Diabetes: All you need to know and more #Part1

What are the different types of diabetes and what do I need to know about it? Fret no more! In this two part series, this first instalment answers all your queries on diabetes below.

Diabetes: All you need to know and more #Part1

1. Could you explain the differences between Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes? 
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose due to impaired or absent insulin secretion or action. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, an organ behind the stomach and is essential for triggering cells to take in sugar from the blood as fuel to produce energy. A malfunction of this process leaves cells without energy and too high blood sugar, which can cause macro and micro vascular issues together with organ damage.
There are 2 main types that account for nearly all DM patients. Type 1 DM affects roughly 5-10% of patients and is a result of the body irreversibly destroying its own insulin producing cells. People with Type 1 DM usually develop rapidly progressing symptoms at a very young age and must use daily insulin injections to control their blood sugar.  Strategies for Type 1 DM prevention are still being researched, but there are ways to control and prevent the condition from lapsing into total insulin dependence by using immunosuppressants if detected early enough.
Type 2 DM affects 90-95% of patients and in contrast, develops as a result of the body’s cells developing insulin resistance or insufficient insulin secretion by the pancreas. As such, it occurs more gradually and generally affects older patients due to decline in cellular function as a result of ageing. In mild cases, oral insulin sensitising medicines or drugs that trigger additional secretion of insulin may be used instead of insulin injections. Interestingly, research has shown that exercise, weight management and diet control may also help stimulate the body to regain its blood glucose control. Thus physicians usually prescribe a combination of drug and lifestyle changing therapies for this group of DM patients.
Other types of DM are much less common and may occur as a result of other diseases or conditions. For example, gestational diabetes may develop due to hormone imbalance during pregnancy. Also, long-term use of certain medications, like steroids, may induce a resistance to insulin too.
2. Why is it important to watch your diabetes risk, even if you’re slim? 
Symptoms of diabetes may not be immediately apparent to many sufferers and furthermore, the general profile of people with the more dangerous absolute insulin dependency in Type 1 DM is slim individuals.
Generally, high blood sugar in DM may have no symptoms at all. However, some patients may notice as unusual or frequent thirst, hunger and urination. Tiredness, blurry vision and weight loss can also occur. In chronic cases, it can lead to loss of sensation or tingling sensations in the extremities, slow wound healing, itchy skin and poor sexual function.
Type 1 DM patients are at high risk for a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) due to their complete lack of insulin production. DKA occurs when the body switches to burning fat for energy too rapidly, causing the acidic by-products (called ketones) to build-up in the blood. Ketones poison the body and may trigger a heart attack, kidney failure or swelling of the brain.
3. What are the factors that can raise your risk of diabetes, even if you’re of a healthy weight range?
Type 1 DM risk is mainly genetic, although some studies are being conducted to observe if certain viral exposure during pregnancy or infancy is causal factors.
Type 2 DM has many risk factors.
The family history of DM and being an Asian/Hispanic or African American woman might confer a higher risk of developing the disease in one’s lifetime. Obesity and regular consumption of sugary beverages are also a well-studied risk factor. A high body-mass index (BMI) of above 35kg/m2 contributes to up to twice the risk of developing DM as compared to a person with BMI <22kg/m2. Furthermore, abdominal obesity, more common in males, is associated with groups of patients that develop the highest insulin resistance.
Smoking impairs insulin sensitivity, and this may affect individuals exposed to regular second-hand smoke too. Stopping the habit can reverse the risk, with benefits seen within 5 years and a comparable risk to non-smokers only 20 years after cessation.
Sleep duration and quality can affect DM risk too, with lesser than 6 hours or more than 10 hours per day attributing to higher risk. Furthermore, difficulty in falling asleep and frequently waking up mid-sleep are clinical risk factors too.
4. Could you share 5 bad eating habits to avoid, to help lower your risk of diabetes?
1) Avoidance of high sugar beverages
Sugared drinks cause high blood sugar spikes, associated with the development of insulin resistance and obesity. These include soft drinks, beverages with lots of sweetened condensed milk and even some seemingly healthy fruit juices. Switch to alternative drinks like unsweetened or mildly sweetened teas, barley or water.
2) Avoid supper
Bedtime snacking can cause obesity and affect sleep quality. Unutilized energy from the food acts as a stimulant and the excess energy will slowly be converted to fats as energy storage for the body. Drinking water, chewing a sugar-free gum or going to bed early can help quell the bedtime urge for food as an alternative.
3) Avoid buffets
Heavy meals stress the body’s ability to produce sufficient insulin. Furthermore, gross overconsumption of food to meet your money’s worth may lead to unwanted obesity, a risk factor for DM. Do limit food intake and have adequate exercise to maintain a healthy BMI.
4) Avoid napping after a meal
Same as eating before bedtime, unutilized energy from the meal will lead to health repercussions, including DM. Walking around after a meal or helping with clearing the dishes can aid in digestion and lessen the impact of food-induced narcolepsy
5) Avoid snacking
Snacking at a movie or in front of a video game can lead to pointless loading of carbohydrates, some of which are sugar-rich foods that can mess up insulin control. Substitute by using carrot or cucumber sticks if you must or avoid the habit altogether.
5. In May 2016, HPB targeted white rice in its campaign against diabetes, due to its high glycemic index. Could you explain what is the glycaemia index and why it matters?
Besides taking into account the quantity of food that may increase blood glucose, another factor that can affect control is the Glycemic Index (GI) of the food. GI is a relative scale to glucose on which carbohydrates are ranked by how fast they increase blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods that are easily digested and quickly absorbed have higher GI levels than foods that are slow to process in the body. Thus, even small quantities of maltose sugar, which has a GI of 105 may spike blood sugar levels more sharply than a larger serving of fructose sugar (GI of 25) for example.
HPB recommends changing white rice (GI of 64) for brown rice (GI of 55) to lessen the impact of post-meal blood glucose spikes. Post-meal spikes may complicate adequate insulin control in both DM and healthy individuals. This usually results in a high energy state after a meal, but quickly switches to fatigue and hunger again shortly after, thus causing obesity and possibly causing cardiovascular complications in DM patients from the blood glucose spikes. 6. What other lifestyle changes would you suggest, lower the risk of diabetes?
6. What other lifestyle changes would you suggest, lower the risk of diabetes?
Type 2 DM can be largely avoided by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Increased physical activity and weight control are related to a low developmental risk of DM. Several lifestyle modifications are associated with lower DM risk and also better control of blood glucose in people with the disease. The HPB recommends at least 150 minutes of regular moderate activity a week (e.g. brisk walking, swimming or cycling) coupled with the aim of achieving an ideal BMI of between 18.5kg/m2 and 23.5kg/m2. A healthy weight should help in the prevention of DM and associated metabolic diseases.
Mediterranean diets or one consisting of high consumption of low GI foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grains, beans, nuts or seeds may help prevent an onset of DM.
Some studies on chromium supplements did indicate better glucose control, but mainly with those with already elevated blood glucose levels.
Additionally, sources have indicated vitamin D, selenium, bitter melon or iron intake helping with blood glucose levels but are not well-studied enough to be conclusive.
To read the original article by Guardian, click here. Interested to explore the services that Guardian/MyDoc provide? Get started now.
To keep reading more on diabetes, we have more articles coming! Watch this space for more.

