By Doc Willie Ong
Filipinos living in American are at higher risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes, according to Dr. Ben Calderon, an internal medicine doctors specializing in obesity management in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Because of the accessibility to cheaper foods in American, many Filipinos find themselves struggling with chronic diseases.
Dr Calderon suggest using 24-hour glucose monitoring for those with obesity or diabetes. A device called, Freestyle Libre, works for two weeks and gives a feedback mechanism to the patient on how high or low their blood sugar it.
The patient can set an alarm in their cellphone app, such as a high of 150 mg/dl to a low of 90 mg/dl before the alarm goes off. This alerts the person what foods causes a rise in their blood sugar. Therefore, they have an idea what they should eat and avoid.
A common misconception among diabetics is that eating fruits are healthy for their blood sugar. However, eating watermelon, grapes and other fruits can cause the blood sugar to rice. Even supposedly healthy foods like brown rice and bread can cause the blood sugar to shoot up.
According to Dr Calderon, he has weaned out many patients from insulin treatment and lowered the maintenance medicines for his patients.
When the patient’s sugar goes high, Dr Calderon advice walking or jogging a bit. A behavioral change can lead to a dramatic weight loss, up to 40 pounds in one patient. He also advices a decrease in carbohydrate intake and increase in protein and vegetable intake.
Lack of Social Support among Fil-Ams:
According to Dr. Calderon, 80% of his patients are Filipino-Americans. Many Filipino-Americans are battling with anxiety, depression and loneliness since they are left alone in the house, while other family member work. Hence, they try to cope with their stress by eating more foods.
Dr. Calderon has an advice for relatives of Fil-Ams in the Philippines. Call your relatives in the States more often. You can be their therapist. They really need human interaction because the loneliness drives many into eating unhealthy foods.
Watch the video of Dr Calderon here: