Mary Lasrado, 70, Indian, Homemaker

I have changed my diet significantly since the diagnosis, taking low-carb meals and avoiding sweets completely

- Mary Lasrado, Homemaker

“Around eight years ago, I started feeling extremely dizzy while doing household chores. I also suffered from blurry vision and decided to consult the doctor and was diagnosed with diabetes. I have changed my diet significantly since the diagnosis, taking low-carb meals and avoiding sweets completely. I have a fear of injections and cannot take insulin. That is why my doctor has put me on a strict diet alongwith exercise and oral tablets to keep my sugar levels in check. I have always been a bubbly and energetic person but ever since I was diagnosed, I have felt fatigued and suffer from constant swelling in my legs. It has also led to other complications such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.”

Sharon Fernandes, 39, Indian, PR consultant

Sometimes, when I don’t take my medicines properly, my speech is slurred as well

- Sharon Fernandes, PR consultant

“I have type 2 diabetes for the last four years. It was while driving one day that I had this tingling sensation in my cheeks and suddenly felt very uneasy. I knew something was wrong. I fainted on my way to the clinic as my blood pressure dropped. Luckily, I was near the clinic and was taken there in an ambulance. The tests revealed that I had high insulin and hypertension. The condition took a toll on both work and my personal life. I have terrible mood swings and get tired easily. Sometimes, when I don’t take my medicines properly, my speech is slurred as well. I used to take insulin twice but reduced it to a single injection as I could not keep injecting myself. It was stressful, and at times I also forgot to take my medicines, worsening my condition. After consultation, I have now switched to pills and maintain a proper diet that involves a regular breakfast, avoiding overeating and limiting my intake of sweets, or just avoiding it altogether.”

Raza Ur Rahman, 41, Pakistani, Financial controller

I strictly follow my sleep regime, going to bed at 10pm every day, and have six small meals a day

- Raza Ur Rahman, Financial controller

“I learned about my diabetes 12 years ago on consulting the doctor after experiencing extreme thirst and excessive urination. There was very little awareness about diabetes in those days, and I had no knowledge of it as no one in my family had the condition. Earlier, the biggest challenge for me was to stay disciplined about diet, sleep and regular check-ups. I initially failed on those fronts and it took a while to get back on track. Now, I strictly follow my sleep regime, going to bed at 10pm every day, and have six small meals a day. I am watchful about my diet, observing the foods that lead to a spike in blood sugar, and limiting and sometimes avoiding them completely during family gatherings, parties and while vacationing back home.”

Omar Abdullah, 48, Iraqi, IT manager

Medication is now routine and I take metformin after every meal.

- Omar Abdullah, IT manager

“My symptoms started showing while I was at work, with thirst followed by frequent urination. The condition first surfaced soon after my mum’s death about eight years ago. I am an athlete and practise martial arts, however, whatever be the kind of sport I engage in, I tend to feel sluggish and tired. Medication is now routine and I take metformin after every meal. However, my blood sugar levels go up while I am sleeping, which affects my morning activities. I therefore have to follow the right diet to balance my sugar levels. While working, I focus on the diet and also take exercise breaks including walking after a meal, or after every two hours.”

Sarah Jane Carter, 50, British, Marketing professional

My biggest challenge is being disciplined. I have a busy job and lifestyle, often skipping meals because of my schedules

- Sarah Jane Carter, Marketing professional

“I found that I had gestational diabetes when I was expecting my twins about 10 years back, and was put on insulin. I thought the condition would disappear after the pregnancy and got busy with the twins, who were born prematurely. I completely forgot the fact that I had the condition until one morning, when I couldn’t clearly see small objects such as the laptop keys or mobile keys. I panicked, calling my husband to tell him that I was losing my sight. On consulting a doctor, I was diagnosed with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes. My biggest challenge is being disciplined. I have a busy job and lifestyle, often skipping meals because of my schedules. My blood sugar levels drop when I’m in a meeting, in the car and at home, and it gets difficult to manage. I have to inject myself with medicines before every meal, usually between four to five times a day. I recently invested in a glucose-monitoring system called FreeStyle Libre, to keep track of my blood sugar levels. I now have a better understanding of my blood sugar trends as the monitor shares more data to manage it well, and also administer insulin according to my body needs.”