Measure your blood pressure, save your heart

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure that moves the blood and is directly linked to heart health.

Measure your blood pressure, save your heart
Read on to find out what you will definitely need to know about blood pressure, and do remember to take them to heart.
Qn1: Why does the blood pressure tend to increase as we grow older?
Ans: As we age, our blood vessels age too, hence our pressure has a higher tendency of increasing.
When our blood vessels age, cholesterol adheres to the vessels and they lose their elasticity. This is further worsened by being overweight and not exercising sufficiently.
When pressure is high, it accelerates the hardening of the arteries (i.e. arteriosclerosis) and this increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Your pressure fluctuates constantly throughout the day. Monitoring your pressure daily may save your life!
Qn2: Why does my blood pressure differ every time I measure it? 
Ans: The blood pressure fluctuates with the contraction of the heart. And as the blood pressure is always fluctuating, it is difficult to get an accurate blood pressure reading from just one measurement.
To ensure you get a more accurate measurement, try measuring two to three times consecutively. The first measurement will be higher due to tension or the preparation process of measuring.
When you measure again, you will be more relaxed and your pressure reading will be about 5 to 10 mmHg lower. This tendency is observed more strongly in individuals with hypertension.
Consecutive measurements may cause your arm to be congested with stagnant blood, resulting in an inaccurate reading. It is hence important to clear the congestion before measuring your blood pressure again.
To clear the congestion, follow these steps:
  • Raise your arm and hand high, with the arm cuff on
  • Open and close your palm repeatedly for 15 times
Note: An arm cuff that is wrapped incorrectly or is loose will also result in an inaccurate measurement of your blood pressure.
Qn3: When is the best time to measure my blood pressure? 
Ans: You should always measure your blood pressure at the same time of the day, such as after getting up in the morning or when you feel physically and mentally stable.
It is recommended that you measure at least once in the morning after waking up and once in the evening before going to bed.
To read the original article by Guardian, click here. Interested to explore the services that Guardian/MyDoc provide? Get started now. Alternatively, watch this space for more of such articles that matter.

