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With diabetes cases rising in Singapore, knowing how to prevent and manage this disease is key.
Back in 2016, former Health Minister Mr. Gan Kim Yong revealed that over 400,000 people in Singapore have diabetes. It is projected that the number of diabetic patients in Singapore will reach 600,000 people by 2030. Shockingly, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has also estimated that about one-third of diabetic patients are not aware that they have it whereas one-third of those who are aware has poor control of the disease. As the saying goes, “Knowing is half the battle won”, it is crucial to learn ways to prevent diabetes and be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of diabetes so that actions can be taken to prevent the worsening and to manage the disease as soon as possible.
Diabetes is a condition characterised by high blood glucose level (commonly known as high sugar level). Glucose is the main source of energy for our body to function. It is transported through the bloodstream to other parts of the body to be utilised. We can either get glucose from diet or it can also be produced by liver. To utilise glucose, pancreas, an organ that produces a hormone namely insulin which acts like a “key” allowing glucose to enter body cells. Diabetes happens when our body either doesn’t make enough insulin (insulin-dependent) or does not response to the insulin produced (insulin-resistant). Hence, glucose level builds up in the bloodstream as they cannot enter the cells to be utilised.
A genetic disorder that often shows up during young age, caused by the body’s autoimmune reaction that attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas leading to little or no insulin produced. Type 1 diabetes patients will need to inject insulin daily to survive. Currently, there is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time, usually diagnosed in adults but it is getting more common in younger population. With type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin well to keep blood glucose at normal level due to body’s poor response to insulin (insulin resistance). This can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being physically active.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. This puts the baby at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes and other health problems such as childhood/teenage obesity. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after baby is born but it increases the mother’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to severe health complications, namely but not limited to increased risk of heart and kidney diseases, as well as nerve damage especially at foot area and the eyes. In extreme cases, nerve damage might lead to amputation and vision loss.
On the brighter side, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can be prevented and managed by implementing healthy lifestyle habits.
Some natural herbs and food can help to prevent and manage diabetes. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) are usually served as adjuvants to improve diabetic syndromes in combination of routine antidiabetic medicines. However, it is advisable to consult the primary physician who is managing the condition as well as TCM practitioner before taking any TCM.
Black Garlic has been known to help regulate blood sugar level thus helping to stave off the onset of diabetes as well as reducing diabetic symptoms. It is high in antioxidants and may prevent further health complications associated with diabetes. Likewise, Goji Berries may be helpful in controlling the release of sugar in the blood. There are research saying Goji Berries helps to balance insulin and glucose level in the body. Eu Yan Sang Glucose Care Capsules is specially formulated with western and traditional ingredients to support healthy blood sugar level.
Regular exercise and an active lifestyle can go a long way in both the prevention and management of diabetes. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends individual to have an active lifestyle and perform at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise weekly to achieve significant health benefits. You can spread out the exercise sessions across the week.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for diabetes and other chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke. In an obese individual, the body produces more hormones or proinflammatory substances that are involved in the development of insulin resistance. Hence, weight management is crucial in preventing and battling diabetes.
Type 2 and gestational diabetes can be prevented and mitigated with healthy eating habits. Increasing your daily fibre intake helps control blood sugar level and promotes weight loss. HPB recommends the daily fibre intake to be 20g for women and 26g for men. This equates to two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day. Whole grains are also great source of fibres to be added in your diet to meet daily dietary fibre needs.
Food rich in protein generally does not raise blood glucose sharply, however it is recommended to pick protein-rich food which are lower in fat and cholesterol (excessive intake of fat and cholesterol might contribute to higher risk of heart diseases or stroke) such as lean meat, fish, yogurt, legumes, and nuts. However, not all fats are bad. Omega-3 abundant foods like salmon, walnuts and avocados are beneficial to one’s health and are safe for consumption if taken in moderation.
Glycemic index (GI) measures how a carbohydrates-containing food raises blood glucose after consumption. High GI food raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI. Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread and other highly processed food are usually high in GI and cause blood glucose to spike shortly after intake. Low GI food includes brown rice, whole grain breads and cereals (e.g. whole wheat bread, rye bread, oats, and all-bran cereal), all non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes), most fruits, and many dried beans and legumes (e.g. kidney beans and lentils).
Prevention is better than cure. For individuals with borderline blood glucose level, the first intervention by doctors is usually lifestyle changes such as diet modification and exercise. For individuals already diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have good glucose control by maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, monitor blood glucose regularly and be compliant to prescribed medications. TCM can be considered and to be taken adjunctively with prescribed medications to help bring down glucose level naturally.
Eu Yan Sang is dedicated to sourcing high-quality ingredients that maximise the benefits of herbal remedies we provide – providing consumers the most effective and nourishing products for good health.
Eu Yan Sang’s Black Garlic Capsules
Whether you are looking to manage your diabetes or are simply seeking to maintain good health, Eu Yan Sang’s Black Garlic Capsules brings you all the benefits in a simple, convenient form. Clinically proven to maintain healthy blood sugar levels while supporting cardiovascular health and reducing the effects of aging.
Eu Yan Sang Black Garlic Capsules utilises only the finest Amori Garlic from Japan. It is carefully fermented and contains 13 times more polyphenol and 8 times more natural S-allyl Cysteine (SAC) content than native garlic, these ingredients are antioxidants beneficial to one’s health. It is the highest strength available in the market. One capsule is equivalent to 5 cloves of black garlic and is easily absorbed by the body.
Eu Yan Sang’s Barbary Wolfberry Fruit
Do you suffer from blurred vision, insufficient vitality, or diabetes? Barbary wolfberries, or goji berries, are known to help nourish the Yin, enrich blood, boost vitality, and improve visual acuity on top of regulating blood glucose level. Eu Yan Sang’s Barbary Wolfberry Fruit also contains vitamins B, B2, C and Betaine to support good health.
Eu Yan Sang Glucose Care Capsules
Specially formulated with natural ingredients like Glucevia白蜡树提取物, Gymnema Sylvestre匙羹藤叶, Radix Rehmanniae熟地and Bitter Gourd 苦瓜. Key benefits include improve sugar regulation, reduce sugar absorption, support healthy blood sugar level and reduce weight gain.
It is a health supplement recommended for those who are concerned about body weight or with concern about getting diabetes. For individuals diagnosed with diabetes, it is advisable to check with primary physician before taking. It is not a replacement for insulin or oral antidiabetic medicines, but it may help in complementing the existing treatment.
Described to taste like sweet liquorice, Chinese Wolfberry has reached superfood status.