Your Diabetes Questions Answered


question-markWill eating and drinking too much sugary stuff cause diabetes ?

Consuming too much of anything, including sugary food and drink, will likely lead to obesity, a major cause for insulin resistance.  Excessive  consumption of sugar puts the pancreas under tremendous stress to produce enough insulin to match the spikes in blood sugar levels. Over time, this may increase the risk of insulin resistance and thus, Type 2 diabetes.


There are tips online to reverse type 2 diabetes. Is this possible ?

There is currently no cure for Type 2 diabetes. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that bariatric sugery in obese patients causes diabetes to enter a phase. Although there is no cure for diabetes at this point in time, adhering to a healthy lifestyle coupled with regular check-ups and medication compliance can keep diabetes under good control and prevent complications.


Does Diabetes Really Result in Sugar In The Urine ?

In healthy people, the kidney is able to absorb all of the sugar that it filters from the blood. In patients with previously undiagnosed or poorly-controlled diabetes, the high sugar load in the filtered blood means the kidney is not able to absorb all of the sugar. As a result, large amount of sugar are passed out in the urine. Sugar in the urine increases the risk of fungal infection of the external genitalia (e.g. thrush) and urinary tract infections. It also leads to the passing of large amounts of urine and consequently, dehydration.


Why Are Some Diabetic Cases Treated by GP’s (general practitioners) while others are treated by Specialist At Hospital Outpatient Clinics ?

Answer : In most case, the condition can be managed by primary care doctors, but patients with complications from advanced diabetes or pregnant women with diabetes will require diabetes specialists to provide guidance

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Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined , and if left undetected,, untreated or poorly managed, it may lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure , blindness and amputations (Every day, on average, 20 diabetic patients underwent an amputation in the state.).

Diabetes and Obesity are main causes of end stage kidney failure. How do you protect your kidneys while being burdened by these 2 diseases ? Empowered yourself to protect you and your family Today !

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Treating Diabetes With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective way to cure diabetes without any drugs. It is also a common approach to treating diabetes in China.
It is achieved through activating definite pressure points in the body, which helps in controlling the symptoms of diabetes by managing various metabolic activities and helps in maintaining the insulin level in the body.

Type II diabetes can be effectively treated through acupuncture.
However, make sure the procedure is performed by professionals.

Mentioned below are 4 important acupressure points for treating diabetes :

Acupoint massages

Massage  each acupoint for 3 to 4 minutes, as frequently as you like. They help  to address different TCM syndromes associated with diabetes. They can be done on one or both limbs.


What it does: Regulate qi throughout the body.

Use a finger to feel for the two tendons on the wrist of the other hand.

Acupoint 1 : Neiguan

Mark out the area that is approximately one-sixth the distance from the wrist to the elbow, then identify the acupoint that lies between these two tendons.

Massage this acupoint with a finger, or pinch this point with your
thumb and index finger.

Alternatively, you can use the tip of a pen to do the massage.



What it does: Promote qi circulation in the stomach meridian to resolve bloatedness, excessive hunger and tiredness.


Identify the hollow point of the outer knee.



Place four fingers below this point.


Just below the level of your little finger,  identify the point that is about one thumb’s width from the tibia (shin bone).

You should feel a bit of soreness when you massage this point.




What it does: Eliminate blood stasis.



Identify the highest spot on the inner ankle.




Place four fingers above this point.




Identify another spot above the topmost finger and behind the tibia (shin bone).

Massage this acupoint with a finger. You should feel a bit of soreness when you press on this point.



What it does: Nourish kidneys to alleviate excessive urination, thirst and urinary incontinence.


The Tai Xi acupressure point

The Tai Xi acupressure point

Identify the hollow point between your inner ankle and edge of the tendon adjacent to it.   Massage this point.


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Traditional Chinese Medicine – Remedy For Diabetes

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) offer food remedies to help treat syndromes that can be traced to the disease




Diabetes is a growing problem here. As many as one in three Singaporeans will develop this metabolic disease by the time they reach 69.
Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin or is unable to use it properly.

Type 1 diabetes arises when the pancreas does not make insulin.
While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, one can guard against or control type 2 diabetes by modifying his /her lifestyle.

Dr Clement Ng, a volunteer TCM physician with the diabetes clinic in Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, said uncontrolled diabetes is commonly known as xiaoke (translated as emaciation-thirst).

TCM practitioners typically classify diabetes into three types: upper, middle and lower xiaoke.
The upper type is characterised by excessive thirst, the middle by excessive hunger, and the lower by excessive urination.
At some point in their illness, most people with diabetes manifest symptoms of all three types.
Dr Ng said that diabetes is linked to various factors: a diet of excess fat and sugar, which causes “heatiness” in the body; emotional disturbances, such as depression; a weak body constitution; and other environmental factors.