Breast Cancer Awarness Month – October 2017

Breast cancer is the number one cancer amongst women in Singapore. Unfortunately only 2 out of 5 women are up to date with their mammogram screening.

This October, Singapore celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness month with a host of related events, workshops and educational activities brought to you by the Singapore Cancer Society. The activities start from 30 September onwards and will carry on throughout the month of October.
Highlights of the events include:
  • Launch events across Singapore
  • Month-long mammogram screening activity
  • BCF Pink Ribbon walk
What Is Breast Cancer?
A woman’s breast is fully developed when she is in her twenties. The female breast is made up of milk glands and ducts and is surrounded by a layer of fat. Each female breast contains about 12 to 15 milk glands. Milk is produced in the milk glands and collects in small ducts. These join together to form larger ducts, which eventually drain via the nipples.
During a woman’s reproductive period (approximately between 20 and 40 years old), the breast is affected by female hormones, whose levels vary with the menstrual cycle. This can cause the breast to become tender, hard, or lumpy, especially during the premenstrual phase. When a woman enters her thirties, the milk glands and ducts in her breast become smaller and are replaced by fibrous and fatty tissue. Breast cancer commonly develops within these milk ducts and glands.
To find out more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017, download the pink card here. You can also visit the Singapore Cancer Society website for more information. This article is part of an ongoing partnership with the Singapore Cancer Society to help spread awareness about the amazing work they are doing in Singapore and help improve the health and well-being of the community.
For more health articles by MyDoc and our partners, you can visit.

Healthtech start-up MyDoc raises USD5.2 Million

Singapore, 21 September 2017 – MyDoc, a Singapore-based regional healthtech start-up, has raised US$5.2 million in a Series A funding round. The investment was led by UST Global, a California-headquartered leading digital technology services company. Other investors include cross-border early stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners.

Healthtech start-up MyDoc raises USD5.2 Million

  • Led by US-based UST Global; Wavemaker Partners also participating
  • Funding will develop MyDoc@Work, a fully-automated corporate healthcare platform, and to develop health insurtech solutions as well as to enter new markets
MyDoc provides companies with an easy-to-use digital health platform that integrates key aspects of healthcare – connecting patients, healthcare professionals, corporates, pharmacies, health data and insurers. Current clients include Asia’s largest insurers such as AIA, AXA and Aetna and other partners including the Health Promotion Board (HPB), Guardian Pharmacy, as well as individual general practitioner clinics and laboratories.

Dr. Snehal Patel, CEO and Co-Founder of MyDoc, said: “We see increasing corporate and insurer demand for enterprise digital health solutions like MyDoc. This funding is a strong boost for us to meet this demand by expanding our services throughout Asia and enter new markets. Our Series A funding round reflects the confidence our investors have in MyDoc’s business model and services, as well as the potential of the industry.
“Having strong strategic and financial investors in our Series A funding round will help us to scale our healthtech business. UST Global, with their international reach, blue-chip customers and advanced technology stack complements our market and product focus incredibly well. Our investors each offer unique and essential skills which we look forward to leveraging on as we embark on a new phase in our business.”
Redefining Corporate Healthcare Management
This Series A round will fund the development of MyDoc@Work, a digital healthcare platform which provides corporate employees a wide range of health services – video consultation with doctors, online prescriptions, online medical certificates (MyMC), on-site health screenings and a private care network. The private care network provides access to dental, physiotherapy, eye health, and fitness and other services.
Through MyDoc@Work, corporations benefit from significant cost and operational efficiencies, through reduced administrative processes to manage medical certificates, insurance claims, decreased employee absenteeism (due to ill health) and minimised upfront employee healthcare costs.
“As doctors, Dr. Vas (co-founder) and I appreciate the delicateness of a doctor-patient relationship. We have built MyDoc as a provider-friendly platform that develops and maintains that relationship, supported by technology. I strongly believe that long-term health programmes that are measurable and offer easy access to care are crucial to building a healthy work environment. With MyDoc@Work, we’re building a simple, validated, but powerful corporate health tool that not only promotes, but creates action towards building a healthier company. MyDoc@Work allows corporate employees to enjoy the convenience of consulting a doctor remotely – saving time on traveling to the clinic as well as queuing to see the doctor and collecting medication – and overall better health as they are more likely to follow up with necessary treatments,” added Dr. Snehal.
 
