Diabetes is becoming a serious health issue among Malaysians. This was the topic of the public forum organised by the Perak Community Specialist Hospital, and held at the auditorium, on Saturday, July 1. It was aptly titled, ‘Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment.’
The subject was presented by the hospital’s consultant physician and endocrinologist, Dr G.R. Letchuman. The response was rather good with over a hundred people taking part.
Many diabetes sufferers, according to the consultant, did not know how to control their sugar level through what they consumed.
“When they did their check-ups, they were shocked to find that their blood sugar level was high. They told me that they didn’t eat rice but just bread.
“They didn’t know that food containing carbohydrates can spike blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates can be found in different kinds of food, including grains and breads,” he said, adding that this was a common problem among sufferers.
He advised sufferers that giving up carbohydrates completely was not advisable, healthy, or even necessary.
“What matters is that you’re aware of your carbohydrate intake and make better food choices. They can do with slow carbohydrates like brown rice and brown bread or take the right portion of carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins in each of their meals.
“Creating a food plan, making smart nutritional choices, and watching carbohydrate intake are recommended for people with both types of diabetes too,” he said.
As for treatment, Letchuman said that it varies with the type of diabetes.
Type 1 is managed with insulin as well as dietary changes and exercise, while Type 2 is better managed with non-insulin medications, insulin, weight reduction or dietary changes.
The forum concluded with a talk on diet management for diabetes sufferers by dietician, Rafidah Abdul Rashid. The participants later attended a free medical check-up session courtesy of the hospital.