Dr. S.M.Sadikot.
Hon. Endocrinologist,
Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre,
Mumbai 400026

Diabetes is so widespread that there would scarcely be a person who does not know someone who has diabetes. Often, that person may be a family member.

You may well ask, " What does that have to do with me…why should I know about diabetes?"

Superficially, this would seem to be good question. But think about it.

If you have friends or family members who have to live all their lives with diabetes, they will always need support and understanding about their disorder. Would you not like to give them that support and encouragement so that they are able to manage their diabetes and live as normal and healthy a life as possible without feeling like a pariah?

Ask them, and you will realize how much they would appreciate your being there to help them. But how will you help unless you understand diabetes and know what they are going through!

More importantly, if you have a family member who has diabetes, there are good chances that you too will get diabetes. Would you like to know what your chances are? Click here.

Even if you find that your chances are just 25%, you could shrug it off by saying that that is just one in four. But how do you know you would not be that one in four!

Today, we know that we can try and avoid diabetes, especially the common Type 2 diabetes ( which is around 98% of all diabetes seen here) by taking various measures such as lifestyle changes etc. But all these changes will only make sense if you understand why you be making the changes and trying to avoid diabetes.

You cross a road because you know why you want to go across. If you did not why, then why would you cross the road? Similarly, if you accept that you will make some changes in your lifestyle ( and too for a prolonged period of your life), do you not want to know the reason why you are making the changes.

You would say to avoid diabetes…….but do you know what is diabetes!

So understanding diabetes, even if you do not have it, is important. Not only will you be able to offer help and understanding to your friends and family members having diabetes, which in itself can be invaluable to them, but as importantly, you may just be helping yourself avoid diabetes!

The best way to avoid something, is to know about it.

Many of you may have seen the famous film, "Patton" in which there is scene where General Patton defeats Rommel in tank warfare in the Arabian deserts. When Patton has won over Rommel, long considered the ultimate master of desert warfare, so much so that he was nicknamed the "desert rat", Patton waves a book on tank warfare on the desert written by Rommel and shouts, " I mastered your own book, you…..!" Patton had defeated Rommel by having knowledge about desert tank warfare by learning from the master, and using this knowledge he was able to defeat Germans.