Chitra V. Ramani

Though diabetes is a condition one can live with, patients face discrimination

Bangalore: There are hundreds who lead normal and healthy lives even after being diagnosed with diabetes.

The city’s Type 1 Diabetes Club is trying to create awareness about diabetes, particularly among those who have just been diagnosed with it. Mallika Viswas, a member said that the club organises discussions regularly to educate people about the condition. “There are four things that every person with Type 1 diabetes should follow diligently. They should maintain their insulin dosage, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and monitor their blood sugar level.”

Ms. Viswas said that though diabetes is a condition that one can live with, patients do face discrimination. “People with diabetes cannot get medical insurance. Also, some have reportedly faced discrimination at the workplace, while others have found it difficult to find spouses,” she said.

Considering that even very young children have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it has become important for people to be aware of the condition. “When a child is diagnosed with it, the entire family has to learn to deal with it and help the child understand,” she added.

Gagan S. is a six-year-old, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago. “We were devastated when we got to know. I found it very difficult to come to terms with it. A few doctors helped me dealing with the problem,” said Prema R., Gagan’s mother.

She said it was difficult initially. However, diabetes is a “metabolic derangement” that can be treated, she asserts.

“This confidence has to pass on to the child. They should not brood over it and accept it as a part of their lives.”

It was 23 years ago that Srigurunath Chakravarthy was told he was suffering from diabetes. “I was 11 years old, at an age where I could understand what it meant. My parents until then did not know that even children could get diabetes. I think it was more difficult for them to come to terms with it,” he said. Doctors convinced him early he could continue to have a normal and healthy life. “I lead a very normal life. People need to realise that diabetes is a condition that can be controlled.”

H.S. Sridarshan said he went into depression soon after he was diagnosed with diabetes more than 15 years ago.

“Doctors then thought I may have developed it when I was about five years old. However, it was only diagnosed when I was 16 years old. Fortunately, I had a good support system and I got over it. I now lead a very normal and healthy life,” he said.

For more information on diabetes, contact Ms. Viswas on 9448366118, email type1clubblr@gmail.com or visit http://sites.google.com/ site/type1clubblr

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