-fried, snacks like fruit/ salad/ roast chana, etc between meals. Make sure you do not miss meals, especially breakfast.
  • taking plenty of fruits and salads.
  • reducing excess fat intake in your diet, in the form of oily vegetable cooking, parathas, ghee on chapatis, fried snacks eg pakoras, namkeens, mixture, murku, etc.
  • taking low fat milk.
  • taking normal amounts of protein, ie avoiding excess protein, and
  • avoiding consumption of alcohol, or at most taking a small peg at a time. In addition, like all diabetics, you must: 1. get your blood sugar tests (F/PP) done at least once every month. 2. get your glycosylated haemoglobin test (which gives the average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months) done every 4-6 months. 3. get your BP checked every 1-2 months, and make sure it is maintained between 120-125 / 80-85 mmHg. 4. get your retina checked every year. 5. get your lipid levels checked at least annually and maintain them in the normal range. 6. get your ECG and microalbuminuria done every 1-2 years. Please stay in regular followup with a good physician / diabetologist for proper treatment. A good place to go to for further information is the lay section of the American Diabetes Association site (www.diabetes.org).

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