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Why you should be exercising right now

By |March 9th, 2016|Warm Countries|

S Ravi, 49, who lives in Washington, DC, US, writes in an email interview: “In 2011, I was diagnosed with both high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. For a person who led a very active life with no history in family, was vegan, and who took pride in being fit, the diagnosis came as a shock. Not wanting to start taking medication right away I started with a lifestyle change. It was not just about the revision of my diet but also about walking whenever I could, every single day. After several months, I found that my fasting blood sugar had come down to the prediabetes range.”

Prediabetes is a condition where the person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. “Since then I have been consistent with my walks and now walk up to 5 miles (around 8km) daily. I don’t need medication for my blood sugar yet and am hoping that I won’t need it in the near future either,” writes Ravi.

Many people with prediabetes get diagnosed with diabetes within a decade. But Ravi is unlikely to be one of them as long as he sticks to his diet and exercise regime, says Shashank Joshi, consultant endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. “I have many such patients who have successfully been able to keep diabetes at bay with a disciplined lifestyle. It requires motivation and discipline but can be done.” In other words, it’s difficult but doable.Read More

Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, is a wellness consultant and a clinical scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US

Being a smart patient

By |March 9th, 2016|Warm Countries|

It’s dengue season and you find yourself awash with high fever, muscle pain and fatigue. After waiting for a couple of days when the fever continues unabated, your family suggests a visit to the general physician. You read about the symptoms of dengue on the Internet (and Ebola too, as there is an epidemic in West Africa and this is a globalized world after all). You worriedly make an appointment with the doctor. On arriving at the clinic, you see the string of patients sitting in a line against the clinic wall and resign yourself for a wait. You mentally congratulate yourself for bringing your Kindle along and settle into the one chair left vacant. After waiting for an hour and a half, the nurse sends you in. The doctor spends 10 minutes taking your history before you’re ushered out with a prescription for crocin, lots of fluids, and plenty of rest. You’ve taken all the research that you did to show your doctor and ask if you need to get any additional tests done but he dismisses the information, saying you have viral fever. Your suspicion that this is something more serious doesn’t leave you till the fever and all the other symptoms do, five days later. Read More

Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, is a wellness consultant and clinical scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US.

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