ILS Hospitals started as a Specialty Clinic of Laparoscopic surgery in 2000 in Salt Lake, Kolkata. Today, it has a state-of-the-art 80-bedded facility in Salt Lake. Dr. Ghanshyam Goyal is the Head of the Department of Diabetology at ILS Hospitals, Kolkata. He is one of the prominent diabetologists in West Bengal. He spoke to BE regarding diabetics and lifestyle modifications that can reduce the risk of this disease.
Q) India is known to have one of the largest numbers of diabetic patients in the world. What can be the reasons behind this?
A) India is having around 70 million people suffering from diabetes and China has around 90 million and the reason behind this is lifestyle. We don’t take care of our physical activities and it is more common in the elderly population as compared to the young ones. Our food habits are also problematic. Secondly, stress is an important contributing factor of diabetics. Our genetic constitution is such that we are prone to vestal obesity; we have more fat in the abdomen, which is the most dangerous fat or active fat and it causes more hormones which are dangerous and known as pro-diabetic hormones. That is another cause of diabetes. There are two types of obesity, one is the apple shaped obesity and the other is the pear shaped obesity. The apple shaped obesity is the more dangerous type.
Q) How far can timely detection and the right management mitigate the risk posed by diabetics?
A) We all know that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is a very important thing. Indians have a normal BMI of up to 23 while in case of Caucasians, it is more. In India, we have more of the vestal fat as compared to sub gluteal fat and vestal fat is known as bad fat. From the beginning, if one starts making lifestyle modifications like undertaking regular exercises and walks and inculcate proper eating habits, then the risk diabetes can be reduced. Also, we need to decrease the amount of junk food that we consume and have more fibrous food. People should also avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. Bad food habits are to be avoided strictly in order to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Q) Is there any new research or medical management processes related to this disease?
A) There is lot of research that is going on in the field of diabetes and as we all know, diabetes is of two different types, i.e., Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is where the patient requires insulin for survival. After they are diagnosed, one needs to take insulin for their whole life. For type 2, we call it a lifestyle disease since there are different aspects to it. There can be lifestyle modifications that can work and medications have to be chosen specifically for different patients. For example, if someone is obese, then they need to have different medicines. Patients should not have hypoglycemia. Secondly, patients should maintain an ideal body weight. Around 400 million people are suffering from diabetes. Diabetes needs to be treated since it causes two types of complications namely macro vascular complications and micro vascular. In macro-vascular complications, big arteries are involved which cause stroke or paralytic attacks. Secondly, they can cause heart attacks and thirdly, they can cause blockage in the vessels of the lower lumbar. Micro vascular complications may effects your eyes, kidneys and nerves. Since diabetes is a chronic disease, you need to continue taking medicines for all your life. Diabetes is a progressive disease and may need various lifestyle modifications as it progresses.
Q) What sort of lifestyle modifications will you suggest to better cope with diabetics?
A) Walking regularly for at least 30-40 minutes every day in a week is a pertinent advice. This is applicable to all age groups. Second, stop alcohol consumption and smoking. Intake of healthy diet is very important. Take lots of fruits and fibers and reduce junk food intake. Stress is the third problem, which should be managed.
Q) What are the innovations provided by the ILS Hospital for management of diabetics?
A) At ILS Hospitals, we have got a team of doctors and management of diabetes is a team work and I am treating diabetes with my whole team. The dietician plays a big role because I will give five minutes to a patient whereas the dietician will give around one hour. Dietician checks all the food likes and dislikes of patients and then prepares their diet chart based on their health requirement. Then there are diabetic educators who orient a patient about diabetes management and on how to take insulin and help a patient to learn how to self-monitor disease levels. We try to keep needle-phobia out of the patients. We have diabetes specialised nurses who are designated for diabetic patients. We encourage our patients to voice their concerns and try to address the same.