 Focus on Insurtech Solutions
A second investment priority is the continued development of health-focused insurtech solutions based on MyDoc’s proprietary technology. With the largest network of private insurers already secured, the focus is shifting towards improving and expanding services to benefit both policyholders and payors.
Part of the Series A funds will be used to continue development of insurance-focused solutions that enable further automation of the health insurance process. This work will include tools that allow comprehensive data analysis to enhance the delivery of personalised care.
The partnership with UST Global allows MyDoc to tap into the company’s technological capabilities and expertise, as well as grow the business through UST Global’s distribution channels and government partnerships.
Commenting on the investment, Krishna Sudheendra, CFO of UST Global, said: “We are quite excited with this partnership. UST, with its global presence, vast customer base and domain expertise in the healthcare space, will be an ideal partner for MyDoc, to expand MyDoc’s reach to global Fortune 500 customers and governments across Asia.”
For more about MyDoc@Work, please visit:  https://www.my-doc.com/mydocwork/
–    ENDS    –
Media Contacts – Litmus PR for MyDoc:
Vanishaa Doshi

+65 9754 6787
Charu Srivastava

+65 9181 0614
UST Global Media Contact:
Manoj M Mani

+91 9632000553
Media Relations

About MyDoc
MyDoc Pte Ltd is Asia’s leading digital health platform that provides easy access to high quality health services. MyDoc solves critical industry challenges and reduces cost of healthcare, while improving patient access to quality care through the MyDoc mobile and web service. MyDoc began 2012 as a doctor consultation and provider efficiency tool, but has expanded its core product offerings to include advanced data analytics, corporate digital health services, health insurtech and access to the broadest network of health professionals in Asia.
MyDoc is focused on pioneering simple and powerful digital health tools to promote a health-conscious population in Asia. As a commitment to the focus, MyDoc partners with Guardian Pharmacy to provide a free community digital health service to the entire Singapore. MyDoc currently offers services in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. For more information, please visit: https://www.my-doc.com
About UST Global
UST Global® is a fast-growing digital technology company that provides advanced computing and digital services to large private and public enterprises around the world. Driven by a larger purpose of Transforming Lives and the philosophy of “fewer clients, more attention”, we bring in the entrepreneurial spirit that seeks the fastest path to value in today’s digital economy. Our innovative technology services and pioneering social programs make us stand apart. UST Global is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California and operates in 21 countries. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies in Banking and Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Retail, High Technology, Manufacturing, Shipping, and Telecom. UST Global believes in building long-lasting, strategic business relationships through agile and client-centric global engagement models that combines local experts & resources with cost, scale, and quality advantages of global operations.
For more information, please visit: www.ust-global.com

Common Questions On Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure that moves the blood and is directly linked to heart health.

Read on to find out what you will definitely need to know about blood pressure, and do remember to take them to heart.

Common Questions On Blood Pressure

Qn 1: Why does the blood pressure tend to increase as we grow older?

Ans: As we age, our blood vessels age too, hence our blood pressure has a higher tendency of increasing.
When our blood vessels age, cholesterol adheres to the vessels and they lose their elasticity. This is further worsened by being overweight and not exercising sufficiently.
When blood pressure is high, it accelerates the hardening of the arteries (i.e. arteriosclerosis) and this increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Your blood pressure fluctuates constantly throughout the day. Monitoring your blood pressure daily may save your life!

Qn 2: Why does my blood pressure differ every time I measure it?

Ans: The blood pressure fluctuates with the contraction of the heart. And as the blood pressure is always fluctuating, it is difficult to get an accurate blood pressure reading from just one measurement.
To ensure you get a more accurate measurement, try measuring two to three times consecutively. The first measurement will be higher due to tension or the preparation process of measuring.
When you measure again, you will be more relaxed and your blood pressure reading will be about 5 to 10 mmHg lower. This tendency is observed more strongly in individuals with hypertension.
Consecutive measurements may cause your arm to be congested with stagnant blood, resulting in an inaccurate reading. It is hence important to clear the congestion before measuring your blood pressure again.
To clear the congestion, follow these steps:
  • Raise your arm and hand high, with the arm cuff on
  • Open and close your palm repeatedly for 15 times
Note: An arm cuff that is wrapped incorrectly or is loose will also result in an inaccurate measurement of your blood pressure.

Qns 3: When is the best time to measure my blood pressure?

Ans: You should always measure your blood pressure at the same time of the day, such as after getting up in the morning or when you feel physically and mentally stable.
It is recommended that you measure at least once in the morning after waking up and once in the evening before going to bed.
To read the original article by Guardian, click here. Interested to explore the services that Guardian/MyDoc provide? Get started now. Alternatively, watch this space for more of such articles that matter.