8 Lifestyle Changes to Adopt to Lower Blood Sugar Level Naturally

The bitter truth about diabetes is that when it’s not controlled, it can affect nearly every organ in the body. From the heart and blood vessels, to nerves and kidneys, down to the eyes, gums, and teeth, the complications are serious and sometimes, life-threatening. It’s important to take proactive steps and get the right medical services to manage the disease. While medications help in the treatment of diabetes, lifestyle changes are equally important.

Here at The Hospital at Maayo, we strongly advocate healthy routines and practices to maintain a normal blood sugar level, prevent diabetes, and curb its symptoms and complications when the disease is already present.

We offer a variety of laboratory services, including post-prandial blood sugar (PPBS) test, glucose tolerance test, fasting blood sugar (FBS) test, capillary blood glucose test, and random glucose test, which help patients monitor this health problem. More importantly, we provide sound medical advice to promote healthy living with diabetes.

In this article, we’ll explore why and how you can manage blood sugar levels.

Why manage your blood sugar levels

Monitoring your blood sugar level is key to living healthier with diabetes. It prevents severe complications, including vision impairment, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes, and nervous system damage.

A healthy blood sugar range differs from one individual to another. The Hospital at Maayo’s doctors advise a target range for blood glucose depending on the patient’s type of diabetes, age, and overall health, among other factors.

Blue and Gray StethoscopePhoto courtesy of Negative Space via Pexels

Even individuals who are not suffering from diabetes can benefit from maintaining a normal blood sugar level. Aside from lowering your risk of developing the disease, the lifestyle routines mentioned above can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower cortisol levels, and make you more energized and ready for life’s challenges.

How to lower blood sugar level naturally

In a nutshell, your approach to diabetes should involve a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and enough rest. Here are the specific ways to reduce blood sugar level naturally:

Avoid high-sugar food items.

What you eat plays a huge factor in maintaining a healthy blood glucose level. Beware of these food items that are high in sugar:

  • Fast food. Most people associate fast food with calories and fat, but they’re also packed with sugar and carbs. If you can’t completely go off the fast food, try to limit your consumption to manage blood sugar. This is especially important for certain food items like buns, fries, and condiments.

    close-up photography of burger with patty and slice cheesePhoto courtesy of ​​Erik Odiin via Unsplash

  • Sweetened beverages. Soda contains high amounts of sugar. But aside from potentially causing your blood sugar to increase, it doesn’t have any nutrient to it. It doesn’t make you full either. That said, swap sweetened beverages for the good old water. If you can’t completely do away with flavored drinks, the better alternative is adding freshly sliced fruit into your water.
  • Processed fruits. These include canned fruits with heavy sugar syrup, chewy fruit rolls, regular jams, and fruit juice drinks. A healthier option is fresh fruit, since the type of sugar in these items is fructose, which doesn’t have much of an effect on blood glucose levels.

Stay away from these types of food as much as possible to avoid experiencing spikes in glucose. Before meals, it’s always good to check your blood sugar as a health precaution.

Consume more high-fiber food.

While you give up carbs and sugar, switch to the healthier option, fiber. This nutrient can help stabilize blood glucose levels, as it slows the absorption of sugar. Promoting gut bacteria growth, it can prevent weight gain, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

brown bread on white platePhoto courtesy of Young Shih via Unsplash

These are some high-fiber food items you can add to your everyday meals:

  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Leafy greens (kale and spinach)
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Papaya
  • Apple
  • Pear

High-fiber food promotes satiety. Since you’re already feeling full, you’re able to say no to unhealthy food packed with sugar and carbs.

Eat in moderation.

It’s equally important to pay attention to the manner of eating. Hospitals, especially nutrition services in Cebu encourage people to eat in moderation. Rather than consuming big meals, spread out your food all throughout the day. This helps regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and dips.

Women eating tasty chicken salad with dessertPhoto courtesy of Farhad Ibrahimzade via Unsplash

Aside from moderation, slow eating is advisable and beneficial. People who consume food fast don’t realize they’re full until they’ve already eaten too many carbs or sugar. In contrast, when you take your time chewing and savoring meals, you allow the body to have enough time to receive satiety signals. With this, you’re able to eat only as much food as your body needs.

Drink more water.

Dehydration can trigger sugar spikes. When you’re low on fluids, the glucose in your blood becomes more concentrated. The dehydration gets worse since diabetic patients tend to urinate more, as the kidneys try to eliminate the excess sugar in the body. For this reason, people with diabetes should hydrate regularly.

Crop woman pouring water into glassPhoto courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Here are some action steps you can take to drink more water:

  • Always bring a filled water bottle with you. With this, you can quickly fill up when your body sends thirst signals.
  • Use drink more water apps. With this tech, you can set a time and reminder for drinking water and not forget about it.
  • Tie it to a repetitive activity. For example, if you have back-to-back online meetings for the day, condition your mind into drinking water before going to a meeting. Or whenever you pee, that’s your signal to refill.

