world water Day.pngThere is much emphasis on water as a valuable yet exhaustible resource but very few of us are taking right steps towards efficient use and conservation. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. The 2015 Sustainable development goals aim at providing access to safe water by 2030.

On this World Water Day, we are sharing some simple tips on making the most of the available water

Sit to drink: Every time you want to drink water, sit down. Drinking water while standing prevents proper retention of the fluid by the body and may put negative pressure on the nerves.  Although there is not sufficient scientific research supporting this contention, it is a harmless but useful habit that needs to be cultivated in adults and children.

Sip slowly rather than gulping: Sipping water slowly helps to quench thirst and also helps body absorb it better.

Want not, waste not: Often when we have access to free bottled water, we tend to misuse it. Once opened; we do not finish the water at one go and leave the bottles anywhere because it is free and we can take another bottle when we feel thirsty next. One should respect the fact that even though it is free, water cannot be wasted as it remains a precious resource

Avoid drinking from plastic bottles: If you really need drinking water to nourish your body the way it should, then avoid drinking from plastic bottles unless left with no other option. It is prudent to carry a steel flask for drinking water on-the-go, it keeps water cool and non-odorous. At home, it is easy to store water in glass jars or earthen pots or even brass vessels.

Recycle always: Any kind of water, whether that left over in the glass/ bottle, that obtained from washing vegetables or cooking, that used for laundry, etc is not to be discarded. Simply pour the water into plants or just on the ground.

Make sure to value the water that is available to you!


Every diabetic needs foot exam

diabetic foot ulcer.pngIn individuals with diabetes, the average risk of foot ulcer development is 15%. Several factors such as walking barefoot at home/outside, inadequate education and care by healthcare providers and poor affordability are main causes for increased risk of foot ulcers. Unfortunately, cases are identified only in advanced stages when amputation becomes necessary leading to Read More »

Take charge of your diabetes with frequent self- checks

blood glucose monitoring.pngIf you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you ought to be prepared to test blood sugars at home using a suitable glucometer. Checking blood sugars at home also called as self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is not only a convenience but a necessity . Especially in the initial stages, having a glucometer at home helps the new patient to check blood sugars whenever they are feeling slightly low or down. At the same time, recording blood sugar levels after a hearty meal at a wedding or party can serve as a deterrent to future indulgence.

Benefits of SMBG

SMBG can aid in diabetes control by:

  • Individualized blood sugar management program can be created by dietician based on the blood glucose chart (see image).
  • Day-to-day planning of meals and physical activity can be facilitated by this chart
  • It can help catch early signs of hyper or hypoglycemia
  • Empowers patient to understand blood sugar patterns and modify diet and medication (in consultation with physician) accordingly

Blood glucose monitoring chart.pngFrequency of monitoring

Insulin treated patients / type 1 diabetics  must check blood sugar levels at least 4 times in a day – fasting, before lunch, before dinner and at bedtime. This way they can adjust insulin dose to be taken before the meal.  However, recording post meal sugars are also effective in  understanding correlations between insulin and meal carbohydrate dose.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes who use insulin should perform SMBG at least four times per week, including at least two fasting and two postprandial values. Additional measurements at bedtime and before meals can also be obtained

Research has shown that frequent blood sugar checks  can help improve HbA1c values, especially in type 1 diabetics and overall glycemic control in type 2 diabetes thereby emphasizing the need for performing these tests regularly to prevent long term complications of diabetes.


Microalbuminuria : critical marker of kidney disease

Microalbuminuria.pngIn a study on North Indian population,  more than 20% of the diabetics (duration less than one year also) were found to have microalbuminuria.  Microalbuminuria (defined as urinary albumin excretion of 30-300 mg/day, or 20-200 µg/min) is an earlier sign of vascular damage and being an Asian puts us at higher risk.

In individuals with long – standing diabetes,  microalbuminuria is the first clinical sign of impaired kidney function. Basically the main function of the kidney is to filter waste products from the body. A well- functioning kidney only eliminates the toxic and unwanted substances and those that are essential for the body are absorbed back into the blood stream.  But, in case of some damage to the kidneys, proteins, especially albumin may be spill out into urine and this albumin is detected in the microalbuminuria test.

Signs and symptoms of kidney damage are slow and gradual thereby leading to detection in very late stages when much damage has set in.

The microalbuminuria test is a very significant marker and monitoring tool not only for kidney disease but also for cardiovascular diseases. Hence, therapies that prevent or delay the development of microalbuminuria and all measures that reduce it, may help to prevent or delay end organ damage.