Diabetes management? “Apat dapat”!

Unsure of how to manage diabetes? Just keep in mind the “apat dapat” rule.

“First, modify your lifestyle. Second, exercise or engage in physical activity regularly. Third, take your medicine and insulin as prescribed. And fourth, meet your doctor and undergo laboratory tests if needed,” Westlake Medical Center endocrinologist Dr. Andres Ebison Jr. explains.

Among the four, lifestyle modification is the most important, according to Dr. Ebison. It includes having a proper diet, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol drinking. He adds, “Patients also need to move often because they need to burn the food they eat.”


Pinggang Pinoy

While there is no perfect diet for people with diabetes, a good guide is the Department of Health’s “Pinggang Pinoy” which promotes proper food proportions. This prescribes that half portion of a 9-inch plate is filled with vegetables, 1/4 portion with meat serving, and the remaining 1/4 portion for rice or a carbohydrate source.

Diabetic patients can also have sugar-free foods or food products that won’t raise their blood sugar level. However, Dr. Ebison warns that just because something is branded as sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s okay to have it in excessive amounts.

“Consume them in moderation because some sugar-free products use sweeteners or sugar substitutes that can cause obesity and can lead to other health problems,” he says.

Meds are not enough

Medicines are important in treating diabetes, but they’re not enough. Regular monitoring of their blood sugar levels is also important. “Doctors use blood sugar levels as a basis for determining if a person has diabetes. Sugar levels also help us determine what kind of medicine to prescribe, or if we gave the patient the right medication dosage,” Dr. Ebison notes.

He added that a non-diabetic person should expect their fasting blood sugar to be less than 100 mg/dL while a diabetic patient who’s already taking medication should expect it to be 80 to 130 mg/dL. However, these targets depend on the age and health condition of a patient.


If you’re manifesting symptoms of diabetes or want to know more about the disease, you can visit Westlake Medical Center. To get expert medical advice regularly, follow Westlake Medical Center at https://www.facebook.com/WestlakeMedCenterPH/ and https://www.tiktok.com/@wmctiktok