Five common syndromes can be traced to diabetes :


 Causes : Exposure to a hot and humid environment and excessive consumption of fried and spicy food, which causes heat to build up in the body. Taking too much cold food and drinks also weakens the spleen and results in dampness.
• Symptoms: Thirst with no desire to drink, hunger with no desire to eat, a bitter taste in the mouth, a general feeling of heaviness of the body, and a tongue with a thick, yellow and greasy coating. Patients may also have dark-coloured urine and a rapid pulse.
Food remedy: Cook 100g of celery with 250g of tofu in vegetable oil. Add some green onions, ginger and corn flour, as well as salt and sesame oil to taste.



Causes: A body constitution weak from childbirth or ageing, inadequate rest and a preference for “heaty” food.
Symptoms: A dry throat and mouth, thirst with a desire for cold beverages, constipation and frequent hunger pangs that lead to overeating. The person may perspire abnormally at night, have warm palms and feet or have little or no coating on the tongue.
Food remedy: Cook porridge with 50g of cooked rice and 100g to 150g of spinach.



Causes: This double whammy occurs in the later stages of diabetes, when unchecked “heatiness” in the body depletes both qi (vital energy) and yin (the element that cools organs).
Symptoms: Excessive thirst, fatigue, shortness of breath, a reluctance to speak, heart palpitations, insomnia, and warm sensation in palms and soles.
Food remedy: Cook soup with 20g of black fungus, 50g of lean meat and 10 wolfberries. Add ginger and onion to taste.



• Causes: A prolonged yin deficiency will lead to a yang deficiency. For instance,
a person who speaks often would deplete his yin through the loss of salivary fluids and eventually stop the physical activity of talking, which is represented by yang (the element linked to heat).
• Symptoms: Dry mouth, fear of the cold, aching back and knees, frequent night-time urination, dizziness and a tongue with a thick coating that is etched with teeth marks. The person’s heart palpitations or insomnia will be worse than those with deficiencies in qi and yin.
• Food remedy: Stir-fry 300g of enokitake mushrooms with 100g of pork. Add spring onions, salt and sesame oil as desired.  enokitake mushrooms and pork



• Causes: Untreated chronic diseases will damage the collaterals, which are branches of meridians (channels through which qi flows) in the body.
A prolonged lack of qi, yin and yang will lead to numbness and, eventually, sharp painful sensations within the body.
• Symptoms: Pain in the chest, waist or back, and diabetic complications that involve the small blood vessels, such as numbness of the feet.
The person’s tongue may appear dull and the lips may have a bluish tinge.
Heart palpitations and insomnia may occur.
• Food Remedy : Stir-fry 350g of cabbage with 30g of black fungus. The fungus has to be soaked till it is soft and cut into pieces before it is cooked.

Cabbage and black fungus

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Essential Tips To Lose Weight Healthily


Losing too much weight too quickly is not a good thing. Healthy weight loss should not exceed 0.5kg to 1 kg per week.

by Joyce Teo


The promise of quick weight loss is always attractive but the effect does not last.
Besides, losing too much weight too quickly is bad for our health.
Dr Liu Han Ping, an aesthetic doctor at Thomson Well Women Clinic, said: “For most people, the initial weight-loss target should be a 10 per cent reduction from the baseline body weight over a period of about four to six months.”
Healthy weight loss should not exceed 0.5kg to 1kg a week, he said.

“The best diet is one that is low-fat, high in complex carbohydrates and high in fibre.”
Dr Liu added: “This also includes avoiding food with a large amount of calories, such as oily food, sweetened drinks and alcohol.”
Furthermore, it is important to have an appropriate exercise plan to preserve lean body mass and increase daily energy expenditure.
This involves gradually increasing a simple aerobic regimen from 20 minutes, three times weekly, to 30 minutes, five times weekly and, finally, to 45 minutes, five times weekly, said Dr Liu.
Here are a few tips from him.



Ideal planning of meals means that you should not feel hungry most of the time.
Some ways to achieve this include snacking on low-calorie drinks, consuming fruit and raw vegetables, such as carrot sticks.
A good way to reduce our staple food intake of rice and noodles is to switch to brown rice or eat more servings of vegetables and fruit during meals.
This helps to slow down digestion and absorption, which allows you to remain full for a longer period of time.



Hydration is important in optimising the body’s metabolic rate and, hence, its energy expenditure.
The average recommended daily water intake is eight to 10 glasses of 250ml each.
But listen to your body too. If you feel thirsty because of hot weather or after an exercise session, for instance, drink more water.



Alcoholic drinks are high in calories. Biochemically, the drinks also suppress fatty acid oxidation, the process by which fatty acids are broken down by various tissues to produce energy.



