(November 14 observed as World Diabetes Day around the world to raise awareness about both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. FIT is reposting this story in that light.)
A video on YouTube claims to cure diabetes without medication in 24 hours. This 16-minute video, which claims to cure not only diabetes but also high blood pressure, heart diseases and other lifestyle diseases without medication, has about 8 lakh views and 1800 comments.
The video has been made by Bishwaroop Roy Choudhary. FIT had earlier also investigated another of his videos on diabetes, in which he had claimed diabetes can be cured by eating fruits, a claim denounced by endocrinology experts.
In this second video, he claims BP and diabetes medicines do not cure the disease but only aggravate the problem, and that you can get rid of these diseases in just a few days by simply changing your diet.
Right or Wrong?
To investigate the claims made in the video, FIT talked to Dr Rohan Sequeria, Consultant of General Medicine at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, Dr Sundeep Mishra, Professor of Cardiology at AIIMS, New Delhi, and Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.
The claims of treatment of lifestyle diseases without medication, rotting of the limbs due to diabetic medication, and weakening of the heart due to BP medicine have been denied by experts.
Let's discuss these one-by-one.
Claim: Diabetes Medicines Cause Body Parts to Rot
It has been said in the video that diabetes medicines remove sugar from the blood and transfer it to some other organs (such as heart, kidney or eyes), and that organ slowly starts to rot.
Dr Rohan Sequeria, Consultant of General Medicine at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, says that this claim is completely false.
On the need of medicines in diabetes, Dr Sequeria explains that in patients with type 1 diabetes, they either do not have insulin or its levels are extremely low. If insulin is not medically provided to these patients, then these patients can go into a coma, and their life may be in danger.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have different medications. The effect of each drug is different. Some medicines sensitise the insulin produced in the body, so that insulin can work evenly. There is a medicine which removes the excess sugar in the body from the urine through the kidney. Another drug promotes insulin production.Dr Rohan Sequeria, Consultant, General Medicine, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai
He explains, "The doctor decides what kind of medicine needs to be given to the patient. In all the research that has been done over the world, it has been found that the more the sugar is controlled in diabetes, the lesser the damage to the organs there is."
Claim: Medicines For High BP Make The Heart Weak
Dr Sundeep Mishra, Professor of Cardiology at AIIMS, New Delhi and Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist at Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, both disprove this claim.
Dr Santosh Kumar Dora explains, "It is not that high BP medicines do not work on blood vessel blockages or weaken the heart. There are many types of high BP medicines, like some medicines which help to relax the blood vessels, some work directly on the heart, and some work on the central nervous system. BP medicines work to relax blood vessels so that the increased blood pressure comes down."
Dr Sandeep Mishra explains, "Many medicines for high blood pressure, especially ACE-I, strengthen the heart."
Dr Dora cautions that if high blood pressure patients do not take BP medicine, it would be harmful for them.
If a patient has high blood pressure and is not given medication, the risk of blockage increases greatly. High BP is the main risk factor for heart diseases.Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai
Dr Sequeria says that any medicine comes into use after long research and even then its effect is constantly monitored because science is always advancing. If a medicine is proven to cause harm, it is banned.
Claim: Lifestyle Diseases Can Be Cured Without Medication
The YouTube video claimed that by incorporating more and more whole plant food into your diet, and avoiding canned or packed food, lifestyle diseases like high BP and diabetes can be treated.
Dr Santosh Kumar Dora explains that there are two things we are looking at: a disease which has not yet happened today and should not happen in the future also, and second, the treatment of the disease which has happened.
Eating diet rich in fruits and vegetables, controlling salt intake, and avoiding packaged food items will definitely help you stay healthy and will also be effective in preventing many diseases.
However, the important thing is that there are many risk factors for lifestyle diseases, such as family history, ageing, smoking, poor eating and lack of physical activity.
We also have to keep in mind that some diseases run in the family. For example, if one of your parents has diabetes, you are 33.5% more likely to have diabetes, and if both parents have diabetes, the possibility rises to 70%.Dr Rohan Sequeria, Consultant, General Medicine, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai
In the treatment of a disease, along with medication, eating healthy - lowering salt intake and following a healthy diet and exercise - is only a part of the treatment. But you can not neglect medicine and rely solely on diet for treatment.
“If someone’s BP is 140/90 mm Hg, then we can see the effect of reducing salt and the effect of plant-based diet and regular exercise. However, if BP is too high, then we cannot depend entirely on diet because such diet alone will not reduce BP, medicine will be required.”Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai
Dr Sundeep Mishra also says that healthy eating can help in reducing any complications in the disease and in slowing the progression of the disease.
But once someone contracts a disease, you cannot cure it just by eating healthy.Dr Sandeep Mishra, Professor, Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
Dr Rohan Sequeria explains that they recommend low carbohydrate, high protein and low fat diet to diabetes patients. Simultaneously, they are also told to exercise.
When it comes to the treatment of lifestyle diseases, both medicines and healthy changes in lifestyle are important.
Some patients can only live by diet control, but such patients are very rare. For example, diabetes for 70-80 percent patients increases every year. For some people, it is 5 percent every year, in some people 10 percent, and for some others, the sugar increases by 20 percent every year. It also depends on genetics. Therefore, we cannot leave these patients only on diet control. With lifestyle modification, these patients need medication.Dr Rohan Sequeria, Consultant, General Medicine, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai
Experts say that controlling of diet is not a bad thing. Be it diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease, administering control is necessary for every patient, Exercise is necessary, but it is for the doctors to decide whether the patient needs to take medicine or not.
Dr.Rohan Sequeria says, "There are many people who make false claims and there are a lot of videos like this. They work on people's fear. There is a fear in people's minds that if I take medicine, I will get sick. But that does not happen. Everyone wants to avoid medicine and wishes that the disease be cured by natural means. But, you should check the qualifications of the people who claim to treat such diseases without drugs, and consult your doctor instead of relying on them."