Name: Snehal Nandagawli Age: 31 yearsOccupation: IT AnalystMy father Mr Baliram Nandagawli is66 years old. He has now retired from his job as the Chief Manager at State Bank of Hyderabad.DiagnosisMy father was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at the age of 43. His blood sugar level was 500 mg/dL. He experienced symptoms like massive hair fall, feeling extreme hunger in spite of having meals and frequent urination. These are the most common symptoms for Diabetes but at that time we were unaware of them.My father got his blood sugars tested on recommendation of a relative. My father was lucky to have been diagnosed at a veryearly stage. His early diagnosis ensured that Diabetes had not affected any organs or nerves. He was prescribed metformin and was asked to modify diet and do regular exercise.Impact of the diagnosisWhen my father was diagnosed, I was9 years old. I had minimal understanding of the term Diabetes. I do remember that hehad to change his daily habits and move towards a healthy balanced lifestyle.Changes can be difficult and even more so when they are forced upon us. 1 could see that there was initial struggle and resistance towards it.A major impact of his diagnosis was faced by my mother. She had to sit with a dietician to understand the dietary changes, ensure that my father had proper meals ontime and that he always carried a healthy snack (like nuts) with him.I assume we have a family history of Diabetes. Unfortunately, my paternal grandparents expired quite early on and never had complete body check-up or blood tests but my aunt and uncles all haveType 2 Diabetes.Managing DiabetesI help my father to test his blood sugars.I often have to push him to check his blood sugars till date. For the longest time, we didn't own a glucometer and my father absolutely hated pricking his finger for blood sugar testing. I understand that no one would like to prick their fingers to test blood sugars but it is an important step for Diabetes management. It helpsyou understand how your body functions, how different foods affect you, how differentexercises affect you, etc. I believe this forms the base for understanding Diabetes.Regular monitoring of blood sugars is very important to avoid complications arising from Diabetes.Whenever his sugars go high, he becomes moody and irritated and feels hungry. When his sugars are low, he feels dizzy or light headed. Instances for low sugars are lesser as compared to high sugar levels.MedicationMy father has been prescribed metformin. There was never the need to go on insulin since my father follows proper diet and exercises regularly.Carb countingTo be honest, we weren't aware of carb counting initially. As I grew older and started reading more on Diabetes management, I came across carb counting and how it can help with better post-meal sugars. It was confusing in the beginning but we took it step by step and gradually learned how to do it. We are not too specific on it but knowing even the approximate carbs that are consumed helps with better blood sugar levels.Fitness routineExercise is something that my father takes care of by himself. He loves walking and never skips his early morning walks in the garden. I would say he walks around3-4 kilometres daily. This has definitely helped with Diabetes management.DietDiet is something that still needs everyday work. Indian diet is something that is etched in the mind and it was very difficult for him to grasp the idea of having a meal without roti or rice. We experimented with brown rice, low carb atta, salads with meals to balance the carbs. Recently, he has been more accepting of the idea of skipping roti/rice in meals and having just salads with good mixture of greens and proteins like either paneer, sprouts and chicken.His breakfast and snacks are slightly higher on carbs with Indian dishes of upma or poha with veggies, cooked sprouts and tea without sugar. Lunch and dinner usually comprises of one bowl of sprouts/boiled channa, one bowl of dal and sabji, one chappati and one spoon rice. We also try to include salads or soups with meals.Snacking between meals includes low carb foods like channa., peanuts to high carb like khakra, chiwda. or toast. It is important to know that moderation is the key here.There should be good balance between carbs and proteins in each meal.To concludeI know it can be a difficult journey to make your parents understand how Diabetes works and why it is important to focus on the basics of medication/insulin, diet, exercise and regular monitoring. Take it one step at a time and do it gradually. It helps if the entire family works as a unit and makes changes towards a balanced and healthy lifestyle.You can be a part of a local Diabetes community where you can meet other caregivers. Meeting and interacting with other caregivers can provide you with invaluable and practical knowledge. This will help you care for your loved one who is living with Diabetes. You can be a part of the Facebook community: Diabetes Support Network - India to stay connected with people with Diabetes. This will help you stay motivated to manage Diabetes and garner support as well.