Dance Diabetes Away with an Active Lifestyle
Text by Precious B. Llasos | Photos by Ramir G. Cambiado
To help educate Filipinos and help minimize the alarming increase in diabetes among Filipinos, FAME Inc., publisher of DiabetEASE Magazine, recently organized its Sweet Escape: Hataw Na 2017.
The annual activity advocates and promotes awareness on the risks, prevention, and management of diabetes mellitus. It was held at Starmall Activity Center, Alabang, Munitinlupa City, last August 18.
Top endocrinologists—Dr. Augusto Litonjua, acknowledged as the “Father of Philippine Endocrinology” and the founding president of the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education (PCDEF); Dr. Pepito dela Peña, current president of the Philippine Society for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; and Dr. Joy Castillo-Fontanilla, editor-in-chief of DiabetEASE magazine—spearheaded the day-long program which also featured a health-themed dance competition from several participating universities and colleges in Metro Manila to emphasize the importance of an active lifestyle in warding off diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome.
Dr. Castillo-Fontanilla, who is also the head of Center for Weight Intervention and Nutrition Services (WINS) at St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, said that every six seconds, there is one person with diabetes who dies from the disease somewhere in the world. She added that diabetes is a deadly disease which should be properly addressed in public health education campaigns to empower people to prevent it and its complications.
“All of us must eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and live a healthy lifestyle so that we can prevent the complications and onset of diabetes,” she reminded the audience.
Fructose as the immortal foe
To shed light on the causes and risk factors for diabetes, Dr. Litonjua enlightened the audience on the real culprit causing weight gain and diabetes—fructose, the sugar which is found in rich carbohydrate sources, sugary drinks and some fruits also.
“Hindi po ‘yong cholesterol ang nagiging sanhi ng pagtaas ng (It’s not cholesterol which causes elevation of) triglyceride, blood pressure at diabetes. Iyan po ay nagsisimula sa asukal na ang tawag ay fructose (It comes from the sugar called fructose),” Dr. Litonjua clarified.
Fructose is a type of sugar found in numerous foods such as soft drinks, commercial cereals, dried fruits, among others, and a known cause of insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes.
Dr. Litonjua added that it may also contribute to the development of fatty liver and the metabolic syndrome.
Promoting physical activities
Dr. dela Peña gave a lecture on the importance of exercise and maintaining physical fitness for a diabetic person and for the entire population, stressing that man was really meant to be active and not sedentary.
“Being sedentary, o ‘pag laging nakaupo (frequently sitting down), stiffens the joints, weakens the muscles, affects the circulatory system by fat accumulation; and the heart loses strength,” Dr. dela Peña warned.
He mentioned that “sitting disease” is one of the most common conditions nowadays that is difficult to tackle because it has become a normal practice for many people. So he encouraged the public to exercise regularly.
Meanwhile, event partners The Diabetes Store (TDS) and PhilHealth also talked about their individual campaigns in relation to diabetes.
Patricia Mae Recto, diabetes educator and representative of TDS, discussed the practicality of grocery shopping assistance to help guide diabetic patients with proper nutrition diet.
She recommended that diabetics plan ahead of time and bring a shopping list when going to the grocery store so that they know which foods to buy and to avoid. TDS is the country’s first one-stop grocery shop for diabetics, providing most of their nutritional needs. It offers a wide assortment of products and services that help people with diabetes check and manage their problem.
Annabelle Llanto, head of Marketing of PhilHealth Regional South, thoroughly discussed PhilHealth’s benefit packages that a patient with diabetes can avail of, particularly senior citizens.
According to Llanto, diabetic cases requiring hospitalization are on a case-rate basis which means that indigent patients don’t have to shell out a single peso. The case-rate benefit is P 15,000 and over, Llanto said.
September 2017 Health and Lifestyle