Dr. Gaurav Chhaya has been working as a Diabetologist at his private clinic, Shivam Medicare Clinic in Ahmedabad since April 2003. He graduated with the MBBS degree from BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad, and also completed a Diploma in Diabetology from MV Diabetes Institute, Chennai in 2011. He has been active in several national and regional medical associations, such as the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) and the Association of Physicians of India (API).
Is Diabetes and Blood Sugar the same?
Dr. Chhaya begins, “Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar level in the body increases. Blood sugar is the component that delivers nutrition to the whole body, especially the brain. The brain primarily works because of blood sugar. If its level drops, then it is a problem. But if it increases then too it's a problem, which is called as diabetes.”
Is Diabetes genetic?
Dr. Chhaya says, “There are mainly 2 types of diabetes - Type 1 and type 2. Apart from this, there are a few other types as well. Type 1 diabetes is genetic in nature whereas few people get type 2 diabetes due to genetic reasons. But in most cases, type 2 diabetes is caused due to one’s lifestyle. Then there is MODY diabetes that is caused solely due to genetics.”
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
Dr. Chhaya explains, “Type 1 diabetes is caused due to a lack of insulin. This usually starts when the person is young. Without proper treatment, it is very dangerous in the initial years. It could be very fatal and the patients can even see diabetic steatosis.”
“Type 2 diabetes on the other hand happens due to insulin resistance or improper work of it. Here, due to the increase in sugar levels, related complications can make it fatal for people. In comparison, type 1 is more dangerous as it is seen in kids due to lack of insulin production.”
Is diabetes curable?
Dr. Chhaya states, “Diabetes can not only be cured but also controlled. In type 1 diabetes, people can enjoy their life and prevent related complications by taking insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by changing one’s lifestyle. By eating a healthy diet with no sugar, by reducing one’s weight and by having an active lifestyle one can lower the risk of diabetes.”
“There are also many medicines that help control and cure this disease. Apart from this, there are many programmes that can help make diabetes both insulin and medicines free.”
Diet for Diabetes
Dr. Chhaya mentions, “Diabetes is a disease of sugar. Food items like roti and rice have sugar in them. One can substitute them for multigrain roti made of jowar, bajra, millet, and ragi. This will not only help manage the sugar levels but also provide you with energy and efficiency.”
“Chia seeds and certain fruits also help keep diabetes at bay. Most importantly, one must lose weight. So the intake of salads and fruits is good as they are low in calories. Calories are nothing but sugar, so keeping calories low will lower the chance of diabetes too.”
(Edited by Priyal Shah)