In today’s fast-paced world, the most common method that people use to lose weight is to skip breakfast. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
When we do not eat breakfast, our body goes into starvation mode and tries to protect itself by conserving energy.
As a result, the body’s metabolism is not at an optimal rate. We will tend to snack before lunch or overeat during the next meal. Our moods will get affected.
All three meals of the day should not be missed.
We must listen to our body and eat a healthy meal when hunger strikes.
A successful weight-loss programme should minimise hunger and fatigue.

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Primary School Maths Quiz (just for laughs)

Have you got the right answers ?


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Don’t Let Diabetes sneak up on you

You should take your medicine today to prevent any complications that may come five or 10 years later. These are what will really hurt you, not the diagnosis of diabetes. .


Type 2 diabetes often sneaks up on a person, going undiagnosed for months or even years, until complications appear.

By the time that happens, the individual’s health would have been compromised.

Studies show that about half of patients would already have diabetes-related complications when diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise at epidemic proportions.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are eight million people with undianosed diabetes. As many as two in 10 Americans with newly diagnosed diabetes would already have signs of small blood vessel deterioration, suggesting that they have been suffering from diabetes for eight to 11 years.

Long-term diabetes could also lead to the loss of sensation or nerve damage in the peripheral areas of the body , which could then lead to numbness, pain and a loss of balance.

A study here has shown that this particular complication of diabetes, also known as peripheral Neuropathy, is associated with the greatest reduction in patients’ quality of life.

There are 4 primary types of neuropathy :

  • Peripheral neuropathy – targeting the toes, feet, legs, hands and arms. This is the most common type of neuropathy and causes pain, tingling, or numbness in these extremities.
  • Autonomic neuropathy – causing changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual organs, heart, blood pressure, lungs, and perspiration.
  • Proximal neuropathy – resulting in pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and causes weakness in the legs and loss of balance.
  • Focal neuropathy – bringing on sudden weakness of one nerve or group of nerves including: eyes, face, ears, pelvis, lower back, chest, or any other location.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are wide and varied, but may include :

  • Tingling, pain or numbness—especially in the hands, feet, toes, legs, or arms
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder, resulting in frequent urinary tract infections
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Fainting or dizziness caused by low blood pressure upon standing
  • Problems achieving or maintaining an erection

While there are 400,000 people here with diabetes, it is not known how many more have undiagnoses diabetes.

Studies have not proven the effectiveness of mass testing for diabetes in people with no symtoms.
But the risk factors for diabetes are known, including being overweight, High blood pressure and high level of blood fat, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle and ageing.

The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if you are 45 years or older and overweight, or, if you are younger but overweight, and with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes (such as family history).

There are also steps you can take to prevent diabetes, including exercising more, eating more fibre and whole grains, and losing weight.

And to get yourself tested – earlier treatment means fewer complications down the road.

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Tips On Foot Care for Diabetics

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves - Poor blood circulation to the foot may require amputation eventually.

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves – Poor blood circulation to the foot may require amputation eventually.

Long-term diabetes can result in nerve damage and poor blood circulation.
If the nerves in your feet have been damaged, you may have reduced sensation and not notice an injury to your feet.
The wound may also heal poorly because of reduced blood circulation, which may then lead to ulceration and infection. These can be very serious and ultimately lead to amputations.

Here are some tips from Ms Lynn Toh, podiatrist at the National University Hospital’s Rehabilitation Centre.

Inspecting Your Feet
Check your feet everyday, between the toes and around the heels and soles, for cuts, signs of swelling, redness, blisters, corns and calluses.
You may use a mirror to see the soles of your feet. You may need someone to help if you cannot do this yourself, for example, if your eyesight is poor or you cannot reach your feet.
You should seek medical attention if there are any wounds, swelling or redness, or if you experience pain.


Washing Your Feet
Avoid baths that are too hot. If you have reduced sensation in the feet, you may not be able to feel pain well and be unable to judge with your feet if the water is too hot.  You can prevent burns by testing the water with your elbows first.

It is common for those with diabetes to have dry skin, so look out for washing products with labels that read “soap substitute” or “soap-free”.
Soap subtitutes contain alternative ingredients to soap.   They are gentler on the skin and may prevent allergies.
They contain urea glycerol, propylene glycol or lactic acid, ingredients which help to form a protective layer over the skin to prevent water from evaporating and drying out the skin.


Nail Cutting
Trim your toenails straight across, avoid cutting the corners or cutting the nails too short.
This is to prevent accidentally cutting the flesh and to avoid the occurrence of ingrown toenails.
Use a nail file to file down any sharp edges.


