‘Reversal of the condition is possible if the patient is willing to help himself’

It’s a scary condition. The burden of diabetes is huge, and is growing fast. Estimates reveal that the prevalence of the disease in Chennai 18 per cent. India as a whole has about 62.4 million people suffering from diabetes as of 2011, and projections indicate the number could grow to 100 million in 2025.

Even as those with diabetes are grappling with lifestyle changes, one age-management consultant has made it possible to reverse the condition. It is difficult, but can be achieved if the patient is willing to help himself, he adds.

Dr. A. Jeya Prakash, the consultant, does not rely on blood tests. Instead, he monitors the insulin secretion level of the person he is treating. The process is a long one, he said.

“I tell my patients not to expect anything extraordinary. They must have minimal hope when they come.” And so, with little expectation, the patient begins treatment and by the end, he is more than happy, Dr. Jeya Prakash says.

A politician and former minister has been on treatment for the past year. His active social life and erratic food habits cost him his health. He was obese, did not have any control of his blood sugar levels, was on daily insulin and led a sedentary life. The 57-year-old’s chronological age based on his condition was 71 years.

But at the end of six months, he was less obese, with a lower body mass index. “My HbA1c is lower than a normal diabetic’s,” the politician said happily. “For six days a week I have red rice and during one day’s lunch I eat white rice,” he added.

For a 60-year-old paediatrician who had been a diabetic for 20 years and on insulin, the therapy came as a boon.

His eating had becoming extremely unhealthy as he feared weight gain would complicate his condition. This resulted in muscles wasting away and his gait was affected. But six months of therapy later, he has not only gained weight but also built muscle mass. He is not on insulin anymore and has vowed to continue his exercise routine.

“If I eat an ice cream, I know I should burn those extra calories,” he says. And does just that.

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