Discipline key in managing diabetes - pharmacist

Discipline key in managing diabetes - pharmacist
Miss Grace Chew, a pharmacist at Guardian, answering a customer’s healthcare queries.
PHOTO: Guardian

As part of Singapore's efforts to combat diabetes, Guardian has started a free Diabetic Patient Care Programme.

Miss Grace Chew, 33, a pharmacist at Guardian speaks to The New Paper about the disease.

What is diabetes and what causes it?

Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar level in your body is higher than normal.

There are several types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common and comes when the body does not produce enough insulin - responsible for controlling blood sugar levels - in the body.

What are symptoms or warning signs of diabetes?

Due to their having a high blood sugar level, diabetics may experience frequent urination, frequent thirst and/or frequent hunger.

What do you do as a pharmacist and how do you help diabetics?

We give lifestyle and health advice and explain to them how the medicines work. We explain the mechanics in the body and how the medicine helps and its possible side effects. All purchases require a prescription by a doctor.

What are some side effects in diabetes medication?

Sulfonylureas, a common diabetes medication, helps the pancreas make more insulin. But side effects may include weight gain or upset stomach.

In this case, we would ask the patient to monitor and see whether they need to change their medication.

How can Singaporeans better manage diabetes?

Diet plays an important role in people linked with diabetes.

Carbohydrates, which provide the body with glucose, fall into three main categories - starch, sugar and fibre.

Our Asian diet tends to include a lot of starchy food like rice and noodles. So you'll need to balance your diet.

If you like rice, for example, cut down on your sugar intake.

Focus also on healthier sources of carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruit and beans.

What is the main obstacle diabetics have to overcome?

The most important thing is to have discipline in lifestyle and dietary habits, especially during the festive season when people tend to overeat.

leeganjp@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 16, 2017.
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