Shed a few extra pounds.

The extra inches around your waist is fat building up around the liver and pancreas. This visceral fat releases a compound that impairs the body’s sensitivity to insulin. With insulin resistance, the blood sugar levels increase and the symptoms of diabetes become more apparent.

Thus, slimming down isn’t just about looking good, but also being well for diabetic patients.

person standing on white digital bathroom scalePhoto courtesy of i yunmai via Unsplash

The diet tips mentioned above can help you in your weight loss journey. Skimping on carbs reduces the amount of calories consumed, which then allows your body to burn fats stored around your midsection and give you the energy you need. Meanwhile, incorporating high-fiber food and eating slowly can help you feel more satiated, preventing overeating. All these contribute to regulating blood sugar levels.

Lead an active lifestyle.

Exercise helps in diabetes management not only in the aspect of weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, the muscles use glucose even without insulin. This means whether or not you don’t have enough insulin, your blood glucose level will go down as you sweat yourself out.

Woman With White Sunvisor RunningPhoto courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

The key to sticking to a fitness routine is picking one that you genuinely enjoy. Don’t go for what’s most popular. Instead, choose an activity that you think you can do for a long time. Whatever you pick, make sure to check your blood sugar levels before exercising, especially if you take insulin. If it’s low, try to eat a small meal with 15 to 30 grams of carbs. If your blood sugar level is too high, wait until it reaches a safe blood sugar range.

Get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep can negatively affect the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin. This can then result in increased blood sugar levels. Aside from the direct impact on your body, sleep deprivation results in unhealthy habits.

Woman sleeping in bed near smartphonePhoto courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

For example, you’re more likely to reach for junk food, especially those high in carbs and sugar. The brain region responsible for complex judgments and decisions is negatively affected by sleep loss.

In contrast, the primal brain structures that are involved in motivation and desire become more active in sleep-deprived individuals, which explains why you would want to binge-eat unhealthy meals when you don’t have much sleep.

That said, enough sleep is critical in diabetes management. It’s no secret however that the disease makes it hard to have a proper rest sometimes. When blood sugar level runs high, the kidneys address the problem by making you urinate more often, causing major disruptions in sleep. To prevent this problem, follow a healthy diet and engage in exercise all throughout the day.

Manage stress.

Stress causes an increased production of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol. To help you respond to a perceived threat, the body supplies energy in the form of glucose in the bloodstream. If you’re chronically stressed and suffering from insulin resistance, the sugar accumulates in the blood. Thus, prioritizing stress management plays a huge part in disease management.

Woman in White Shirt Showing FrustrationPhoto courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Besides proper sleep and exercise, meditation is effective in relieving stress. Practice mindfulness, visualization, or deep breathing whenever you’re stressed out. These are things you can do while at work, on a commute, or in line for something.

These healthy routines mentioned above should help you manage blood sugar levels and prevent severe complications. Make it a habit to check glucose levels and consult your doctor.

Key takeaways

To manage diabetes better and reduce the complications of the disease, remember these three important action steps:

  • Adopt a healthy diet. Swap meals packed with sugar and carbs for those rich in fiber. Eat slowly and in moderation. Hydrate regularly.
  • Get moving. Pick an exercise you love. Don’t just ride on what’s trending or popular. Find one that you think you can stick to for a long time.
  • Rest well. Get enough sleep and have time for recreation for stress relief.

If you’re interested in knowing more about our laboratory services for managing blood sugar levels, schedule an appointment with us at The Hospital at Maayo.

Here’s Your Quick Guide to the Entire Breast Ultrasound Process

Three in every 100 Filipina women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

In fact, 2017 breast cancer data from the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society Society said that the country had the highest prevalence of breast cancer in February 2017. Despite the ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the disease, many are still lacking the proper knowledge on breast cancer.

This is why The Hospital at Maayo has established its Women’s Wellness Unit: to help Filipino women understand their health through a variety of medical services in Cebu. Its team is ready to guide you through different services – like the process of breast ultrasound – so patients could have a comfortable wellness experience.

Of course, going through a medical exam for the first time would instill fear into anyone – especially when it’s done in sensitive areas, more so if it could help determine grave diseases like cancer.

So, if it’s your first time going through the entire breast ultrasound process, here’s a quick guide to help ease up your nerves.

What is a breast ultrasound, and why do I need it?

breast ultrasoundPhoto courtesy of National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Breast Ultrasound, as defined by Johns Hopkins Medicine, is an imaging test that uses sound waves to help your healthcare providers see how well blood is flowing in your breasts. The test is also given when a certain change is felt in your breasts but it does not show up on a mammogram – which is another form of a breast exam.

Okay, so the breast ultrasound checks the insides of my breasts… but why do I need it?

