Culture Gap Can Make Diabetes Diet Harder
Fakhir Rizvi Published August 15, 2016 | 11:16 AM
ISLAMABAD,(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Augst,2016) : Patients with diabetes must work hard every day to count the carbs they consume, to avoid dangerous spikes or dips in blood sugar. Learning how to do it can be close to impossible, though, when language and cultural barriers make it difficult for doctors to understand what patients typically eat, a case report in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggests. "Carbohydrate counting is critical for accurate management of diabetes," said co-author Dr.
Sumana Narasimhan, a pediatric endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's in Ohio, Press Tv reported. "If we don't fix this problem, families of children with diabetes from non-western cultures may continue to guess the carbohydrate count of their ethnic foods, resulting in inaccurate insulin dosing and poorly controlled diabetes," Narasimhan added by email. "The risk of diabetes complications is higher when diabetes is not managed properly." The case report involved a child recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition usually diagnosed in children or young adults. With this condition, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow blood sugar, or glucose, to enter cells and produce energy.
People with type 1 diabetes typically have to test their own blood sugar levels throughout the day and inject insulin to manage them.
Getting the insulin dose right requires patients to count carbs correctly. Because type 1 diabetes so often affects kids, the burden of managing their disease falls to parents, often the mothers who prepare their meals, Nasir said by email. "When this mother asked us about carb content in traditional Arab foods, we were a bit puzzled as the usual patient information pamphlets do not carry this information," Nasir said. "This makes accurate carbohydrate counting difficult and may have the unfortunate effect of encouraging the use of prepackaged foods for better dosing accuracy," Gregg added. "Families generally feel more peace of mind when they know the exact carbohydrate count of the foods they are giving their family member with diabetes, and there is a great deal of certainty with food that comes with a label."