OPM icon Jaya has Type-2 diabetes, a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become high.
Jaya who is now based in the US opened up about her condition at the press launch of Abbott FreeStyle Libre system recently.
It was in the late 2010 when Jaya was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes shortly after she gave birth to her first child.
Since then, Jaya has been active in adopting a healthier lifestyle such as proper diet, regular exercise, following doctor’s prescriptions. Diabetes did not stop Jaya for continuing to live the best time of her life.
“Growing up alam ko na sa father side ko may diabetes na. And when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes, it came as a shock kasi hindi siya mataba. I become a diabetic person from 2006 up to now. Mahirap maging diabetic but it’s been quite manageable. Sometimes you will feel weak. I’m 51 years old, so the more na na-a-affect yung moods ko. Sometimes I’m normal, sometimes I am irritable. Sometimes I’m sleepy. Those are the things that give me signals that something is going on. It wasn’t a hindrance. I knew exactly when to eat, what to eat. I always had water instead of juice. I never had soda,” said Jaya.
Asked about her current lifestyle to ease the sugar level, Jaya said: “You should exercise. If not, the sugar just stays in your body and harder to burn it. I don’t have a helper, so I wash my car, I do the laundry, I do a lot of things, I go upstairs, downstairs. And then I drive. When I came home, we walk in the village. I cut down on sweets. I don’t eat them anymore. Cut your soda and rice intake.”
“There are certain points in our lives that we need to adjust. Maybe not quit but adjust. That’s how I manage,” she said.
With her recent discovery of continuous glucose monitoring and partnership with Abbott, Jaya is now more confident in living life to its potential since she now has the tool, the Abbott FreeStyle Libre to track her glucose in real-time without the pain from routine finger pricks.
Jaya has been using the product, and it has helped her manage her condition with ease, even as she transitions to her new life abroad.
In a recent Philippine Statistics Authority survey published in July, diabetes is found to be the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines, accounting to 39,723 of total deaths in 2020.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make the required amount of insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.
Further, studies on diabetes care in the Philippines reveal a need for strategies that empower patients to self-monitor glucose levels, make appropriate lifestyle changes, and pharmacological management.
Continuous glucose monitory (CGM) is an innovative technology that liberates those living with diabetes from the pain of routine finger pricks, giving them access to accurate and comprehensive glucose findings. CGMs, such as the Abbott FreeStyle Libre System in the Philippines, also allow users to regularly check on their glucose levels, and physicians can access.
The Abbott FreeStyle Libre System is a revolutionary continuous glucose monitoring technology that monitors glucose levels continuously, every minute through a small, coin-sized sensor worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days – making it the longest-lasting CGM available globally.
The FreeStyle Libre sensor measures glucose every minute in interstitial fluid through a small (5.5mm long) filament that is inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. A quick scan of the sensor with a reader provides a real-time glucose reading and a detailed picture of a person’s glucose levels, without the need for painful, routine finger pricking or daily calibration, enabling meaningful lifestyle and therapy interventions with actionable insights.
On accuracy of the gadget, Dr. Sjoberg Kho, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, UST Hospital, said: “The gadget is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pinaka-accurate talaga is to go to the laboratory and get your blood extracted. But it’s impossible to go to the laboratory and hospital several times a day. The gadget falls under the requirements of the FDA in US. So it’s also approved in Europe and in the Philippines.”
An Abbott survey commissioned in the Philippines last February-March 2020 revealed that 87 percent urban Filipinos think they manage diabetes well, but, a majority do not.
However, 62 percent of the survey’s respondents have HbA1C (glycosylated haemoglobin) of 7 or more, indicating that diabetes is not being managed well over a longer term.
Total sample size covered was 200, comprising 140 people with diabetes, 10 caregivers and 50 doctors (11 Diabetologists, 35 Endocrinologists and 4 Pediatric Endocrinologists).
The market research survey was conducted across Metro Manila, a representation of ‘urban’ Philippines. The American Diabetes Association states that the goal for most adults with diabetes is an A1c that is less than 7 percent.