Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Good Nutrition for Children During Examinations

Sheela Paul,  N.Amudhavali –Dietitian(MVNES)

Good nutrition is often the last thing on one’s mind during exam time. In fact, good nutrition should be part of a student’s study plan because it is going to help with those tests. The better the fuel the brain gets, the better the ability to study. During the exams, students spend long hours studying and staying awake. Eating the right kind of food in small quantities helps to keep them stimulated and alert. Students must ensure they get sufficient calories, proteins and all micronutrients and drink adequate amounts of water so that they don't get dehydrated as most exams take place during summertime.

1. Have a regular breakfast, don’t miss it. Beverages are not enough for breakfast.Have a bowl of cereal with milk,or rotis/paranthas with milk or dhal and a piece of fruit and  some vegetable will provide the necessary nutrients.

2. Eat at regular intervals. It helps keep nutrient and energy levels more stable, and prevents one from having empty-calorie snacks.

3. Eat small, eat frequently: Eating the usual three-big-meals-a-day slows you down mentally and physically. Have 5-6 well-balanced smaller meals instead.

4. Choose powerful vegetables. Not all vegetables are created equal. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients. For example, greens and other vegetables are more useful to mind and body.

5. Going bananas? Good. Fruit ranks high among the best foods you can eatfor your brain. The natural sugars in fruit offer clean energy, so you don’t experience the crash that follows consumption of refined sugar.

6. Smart snacking can enhance studying. Have healthy snacks while studying and you may find that you retain more. Try to get two food groups into your snacks to balance the nutrients and keep your blood-sugar level stable. Some smart snack examples are banana with peanut butter, a small baked potatowith cottage cheese.

7. How do I eat smarter? If you meet the daily vitamin and mineral requirements , it will make doing your best much easier. Ironand B-Vitamins are especially important for maintaining the physical and mental energy necessary to study well. Foods that contain iron include red meat, cereals and greens and foods that are rich in  B- vitamins include whole-grains, wheat germ, eggs and nuts. Fish and soy are other foods that are said to help boost your brain by providing the nutrients it needs.

8. Vitamin tablet is not a meal. Dietary supplements are good, but real food is better. An orange contains not only Vitamin C, but also fiber, beta carotene and other minerals — so it can’t be replaced by a pill.

9. Stay well hydrated. Choose your beverages well. Caffeine and sugar should be kept to a minimum as too much caffeine can make you jittery.

The diet plan:

• Include proteins, with carbohydrates and fats

• Make healthier choices when choosing snacks

• Stay well hydrated

• Consume a lot of fruits and juices in the diet

• Eat well; don't starve

• Instead of big meals, take small portions at regular periods not more than four hours apart

• Have more curd and buttermilk

• Have a lot of milk, mixed with nuts

• Include iron-rich green leafy vegetables in the diet

• Avoid junk food and too many sweets

• Food determines health, wealth and happiness.

Health issues during exams

Depression, dehydration, anxiety, restlessness, anguish, dry mouth, anorexia nervosa (emotional eating), heart burn, acidity, constipation, anaemia, digestive problem, flu, cold, headache, hyperactivity, kidney stone, muscular pain or back pain, nausea and vomiting are some of the health issues that can plague childrenduring examinations.

Opt for healthy foods:

• Provide your child with juicy fruits and vegetables as they rehydrate and replenish the body and do not make them sleepy and lethargic. A fruit platter could include slices of water melon, musk melon, strawberries, oranges and sweet lime

• Almonds, walnut, pumpkin seeds, cucumber and watermelon seeds help improve memory and concentration. Nuts are full of DHA –which is needed in high levels by the brain and eyes for learning and improving memory.

• Prevent your child from consuming starchy vegetables like potatoes and yam which make him lethargic and sleepy or cause constipation which can lead to bloating

• Provide light vegetables  such as  bottle gourd, carrots or fenugreek with chapati

• Chilled raita made of fresh fruit or vegetable provides calcium, water and protein

• Instead of snacking on samosa, burgers, patties or namkeen, opt for almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds. Boiled chickpea is a great option too

• Replace soft drinks witha glass or two of healthy fresh fruit milkshake, lassi, energy drinks or glucose.

• Avoid fried foods and refined foods made of maida as theymake people sleepy and lethargic.

• Iodine is very important for memory power so include enough iodized salt in your child’s diet

• No supplements should be given during exams, unless prescribed by thedoctor

• Keep your child well hydrated – provide a lot of water in the form of fresh seasonal fruit juices like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber and orange juice

• Ensure your child sleeps well before the exam as it will prevent anxiety, depression and restlessness

A happy child has an increased serotonin level. Listening to soothing music can increase the serotonin level which is a chemical in the brain that is known to induce a de-stressed, calm feeling.

Avoid the following foods:

• Hot dog
• Pizza
• Aerated drinks
• Cheese burger / sandwich
• Red meat
• Fried fish
• Ham burger

Ensure that your child is not overeating to cope with problems or to deal with emotions such as stress.

A little modification in lifestyle helps   

Follow these guidelines and your mind will be on full alert when you need it most. If you want to do well in your exams, eat carefully. You only get one shot at your exams, so it’s worth doing everything you can to ensure you are alert when in the examination hall.

