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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Managing Diabetes in Summer

Mrs. Sheela Paul
Ms. Rohini- Dietitian, MVNES

Summer is here and with the rise in temperature all of us need to take extra precautions to avoid the common heat related conditions that are possible such as heat stroke and de-hydration. For people with diabetes extra precautions also need to be considered as they are also managing an existing condition. They can enjoy all the summer activities with friends and family but they have to be vigilant with prevention and the care they take.

Summer is a great time for bonding with family and friends. We all know how important it is to make healthy food choices. However, healthy eating is not just about maintaining a healthy weight or preventing weight gain. The food we eat affects not only our physical well-being, but also our state of mind. For people with diabetes, summer makes it more difficult to maintain good blood sugar levels with summer fruits, parties, picnics and social gatherings.
During the warm weather, it is especially important to take extra precautions and practice of safe food handling while preparing perishable foods such as meat, poultry, sea food and egg products. Bacteria and other pathogens in food multiply rapidly and cause food borne illnesses. To reduce the risk of food borne illnesses, always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Soap and water is best and when not available, use a hand sanitizer.

Water is vital

Water is important in every aspect of life. Staying properly hydrated is one of the most important ways to regulate your health, so make sure you drink enough water every day. Try to avoid carbonated drinks and fruit juices as these contain high levels of sugar and also do not quench thirst as plain water does.

Foot Care

The feet are the most neglected part of the body yet they are also one of the most important parts. It is very important to make proper foot care a daily habit for happy and healthy feet. However for people with diabetes, foot care is much more important. Damage to the nerves (Neuropathy) is one of the long term complications of diabetes which can result from inadequate foot care or neglected feet. There are many ways of keeping your feet healthy which include regular checking of the feet for blisters, cuts, and sores; wearing proper fitting footwear and keeping them clean and moisturized. You should never walk barefoot .Always have some sort of footwear to protect the soles of your feet. This will help protect them from cuts and possible infections. So if you want to remove shoes at the temple or at the beach, make sure you use flip-flops, beach sandals or temple socks.

Sun Protection

Protect your skin from sun and dust. People with diabetes need to be especially cautious as they would have often experienced some skin discoloration and these areas of the skin are especially prone to being burnt. Sunburn is not only an issue for the skin, but it also stresses your body and can cause changes in your blood sugar level. It’s easy to prevent, so don’t forget the sunscreen, hat and suitable protective clothes if you go out.

Educate family and friends

Although people take every precaution and are vigilant in minimizing the risks of exposure to sun and heat, sometimes things do happen that could result in sudden fluctuation in the blood sugar level.  It is best to educate family and friends about the possible signs of diabetes complications so that you can get timely help in an emergency. Let them know how they can help you if you feel dizzy, fatigued or dehydrated.

Tips for summer activities

• Don’t go to picnics, parties and social gatherings on an empty stomach. You might   get tempted to eat too much. Have a snack before you go out and keep to your regular eating schedule. You are ultimately responsible    for it, so take control of it.

• Pack your own snacks and balanced meals if you are unsure of what will be served. Don’t let yourself get caught out with bad food choices high in salt and sugar.

• Limit the amount of salty foods and sugar (especially drinks). These empty calories can increase your sugar levels easily, cause water retention and affect your blood pressure. It will also be tempting to drink carbonated   drinks to quench your thirst from those salty foods.

• Prepare meals that are balanced to sustain your energy. Eat adequate protein -rich dishes to keep you full longer along with healthy carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. Choose fresh fruits such as water melon, orange and sweet lime or make mixed fruit salad . Enjoy fresh vegetables with your favourite seasoning or a yogurt-based food such butter milk, as well as in vegetable salads.

• Stay well hydrated. Summer heat can cause dehydration, which leads to increased hunger, increased blood glucose levels, headache and fatigue.

• Keep food stored at safe temperatures to avoid food-related gastro-intestinal illness that can spoil your day and upset your diabetes control.

And Don’t Forget -

• Maintain your walking or other exercise programs during the summer months, but be sure to exercise safely in hot temperatures.  It is better to walk early in the morning or in the evening after sunset. Remember to protect your skin from the sun’s rays and to stay well hydrated.
• Carry a first aid kit so you’ll be prepared for cuts, scrapes, blisters or potential emergencies.

Summer Soothers



•    2 sprigs fresh mint
•    Gelatine  - 2tsp
•    2/3 cup straw berries crushed
•    2tsp Sugar Free

• Heat 1 ½ cups of water.
• Mix gelatine in 1 -2 teaspoons of cold water.  When it is moist, add the rest of the hot water. Stir well till smooth and let it cool.
• Then add  crushed straw berries, mint leaves and Sugar Free
• Pour into a mould and set in the fridge.
• Unmuold onto flat dish before serving and decorate with sliced or whole strawberries.



• ½  cup fresh mint leaves
• 3  bags of green tea
• Sugar Free 2tsp
• 4 cups boiling water
• 4 stalks lemongrass, for garnish


• Combine mint leaves, tea bags, in boiling water.
• Boil for 5 minutes; remove tea bags.
• Then add Sugar Free.
•  Refrigerate until chilled.
• Pour into 4 large ice-filled glasses.
•  Garnish with a stalk of lemongrass.



• 1 avocado, ripe
• 500 ml  low fat cold milk
• 150 ml cold water
• 3 - 5 drops vanilla essence


• Peel the avocado and remove seed.
• Put the pulp of the avocado along with SUGARFREEin a blender and blend well.
• Add the milk, water and vanilla essence and blend for 1 minute.
• Garnish and serve chilled.



• 4 palm kernels
• 2 cups  milk
• 2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon rosewater
• A pinch saffron


• Chop the palm kernels in to small pieces.
• In a jar or bowl, mix the milk with water and sugar.
• In a cup, mix the rosewater with saffron.
• Now mix the saffron-rosewater with the milk. Add the kernel slices.
• Chill in the fridge.


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