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Diabetes Management for Filipinos

One for every 25 Filipino adult is diabetic. Diabetes is a disease that many Filipinos suffer but is not given much attention. The rise of diabetes among Filipinos can be attributed to our food culture and lack of sense of urgency on the issue. For the former, rice is the staple food in the Philippines and eating pork has been part of our diet. Secondly, with the advent of many different processed foods from sodas, imported canned goods, chocolates and fast food, Filipinos have found a new way to indulge themselves to food. For the latter, most Filipino diabetics are not alarmed of the disease. Many Filipinos simply consider diabetes as a problem that goes with age.

How do Filipinos manage diabetes? Filipinos from the middle to upper income levels take diabetes seriously. These are the group of people who usually follow the diabetic management prescription of doctors religiously such as maintaining a healthy balance diet and engaging in exercise. For the rest of the Filipinos with diabetes, diabetes is just treated as part of getting old and the restrictions in food intake are all part of trying to be healthy because of deteriorating health due to age.

While only a few Filipinos are able to strictly follow diabetic management plan from nutritional intake to regular exercise, the most common approach to diabetes management for Filipinos is going herbal. It is common for Filipinos to resort to herbal solutions in managing diabetes as they continue to go on with their unhealthy lifestyle. Many adult diabetic Filipinos continue their indulgence to food, liquor and other vices. They only start stopping after they feel something wrong. In which case, they usually eat popular herbal food supplement such as ampalaya salad. They also avoid sweets like pastries and delicacies such as rice cakes and other exotic food.

There is a common conception among Filipinos that proper diabetes management is only for the rich because the doctors are usually expensive. Filipinos typically approach diabetes management on their own by simply avoiding sweets and fatty foods and eating herbs.

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