It’s this generation’s prevalent lifestyle disease. It belongs to the top ten leading causes of death in the Philippines, according to the Department of Health (DOH). The Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation says that over six million Filipinos have been diagnosed with it.
So that’s what’s tricky with this disease—it’s chronic and serious, yes, but also manageable. You may have it, or have friends who have it, even at an early age, and the thing that irks you most about it is that it’s a real party pooper. Most of the stuff you used to enjoy having—and we’re talking good food here— are now off the list.
But if you’re real smart about dealing with it (with the blessings of your doctor, of course) maybe you can enjoy once in a while. Now we can’t overstate this enough, it is important to get your doctor’s opinion whenever you feel like being a rebel with your lifestyle, but we did talk to a few people who have diabetes and asked them to share some life hacks that help them enjoy despite the disease. It’s really not that bad…
Always have your favorite cheat food on hand
“I always have my favorite cheat food with me in case na low-blood ako either in my handbag or next to me by the bed. Pero minsankahithindi low-blood, kumakain pa rin ako, he-he. One piece of chocolate couldn’t hurt, right?” - Monika, 38, Human Resources Manager
If possible, always walk to your destination if it’s near enough
“Work takes me to a lot of different places kaya syempre anyone would want to try out the cuisine there so I eat everything. Even though it’s not really a conscious effort on my part to offset the unhealthiness, I tend to walk a lot more than I usually do because I would also like to explore the place. When I walk a lot during vacations, it makes me feel better than I would when I’m stuck in front of my desk at the office even though I’m eating worse.” - Joseph, 41, travel writer
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You will be unhealthy from time to time. But remember your best friend is: exercise
“I honestly didn’t consider this a cheat till now but even though I’m diabetic, I still eat whatever I want because I burn it all away because of my active lifestyle. Though, I do adjust my insulin dosage according to the activity I’ll be doing since my doctor suggested I do so.” - Bernadette, 25, Miss Philippines Earth Eco Tourism 2013 and fitness influencer
Flush the unhealthiness away by drinking lots of water
“Whenever I eat really sweet food, I drink a gallon of water to flush it down. Nagpapapawis din ako nang sobra para lumabassiyaagad from my system. Any physical activity as long as it makes me break a sweat.” - Dian, 26, business owner
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“When I eat sugary food, I pair it up with something healthy. I make my own organic drinks from dried mango leaves! I also eat a lot of ampalaya and bitter food whenever I eat sweets.” - Almira, 60, retired nurse
Stress is the enemy
“Madalasyungstress ko connected to my acid reflux. Whenever I’m stressed ginagawa ko yungmgahindi ko nagagawa regularly. So I visit friends, go to church, yungmgaganyan. Magjournal, maglakad ,yun lang. Dun lang umiikotpagmanage ng stress levels ko.” - Allan Madrilejos, 48, former FHM Team Editor
Burp out acid reflux with sparkling water
“Apart from being diabetic, I also have liver complications. I also have constant shortness of breath when I try to sleep. I drink sparkling water to get rid of acid reflux.” - Kirsten, 55, music teacher
Don’t forget to pamper yourself
“Whenever I eat too much sweets and I don’t exercise I get muscle cramps and joint pains. I either drink pain relievers or have a massage until the pain goes away.” - Jacob, 35, Lawyer
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All things in moderation
“Once a day, nagko-Coke Zero ako at once a week nag-iicecreamako, isang scoop lang. Kailangan in moderation lahat ng kakainin mo. Kasi dapatimemaintain mo yungtamang sugar level. Ang border is 120-125 pero gusto kong mas mababaperohindinaman hypoglycemic levels. Kanina 121 ngaako, so sa akin mataasnayun . Alam ko siyakasinagmemeasureako every day .” Allan Madrilejos, 48, former FHM Team Editor
This story originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of FHM Philippines. Minor edits were made by the FHM.com.ph editors.