21 November, 2012


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is the most common type of sleep disorder caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. These pauses in breathing, called "apneas" typically last 20 to 40 seconds.
  • Unexplained daytime sleepiness
  • Restless sleep
  • Loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps). 
  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety and depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Increased urination and/or nocturia
  • Frequent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Heavy night sweats.
                             The normal sleep/wake cycle in adults is divided into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, non-REM (NREM) sleep, and consciousness. NREM sleep is further divided into Stages 1, 2 and 3 NREM sleep. The deepest stage (stage 3 of NREM) is required for the physically restorative effects of sleep. NREM stage 2 and REM, which combined are 70% of an average person's total sleep time, are more associated with mental recovery and maintenance. During REM sleep in particular, muscle tone of the throat and neck, as well as the vast majority of all skeletal muscles, is almost completely attenuated, allowing the tongue and soft palate/oropharynx to relax, and in the case of sleep apnea, to impede the flow of air to a degree ranging from light snoring to complete collapse. In the cases where airflow is reduced to a degree where blood oxygen levels fall, or the physical exertion to breathe is too great, neurological mechanisms trigger a sudden interruption of sleep. These arousals rarely result in complete awakening, but can have a significant negative effect on the restorative quality of sleep. In significant cases of OSA, one consequence is sleep deprivation due to the repetitive disruption and recovery of sleep activity.

  • avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding medications that relax the central nervous system (for example, sedatives and muscle relaxants),
  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking.
  • Some people are helped by special pillows or devices that keep them from sleeping on their backs, or oral appliances to keep the airway open during sleep.
  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which a face mask is attached to a tube and a machine that blows pressurized air into the mask and through the airway to keep it open.
  • There are also surgical procedures intended to remove and tighten tissue and widen the airway, but none has been reproducibly successful.

12 November, 2012


                 Cannabis is commonly used to prepare Bhang, Hasish, Hash, Marijuana, Charas & Ganja. All these names are familiar to most of us. No No! I don’t mean we use it, but somewhere or the other we would have definitely heard about it. Cannabis grows like any other plant in most parts of the world. The key ingredient is THC – TetraHydroCannabino. This results in relaxed state of mind, lowering of worry, hunger and finally the person falls asleep. Cannabis can be smoked or consumed. The effects of THC last for 2-3hours when smoked, and for 24hours when ingested. The stems of Cannabis (Hemp) are used to prepare ropes.

Cannabis has been tried as medicine also. It is said to activate receptors in body, control vomiting, affect appetite, control cancer symptoms. Cannabis has also been tried in treating pain, anxiety and muscle spasticity.

Flowers, Buds, Leaves, Dried plant material, Resins, Powder and Oil are used.

 Known to India for more than 5000 years.  This wonderful plant has been mentioned in our ancient literature for its magical properties. Vedas refer to cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. It has been referred as a source of joy giver, happiness and liberator. In old times cannabis was used to relieve people from fear. Mythology says that once Lord Shiva was wandering in fields after a family tiff, he got tired and slept off near some leaves. On getting up he had those leaves and felt rejunuvated. After this incident it seems Lord Shiva made cannabis his favourite food.

                In the middle ages soldiers drank Bhang prepared from cannabis before going for battle. Bhang is prepared by mixing Nuts, Spices, Sugar, and Cannabis and is boiled in milk or yogurt. This preparation can also be rolled and eaten as small balls. Other preparations are ganja and charas. Cannabis is used in several parts of the country for religious purposes.



                The bad effect of these drugs is well known and has been publicised in the media very well. So I am not gonna go into details of drug abuse in general population but restrict myself to specific effects of these drugs in Diabetes.

Illicit drug use is extremely common amongst young people including many with type 1 or type 2 Diabetes. Cocaine, heroin and ecstasy appear to most severely affect glycemic control and the number of emergency hospital admissions and long-term complications. In addition, clinic attendance is much worse in illicit drug users. Some studies suggest that the onset of diabetes may be hastened by regular use but further research is needed. Questioning patients with diabetes regarding illicit drug use and adopting a non-judgemental approach would seem to be appropriate.



