April 23, 2010
Dr. Ramsetty: Tell your doctor the truth

Diabetic patients are being encouraged to be honest with their doctor.

“Don’t lie and say ‘yes doctor I am taking the Metformin’, while at home you never touched the Metformin and all you have is this bush,” says Dr. Anita Ramsetty, a diabetes specialist who practices in the United States.{{more}}

Unless a patient comes clean with the doctor, the physician will never truly know what’s going on with them, Ramsetty warned.

“Just tell them. Otherwise they never really know what’s going on and the treatment cannot be fixed,” said Ramsetty.

Unlike some of her colleagues, Ramsetty told SEARCHLIGHT she has no problem with bush medicine under a couple of conditions.

“The first condition is that it doesn’t hurt you. I think a lot of people assume that just because it is bush, it can’t do anything bad and that’s not correct,” said Ramsetty.

She warned that people sometimes get kidney and liver problems from bush medicines.

“As long as people understand if you are using it for a disease, it’s still a medicine, even if the pharmacy did not package it and put it in a bottle for you. It’s still a medicine so have a healty respect for it and understand it’s supposed to help you, but it may do the opposite,” said Ramsetty.

“The biggest thing that I tell people is, if bush medicine helps you: bless you, go ahead and take it as long as it doesn’t hurt you,” Ramsetty stated.

She explained that her main goal as the physician is to get to the end point, which is to ensure the patient stays healty and keeps their blood sugar down.

Ramsetty believes that patient compliance is another major challenge in the fight against diabetes.

“People either don’t understand why they have to take the medicine or they don’t want to take the medicine. And that’s the biggest road block,” she explained.

She said differences that doctors hold on the disease also contribute to the problem, as well as costs of the medications.

“We are very lucky to have a system that takes care of a lot of the cost, but some is left over and even that little bit can be too much,” she added.

Ramsetty shares the view that there are many similarities in diabetes across countries.

“It affects people of different ages. It doesn’t care how much money you have. It doesn’t care how much education you have. Everyone can be affected and that I have seen already,” she said.

She noted that the problem of treating diabetes is the same from country to country.

“I would really like to encourage people to get to understand what it really means to have the disease and what it means to treat it,” Ramsetty explained.

She declared that it is a disease that depends a lot on the patient doing all the correct things.

“The doctor can only do so much, and after you leave the office it’s all on you as a patient,” she stated.

Ramsetty expressed that she is impressed with the knowledge that diabetic patients in St.Vincent and the Grenadines have about the disease and the general level of awareness.

“I am happy to see that the awareness has improved so much. I am actually really impressed that a lot of the patients we’ve seen have really good basic information, a lot better than some of the patients that I’ve seen in the US who have no understanding of what their diabetes is doing,” said Ramsetty. (HN)