Sunday, October 30, 2011

Question- Diabetic? Answer- No More!

Yes, that's what I have been answering since the past one and a half years to anyone who wants to know how my husband is faring as a diabetic. The simple truth is that diabetes is a lifestyle disease. So, once the lifestyle stays corrected, the disease has to go away.

Let me give you the full story of my husband's health journey to give you a better picture of this. In the year 2005, soon after we got married, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. He was only 25 at that time. His fasting and post-fasting levels both were dangerously high. I was shattered on getting the results. We started consulting a leading diabetologist and the medicines were started. The doctor's dietician gave him a chart, which asked him to avoid chikoos, bananas, and custard apples. The rest of the chart listed breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner items like buttermilk, curd, chappatis, rice, etc. He was also asked to walk for atleast 30 minutes everyday.

My hubby and I followed everything to the T. We went for 30-minute walks everyday. I made sure he avoided the forbidden fruits, namely bananas, chikoos, and custard apples. I kept a hawk's eye on his diet, making sure we use minimum oil, zero sugar, and only healthy food was served at all meals. We ate out very rarely. Three months into this plan and with medicines, his sugar levels started going down. In the meanwhile, hubby was getting dizzy spells now and then. At such times, he simply popped something sweet in his mouth. Alongside this, he was also dealing with issues such as digestive problems, leg ache, sprains, and headaches.

We also joined a gym and did yoga too for a while. In the meanwhile, hubby's sugar levels would fluctuate between being normal to a bit over the borderline. After around 3 years of being on sugar medications, hubby was diagnosed with high cholesterol. Now, this really stumped me! Where were we going wrong? In my eyes, we were doing everything right! I always had this small voice in my head that questioned whether the food that we ate was the perfect one for my hubby's condition. I would quieten it by thinking that ofcourse we ate the right way. This response can be attributed to the fact that I would update myself about this disease from all kinds of sources, be it the Internet, doctors, books, well-wishers etc. I was ready to do everything it takes, but things were not working according to my plan. Everywhere I came across the same conclusion that once a diabetic always a diabetic. I could clearly see where this was going. In another year or so, hubby would be hooked onto insulin, just like his mom. My mother-in-law (mil) is also one since the past 30 odd years. She has been pumping insulin three times a day since the past 10 years. Along the way, she has suffered intense leg problems which led to amputation of a couple of toe fingers, has BP, cholesterol, eye problems, and heart disease. In short, I couldn’t imagine seeing hubby in such a place at any cost.

Desperate, I thought of taking a serious look into hubby’s diet. There was so much information out there about what to eat and what not to eat that I would end up more frustrated. A good friend gave me the number of nutritionists and health counselors, Dr.Vijaya Venkat and her amazing daughter Anju Venkat who run The Health Awareness Centre (THAC) at Worli, Mumbai. We went to them with an open mind and ready to trust the vast amount of experience they had in the wellness sphere.

Meeting Anju Venkat can be described as the turning point in our life. She explained patiently what caused the disease in the first place, how the body was actually dealing with the toxins by generating a diabetic condition, and how we can help the body return to normalcy. She gave us a diet plan that went against everything we had believed in. But that is what saved the day and us!

In the next post, I would elaborate on the diet and the miracles it did for us.

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