At SKIMS, young diabetics learn to cope with disease

‘Need to spread awareness regarding diabetes, obesity’

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 14 2018 9:55PM | Updated Date: Nov 14 2018 9:55PM
At SKIMS, young diabetics learn to cope with diseaseRepresentational Pic

“Will my siblings get diabetes from me?” asked 12-year old Masooma (name changed) to the panel of experts at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura here today.  

Diabetic from past eight years, her question won hearts of endocrinologists but brought to fore gross level of ignorance regarding this disease in Kashmir. Masooma, like scores of young diabetics, who were attending co-organised World Diabetes Day and Children's Day at SKIMS, was full of questions— revolving around management of diabetes and the societal issues that came as an impediment in access to healthcare.

The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Abdul Hameed Zargar, ex-director SKIMS and a well known endocrinologist. The panel had Prof Bashir Ahmed Laway head department of endocrinology SKIMS, Prof Muhammad Ashraf Ganie, DrAbida Ahmed, Dr Bashir Charoo, DrImtiaz Ahmed Wani, DrImtiaz Ahmed Lone and DrArshidHussain to deliberate upon various aspects of diabetes in Kashmir.

Proper management of diabetes in the direction of having glucose levels under check was key to long and healthy life of diabetics, panel experts said.

DrZargar cautioned the patients against disillusionment. “At every stage, treatment is possible,” he said while stressing that SKIMS has one of the largest departments of endocrinology in south Asia with expertise as well as facilities for all endocrine disorders, including diabetes.

Prof ArshidHussain from Government Medical College Srinagar stressed upon the need to have a “positive and thriving” atmosphere at home and outside for better management of diabetes.

“Our research shows that one-third of diabetes patients have depression, and this is a huge factor in worsening of blood sugar control,” he said. He delved upon importance of counseling for both patient and family, and said that it could go a long way in increasing better quality of life for patients.

Many patients and their families talked about the issues they faced, especially if they had children who were diabetic. One such patient, Bisma (name changed), 15, from Kulgam had to change school because her previous school was not cooperative to allow her a time before lunch break needed to get an insulin injection.

“She would either skip her lunch or have it without insulin. That deteriorated her condition,” her mother said. She would talk about leaving studies, till the parents found her new school where she is allowed 10 minutes after class to get the necessary injection. “Those ten minutes means life to my daughter,” she said. 

The high costs of management of diabetes, experts said, was one of the major driving factors that led to erratic check-ups, giving up or inadequate treatment and lack of physical fitness activities.  

Many activities were organised at the event to bring home the point that healthy and purposeful life was possible even with diabetes, event convener, DrShariqMasoodi said. The activities included a race and physical activity session, diet and diabetes workshop, young diabetes register workshop and blood tests including HBA1C.

DrImtiaz A Wani, faculty of Nephrology at SKIMS talked about significance of regular checkups for preventing kidney disease in diabetics. “Every six months, patients should get their urine examined for protein loss,” he said adding that this could help in timely management of any kidney complications.

Special emphasis was laid on diabetes management in pregnancy. “It has been seen that uncontrolled diabetes in pregnancy can have lifelong effects for the child,” DrAbida Ahmed, head department of gynaecology and obstetrics at SKIMS said.

Director SKIMS while giving out prizes to winners of various contests organised at the event congratulated the department of endocrinology for “putting up a united show”. “Many a times, departments and institutes are devastated by infighting. This (endocrinology) department is an exception and they are doing great work that we are proud of,” he said.

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