Smokers have 3 times more risk of developing Diabetes compared to general population

Drug addicts develop diabetes earlier compared to general population

Risk of developing diabetes is more when drug abuse is combined with alcohol abuse (>15 alcohol beverages per week)

Risk is more when bad habits are combined with Obesity and family history of Diabetes

Drug abusers have poor glycemic control, tend to ignore their treatment regimens, have erratic lifestyle and do not attend reviews regularly. Final effect is they have high HbA1c.


COCAINE – Acts as CNS stimulant. It also acts on adrenal medulla to release hormones which in abnormal amounts can lead to disastrous effects. These hormones increase blood glucose levels by altering carbohydrate metabolism, they inhibit insulin secretion.  Final effect – increased glucose production and decreased glucose clearance.

HEROIN – acts on opoid receptors in the body. Heroin stimulates both insulin & glucagon. There is defective pancreatic beta cell response to glucose stimulation.

ECSTASY – used most commonly as recreation drug. Diabetics using this drug are at risk of developing ketoacidosis and hyponatremia.

OTHER DRUGS – there have been some reports of associated serious hypoglycaemia.


                The data regarding drug abuse in India is minimal. I have not come across any statistics which deals with drug abuse in diabetics in India. But that doesn’t mean no diabetic in India is addicted to drugs. We do not bother to go into relevant details and ask leading questions regarding drug abuse. Reason may be due to social stigma or maybe fear of losing the patient. Well in this article I have put in some facts of drugs and also their effects in diabetes. I hope there will be population based studies to give attention to this problem in the future.

06 November, 2012


Hi all

I was debating in my mind for the past few days if this post is necessary . Finally i decided!! It is my duty to convey my thanks to the website and people behind it. This website has given my blog some meaning.

                I completed my UG in 2005 and joined a tertiary care centre in the department of General Surgery. I had an opportunity to treat various kinds of Diabetic wounds. This continued for nearly 3 years. In this period i was able to understand the basic problem responsible for the wounds- its none other than the patient himself! With life long medication, meaningless restrictions, lack of understanding of the disease and lack of proper counselling all contribute to Diabetic wounds and also other complications of Diabetes. What little can i do to stop it? Only option that came to my mind was that i need to specialize in Diabetes treatment so that i can do something more on the preventive aspects.

                I was lucky enough to get placement in one of chennai’s best diabetology hospitals.  While working in this esteemed institution i completed my Post Graduation in Diabetes. Now i had the knowledge & experience to treat Diabetes but i wanted to cover a much larger segment of the society. How do i do it?

Run camps?

Conduct CME?

Mail everybody?

Keep talking to patient and his family?

These are good but not practically effective so i wanted to harness the power of internet. Wanted more people to listen and read about diabetes, have better understanding... result of this small desire – www.riyazsheena.blogspot.com i started posting like crazy. Few people visited my site.. only Few people!! Hey that was not the idea... this number of people i could have covered in my clinic... why waste time on internet....slowly my frequency of posts dropped.... this lead to lesser number of people peeping into my blog.. page clicks dropped to single digits!!

Nobody is interested in Diabetes!

Nobody knows my blog!

Nobody knows i exist!

At this point of time when i was nearly about to stop posting in my blog my dear friend Dr.Roshan Radhakrishnan who is a avid blogger himself introduced me to www.indiblogger.in from the time i entered this wonderful website everything was easy

Creating an i.d – easy

Attaching my blog – easy

Popularising my posts – easy

Getting people to read my blog – easy

Now my page clicks have increased. More people are visiting my blog. Many people are reading and commenting on my posts.. so.... the purpose of creating this blog is complete!

Thanks Indiblogger!!