Choosing Footwear
Opt for covered shoes to protect the toes and avoid wearing open-toe slippers, high heels or slip-on shoes that provide inadequate support and protection for the feet.
Your shoes should also be wide and deep enough to accommodate any deformities of the feet.
You can consider wearing shoes with laces or straps across to prevent the feet from moving in the shoes.
Ensure that the soles and heel counter of the footwear are firm enough to support the feet.
Wearing inappropriate footwear can lead to blisters, corns and calluses, which will increase the risk of wound formation.

For Further Reading :
Diabetes Alerts !!!   Even A Small Cut Can End In Amputation

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Bake A Loaf Of Bread Using Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The best olive oils are extracted by col-pressing excellent quality olives.
With no heat involved, cold-pressing helps to retain the flavour,aroma and nutritional value of the olive oils.

This is exactly how Sumich yields its olive oil using the finest olives from Australia’s premier growing regions.

Exclusive to Fairprice, Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and free of cholesterol, trans fats and preservatives.

Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil

That is why Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the perfect choice for health-conscious individuals.Plus, you get purity of flavour and all the goodness that olive oil has to offer.

Best of all is olive’s versatility  –  It is not only good in salad dressings, dips or for cooking, it also lends itself well to baking and desserts too.
Take this wonderfully moist, wholesome and easy-to-make pumpkin olive oil loaf.
Make it the night before and serve it up in the morning for a healthy, delicious breakfast.
It also makes for a great afternoon snack with a nice cup of your favourite brew.



Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time : 30 minutes
Baking time : 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients :   Pumplin Olive Oil Bread With Yogurt And Fruit
1 Cup sugar
1/2 cup Sumich Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Olive Oil
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup grated green apple
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

To Serve :
Soft fruit of your choice (like oranges, peaches, plums), sliced or diced.

1) Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a loaf tin with olive oil.
2) In a bowl, whisk oil and sugar until blended, then add the eggs and pumpkin puree. Whisk till combined.
3) Lay out two paper towels, one on top of the other, and lay the grated apple over the towels.Roll up the paper towel into a log and squeeze gently to remove excess juice from the apple.
4) Add the grated apple to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
5) In another bowl, whisk together the flours, spices, baking powder and baking soda.
6) Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir till combined. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes.
7) Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake till the loaf is very dark and a skewer inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
8) Transfer to a cooling rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out the loaf onto the rack to cool completely.
9) To serve, slice the loaf and top the slices with some yogurt and fruit.Serve immediately.

~ Annette Tan



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Diabetic Retinopathy And How It Can Affect You

What is Diabetic Retinopathy

This is the most common diabetes-related eye disease.
It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his risk of getting diabetic retinopathy. When blood sugar levels remain high for a long time, tiny blood vessels in the eyes which nourish the retina become blocked, prompting new blood vessels to grow. However, these are abnormal and fragile and, if they leak blood, the person may suffer severe vision loss and even blindness.

Food Link

Diabetics should eat healthily to control their blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as both affect the health of blood vessels, said Dr Lekha. Good control of these two factors may slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

In a study published in 2008, patients with type 2 diabetes were able to lower their risk of the eye condition by 31 per cent if they achieved just a one per cent dip in their haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test, which gives a picture of one’s overall blood sugar control over the past three months.

Meanwhile, a 10mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure slashed the occurrence of bleeding in the eye or the need for retinal laser treatment by 11 per cent.

KTPH’s senior dietitian Koh Pei Ling shares these healthy eating guidelines with diabetics:

Choose complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, over carbohydrate-laden types of food, which are high in fats, salt or simple sugars.

Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, causing a slower increase in blood sugar level.

Limit your intake of saturated fat, which may increase the level of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in the body. Examples include animal fat, cream, lard, shortening, palm oil and coconut oil.

Go for types of food high in monounsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive and canola oil, which help to control blood sugar levels.

Limit your intake of sweetened beverages.

Choose whole and fresh food over processed and canned food, which are high in sodium. If you are eating canned food, discard the sauce or rinse it with water before cooking.

Consume alcohol in moderation. Women with diabetes should drink no more than one standard drink a day, meaning two-thirds of a 220ml can of regular beer, a 100ml glass of wine or a 30ml nip of spirits. Men with diabetes should take at most two standard drinks a day.


Diabetic retinopathy can be traced to “heaty” lungs and stomach, as well as a deficiency of yin (the element responsible for cooling organs) or yang (the element linked to heat) in the kidneys, said Dr Tang Yue, a senior physician at Eu Yan Sang Premier TCM Centre at Paragon.

To keep blood sugar levels in check, eat corn stigma (long fibres at the top of an ear of corn), bittergourd, Chinese yam, poria, figwort root, rehmannia root, common anemarrhena rhizome and dwarf lilyturf tuber, advised Dr Tang.

If there is repeated bleeding in the retina, herbs such as black fungus, white fungus, eclipta and red peony root would be useful, she added.

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