Were these tips useful to you? Share your views with us.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Why People with Diabetes Must Avoid Alcohol

Manoj Mandela M
Research Associate,
Department of Kidney Research.

Blood glucose is used for growth and energy. Blood glucose is made from -

* the foods that we eat,  
* the breakdown of the glucose stored in our muscles (glycogen),
* other nutrients in the body.

The primary hormones involved in maintaining a healthy blood glucose level are insulin and glucagon.

Under normal conditions when blood glucose levels begin to drop, the body can respond by making more blood glucose or by burning up stored sugar, and when blood glucose level begins to rise, additional insulin is secreted to bring the levels back to a healthy range.

The body treats alcohol as a poison and makes every effort to excrete it. It adversely affects the normal process of maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that alcohol interferes with all three sources of glucose and the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

The greatest impact is seen in those who drink heavily very regularly. Heavy drinkers exhaust their glycogen stores within a few hours when their diet does not provide a sufficient amount of carbohydrates. Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. One study showed that 45% to 70% of people with alcoholic liver disease had either glucose intolerance or diabetes.

Alcohol can also negatively impact blood sugar levels each time that it is consumed, regardless of the frequency of consumption.

Research shows that high consumption increases insulin secretion and results in low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), and can also impair the hormonal response that would normally correct the low blood sugar.

Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels.

This makes alcohol an even bigger problem for anyone with diabetes. Along with the effecton blood glucose studies also show that alcohol can negatively influencethe effectiveness of the hypoglycemic medications, so people with diabetes need to be extremely careful when consuming alcohol .

There is also an increased risk of problems when combining exercise and alcohol.

Many people go out for a drink after playing a sport (for example, hockey, soccer, tennis) or consume some alcoholic beverages while playing. Blood glucose levels naturally drop during exercise, and the body is working hard to replace glycogen stores after the game. So consuming alcohol during this time will halt this process and can cause blood sugar levels to stay at an unhealthy level.

Alcohol can bring abouthavoc on a system that is in place for your health and well- being. Excessively low or high blood sugar levels have long-term consequences.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Diabetic Nephropathy

Manoj Mandela


Department of Kidney Research

Diabetes mellitus is a major health problem and has become a serious concern in the Indian population. It leads to various complications affecting the neuro-vascular systems.

One such complication is Diabetic Nephropathy.

Diabetic nephropathy, also known as Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome, is a progressive kidney disease caused by angiopathy of capillaries in the kidney glomeruli..

Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by the following:

• Persistent albuminuria (>300 mg/d or >200 μg/min) that is confirmed on at least 2 occasions, 3-6 months  apart
• Progressive decline in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
• Elevated arterial blood pressure

Currently, Diabetic Nephropathy is one of the most significant long-term complications in terms of morbidity and mortality for individual patients with diabetes. It is generally considered after a routine urinalysis and screening for microalbuminuria in people with diabetes. Patients may have physical findings associated with long-standing diabetes mellitus. Early treatment delays or prevents the onset of diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease.

Regular outpatient follow-up is the key in managing diabetic nephropathy successfully.

Apart from the individual human suffering, the cost of dialysis in patients with Type 2 diabetes is very high.

The normal process - The process of digesting the protein in food creates waste products. In the kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) act as filters to remove these waste products. As blood flows through the capillaries, waste products squeeze outand become part of the urine. Useful substances, such as protein and red blood cells, are too big to pass through the holes in the filter and remain in the blood.

Diabetes can damage this system.

High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. All this extra work is hard on the filters and after many years, they start leaking  and useful protein is lost in the urine.

Having small amounts of protein in the urine is called microalbuminuria.When kidney disease is diagnosed early (during microalbuminuria) several treatments may keep kidney disease from getting worse.

Having larger amounts of protein in the urine is called macroalbuminuria. When kidney disease is caught later (during macroalbuminuria) end-stage renal disease or ESRD, usually follows.

In time, the stress of overwork causes the kidneys to lose their filtering ability. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail (ESRD) and a person with ESRD needs to have a kidney transplant or to have the blood filtered regularly by machine (dialysis).

Prevent Progression in Diabetic Nephropathy:

Several studies have clearly shown that in people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and who already have microalbuminuria; ACE inhibition is effective in reducing renal progression. It has been proposed that the benefit is independent of blood pressure.

In patients with macroalbuminuria and abnormal GFR, blood pressure reduction, usually with an ARB or ACE inhibitor, has dramatically improved the renalcondition.

Prevent Diabetes Nephropathy -

The best way to prevent diabetic nephropathy is to control your blood sugar.


Your blood pressure should be monitored frequently, and blood pressure should be kept below a peak level (systolic pressure, the "top" blood pressure number) of 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and kept below a bottom number (diastolic pressure) of 80mmHg. These goals for blood pressure are lower than that used for people who do not have diabetes.

Any person who has diabetes and who also has high blood pressure should regularly take  blood pressure lowering medications.

Avoiding medications that can sometimes have harmful side effects upon the kidneys also can help to prevent kidney disease.

A low-protein diet (10% to 12% or less of total calories) also may slow or halt the progression of kidney disease. 

If you smoke cigarettes, you should quit.

Tip of the Week

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