Aging Gracefully



  • Are there any steps that I need to take to prevent cancers?

    Take the fight against cancer into your own hands by:
    • Avoiding tobacco
    • Eating a variety of healthy food especially fruit and vegetables
    • Keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight
    • Avoiding risky behaviour such as consumption of excessive alcohol, unprotected sex and drug abuse
    • Being immunised against Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
    • Going for cancer screening

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  • 5 Simple Eating Strategies For Better Blood Glucose Control
    1. Manage your weight
      Keep a close tab on your weight and try to attain and maintain a healthy weight throughout your life.
    2. Eat a well balanced diet
      People with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke. So, exercise caution when dealing with fats (especially saturated and trans fats), cholesterol and sodium to help reduce the risk of developing these health problems.
    3. Select carbohydrates with care
      Of the many nutrients in food, carbohydrates have the greatest and most immediate impact on your blood glucose level. This is because carbohydrates are digested to form glucose (sugar), which is then absorbed into the bloodstream:

      - Choose fibre-rich starches
      Go for fibre-rich starches such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans as part of a well-balanced diet. They are usually nutrient-dense and will also help with blood glucose control.
      - Limit food and beverages high in sugar.
    4. Glycaemic Index
      The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a ranking of food based on the ability to raise blood glucose level when 50 g of carbohydrate from that food is eaten. They are ranked low, moderate or high GI food based on the results. Low GI food raises blood glucose level slower than high GI food. Portion out carbohydrates with care. Despite many lay perceptions, people with diabetes must not avoid carbohydrates because this can cause a condition called ketosis. This is where your blood acid level tends to rise above normal and if left unchecked, can lead to serious health conditions.
    5. Space out meals and snacks
      It takes the body at least two hours after a meal to bring back the sugar level back to the pre-meal level. So, do not cram your meals and snacks too close to each other as this would get the blood glucose rising too high. Nor should you space your meals and snacks so far apart that your blood glucose drops below normal, you will feel awful if you do that! Common symptoms of low blood glucose include tiredness, headache, and irritability.
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  • Cataract

    Cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye which is normally transparent. When the vision gets clouded, day to day activities like reading, driving at night become difficult.

    Most cataracts develop slowly and do not affect vision in the early stages but in the later stages they can significantly interfere with vision.

    If impaired vision affects the normal lifestyle of the person, surgery for cataract removal may be required which is generally a safe and effective procedure.

    Regular eye exams remain the key to early detection. If you are 65 years or above, plan and have regular eye check ups.

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  • I have removed my gall bladder abt 3-4 yrs ago and since then my weight has dropped from 53 to 48 kg and appetite also getting smaller. Now I eat only abt 50% of my diet before the surgery. During the last couple of months, I would have frequent n watery stools everyday abt 3-4 times. Is there any concern over this? My last year full body check up only shows anemic problem but the rest of the indicators are all well. Please advise. Thanks.

Response by - Dr Melvin Look, Specialist, Gastrointestinal & Laparoscopic Surgery, Parkway East Hospital

The gallbladder is a small globular organ located below the liver. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile and release it to help with digestion and absorption of fats after intake of food. Surgical removal of the gallbladder is sometimes necessary when the gallbladder is diseased, for example when it is filled with gallstones. There is usually no major effect on the body when a diseased gallbladder is removed. Some people may have indigestion, bloating or oily stools when they have a heavy or fatty meal. The body usually adapts after a year or so, and persistent symptoms after gallbladder surgery is rare. It can be treated with medication to bind with the ingested fats if the problem is troublesome. Loss of weight, poor intake of food and anaemia (low blood count) are not problems directly related to gallbladder surgery. It may be due to an ulcer, polyp or tumor in the stomach or intestinal tract. You should seek medication attention to see if an endoscopy or other test is necessary to investigate the problem.


  • I'm age 47 and did a heart scan 3 years ago with results showing 0% calcium deposit. I used to have palpitation once a while all along but recently I feel palpitation more often, especially after aerobics exercises. With certain antihistamin, I also feel the palpitaiton more. Is this symptom a health concern that I should see a specialist? if so, what check can the specialist perform?

Response by - Dr Chee Tek Siong, Specialist, Cardiology, Parkway East Hospital

Response by - Dr Chee Tek Siong, Specialist, Cardiology, Parkway East Hospital: If a CT heart calcium scan showed 0 calcium score, it implies that obstructive coronary artery disease is unlikely, unless you have high cholesterol or other coronary risk factors that are not corrected (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity etc). If your coronary risk is low, generally 5 or more years before a repeat CT heart calcium score is recommended. Experiencing palpitation is likely due to irregular or extra heart beatings. Depending on the types of irregular/or extra beats (there are several different types of abnormal heart beats), the condition can be benign, or just a nuisance, or may need special medications/treatment. Since your palpitation appears to be more prominent after exercise, a treadmill exercise test, echocardiogram or holter ECG monitoring will be useful and informative.


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