Changed for Good
An Interview with Seema Mishra
by Jen Wen Luoh
October 25, 2011 - This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Seema Mishra, a former computer professional and wife of AVRDC chili pepper breeder, Dr. Sanjeet Kumar. Ever since her diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Seema’s life took a 180 degree turn for the better.
Four years ago, when Seema lived in Niger with her husband and daughter, she began noticing changes in her body. She was constantly tired, always thirsty and had frequent urination. A physical examination while on home visit in India showed that Seema had high blood sugar levels. Immediately, the doctor started her on an exercise and diet regime. Within two months, Seema lost 12 kilograms in order to reduce blood sugar levels. A year later, Seema’s doctor in Niger confirmed her diabetes and prescribed Metformin (500mg) three times a day.
Faced with diabetes, Seema was not discouraged. Instead, she decided to stand up and commit herself to change, starting with her own life. Seema’s successful regime includes daily glucose monitoring, a healthy diet, fixed meal times, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and eating bitter gourd.
Bitter Gourd Works
Growing up, Seema never ate bitter gourd. Although the vegetable was popular in India, bitter gourd and Seema never crossed paths until she was diagnosed with diabetes. The vegetable was recommended by her doctor and friends in India to help control her blood sugar levels. Determined to do everything it takes for a healthy life, Seema began incorporating bitter gourd in her meals. Three times a week, Seema cooks it with a bit of oil, mustard seeds and turmeric powder. Seema’s husband looks forward to this dish during family meal times every week. Her daughter however, dislikes the bitterness, but she is learning to appreciate eating bitter gourd regularly.
On days when Seema does not regularly eat bitter gourd, her glucose levels were always higher. When asked about the effectiveness of bitter gourd in controlling blood sugar levels, Seema explained with optimism, “It works, without a doubt it works.”
Although bitter gourd itself is not sufficient to treat diabetes for everyone, in combination with a healthy lifestyle, diet, medicine and regular monitoring, bitter gourd can be an effective food-based approach to lowering blood sugar.
Change is for the Family
When Seema first had diabetes, she was struggling to find what works best for her. After trying one method after another, Seema finally had a diabetes management plan that allowed her to live a healthy and normal life. What she found most helpful was sharing and exchanging advices with experienced diabetics. Four years down this path and walking ever strongly, Seema is sharing her insights on diabetes:
1) Diabetes is for the family. A family member with diabetes needs the full support from the family to sustain a healthy lifestyle. When Seema began regular exercise, it was not easy. After half an hour of morning walk, she had lost motivation. When her husband and daughter joined her on these walks, Seema is able to walk for an hour without feeling tired or bored. Now, her family walks and exercises together daily.
2) Everyone benefits from diabetes. As Seema’s whole family supports her lifestyle and joins in her health habits, their health also improves. The parents and even the children enjoy a healthy and active life.
Making life better for diabetics is a labor of love. With her whole family one hundred percent behind her, Seema has no problem living a fulfilled life.
Seema has been a diabetic for four years now.
Measuring blood glucose is an essential part of Seema’s diabetes monitoring and control.
Further more when I was a nursing mother the days I had bitter gourd there used to be more milk extracted for the infant,its my first hand experience,please recommend to nursing mothers as well.
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