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Go Easy on Sugar

Diabetics don't have to give up sugar. Occasional treats with some caution is what's needed to fight this disease.

Eating sugary foods does not cause diabetes. However, it is vital for diabetics to control the amount of sugar they eat, as their body is unable to deal with it in the right way. Diabetes is a mismatch between sugar in the bloodstream and the action of insulin, the hormone which controls sugar levels. Most people eat varying amounts of sugar at different meals.

The body makes complex automatic calculations and usually maintains blood sugar at a very precise normal range. The problem for a diabetic is that the pancreas cannot maintain this normal range, either because enough insulin is not produced, or because the body has become resistant to the hormone, so that it is unable to work properly.

Many diabetics do learn to give themselves occasional treats, with a corresponding increase in their dose of medication or insulin, just the way the body normally reacts to high sugar levels by producing more insulin.

By Dr Rosina Ahmedis, Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital and City Clinic, Kolkata