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Diet advice for diabetes must change

I'm writing regarding your story about dietary advice in diabetes ('Low-carbohydrate diets better for diabetes').

We used to send all patients newly diagnosed with diabetes to be seen by an endocrinologist in hospital.

I have large numbers of patients from Sri Lanka and south India who are mainly rice eaters, and I have always discouraged those with diabetes from eating high-carbohydrate diets. By the time they saw the specialist their control of diabetes was good. But what tended to happen was the endocrinologist would refer the patients to a dietician, who advised them to eat large amounts of carbohydrate, as that was supposed to be good for diabetes.

If a monkey wearing a white coat in a hospital gave advice, I suspect many patients would consider it to be more authoritative than that of a GP!

I used to have arguments with dieticians about their advice. They followed what they were taught. It was only after the arrival of blood glucose meters that my life became easier as patients could see the result of eating a mound of rice.

I hope the dieticians and endocrinologists are now changing their advice to patients.

From Dr V Chandran, Brent, north London

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