If your doctor finds something unusual during your physical examination they could order a breast ultrasound for you. Some of these breast abnormalities include:

  • A lump in your breast
  • A tender or painful area in your breast
  • Change of texture or appearance of the nipple or breast skin
  • Unusual discharge from the nipple

A breast ultrasound can also be ordered by the doctor as a supplemental or supporting exam to a mammogram. Should your doctor recommend you do have one, it’s important to prepare for the procedure. How do you do that? By having an idea of what’s happening during a breast ultrasound.

The breast ultrasound process for beginners

breast ultrasound processPhoto courtesy of Angiola Harry via Unsplash

Now that you know the purpose of breast ultrasound, it’s now time to go through the medical exam itself. From a bird’s eye view, the exam would take around 15 to 20 minutes. To give you an idea, here’s how the breast ultrasound process usually goes according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

1. Change costume and relax

Upon entering the Women’s Wellness Center and the ultrasound room, you will be asked to remove your top and bra and change into a gown. So before coming to the clinic or hospital, it would be better to dress comfortably so you wouldn’t struggle to remove them.

You will then be asked to lie back on a padded examining table. Take this time to relax and mentally prepare yourself for the exam.

2. Gel time

To allow the ultrasound machine to smoothly move around your breast, the technician will apply a conductive gel on your skin. This would help the ultrasound waves travel better in your skin. Don’t worry, the gel won’t harm your skin nor stain your clothes. But it will be cold.

3. Meet the transducer

In order to get pictures of the inside of your breast, the technician will use a wand called a transducer. This device sends and receives high-frequency sound waves to generate pictures of the inside of your breast.

These waves would bounce off the internal structures of your breast, which causes changes in their pitch and direction – this is being recorded by the transducer.

Meet the transducerPhoto courtesy of The Hospital at Maayo

4. Hold your breath

To get clearer pictures of the insides of your breasts, you may be asked to hold your breath a few times by the technician. Don’t worry! This won’t take long as the technician just needs still photos for your radiologists.

5. Here comes your radiologist

In rare cases during the breast ultrasound process, the technician may usher in the on-call radiologist, or the specialist doctor when it comes to imaging. If this scenario happens, it probably means that the radiologists need to see the images on screen or may need to ask questions about your symptoms and examine your breasts.

But don’t panic! This often means that they just need to clarify something to help come up with a correct diagnosis.

6. And you’re done!

Yay! You’re finished with your breast ultrasound! The technician will wipe the gel off your skin. You can now change back to your regular clothes and wait for your results to come out.

A breast ultrasound is only one step in the process of checking the current health condition of the breasts. Regardless, it plays a very important role in providing an accurate diagnosis, thus it should not be downplayed nor skipped.

Common uses of the breast ultrasound

uses of the breast ultrasoundPhoto courtesy of National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Now that you know the process of breast ultrasound, it’s time to know what it’s used for. Here are some of the reasons why this type of procedure is being done.

1. To determine the nature of breast abnormalities

As mentioned earlier, doctors can order breast ultrasounds if they find lumps or tenderness during the physical exam. A breast ultrasound can determine the cause of these abnormalities.

Ultrasounds can determine if these abnormalities are solid like a tumor or fluid-filled like a cyst.

2. A supplemental exam in breast cancer screening

Tested and proven, laboratory tests increase cancer survival. For example, a mammogram is the most accurate screening tool to determine breast cancer. However, there are cases that can’t detect all of the breast cancer in the body – as some breast lesions and abnormalities are almost invisible and very difficult to interpret on mammograms.

This is where the breast ultrasound comes in. It can serve as a supplement to the mammography results to help come up with a more accurate diagnosis.

breast cancer screeningPhoto courtesy of Klaus Nielsen via Unsplash

3. An ultrasound-guided biopsy

Should the doctors find a suspicious abnormality in the breast, they could recommend an ultrasound-guided biopsy. Since this imaging procedure provides real-time images, doctors can use this to guide their biopsy procedures.

4. Check breast implants

Doctors can use a breast ultrasound as an early diagnostic tool to evaluate breast implants to ensure their safety and efficacy for breast augmentation and reconstruction. These devices are safe to use and will not result in complications. So don’t you worry about a thing!

Key Takeaways

A breast ultrasound sounds scary at first, but when you know how everything is done – you won’t be as stressed out during the exam. When going to the hospital for your breast ultrasound, here are some key factors to keep in mind.

  • Come comfortable. For a smooth sailing experience in your breast ultrasound, come in comfortable clothing and mentally prepare yourself for the process. This way, your stress, and anxiety won’t affect the results.
  • Learn how it’s done. To help ease the fear and anxiety of the procedure, you may study the entire breast ultrasound process so you could have an idea of how things go. Just look at the list above to guide you!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re still confused about everything that’s going on, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor! Surely, they are more than willing to answer them and guide you through the entire exam. They could help reduce your anxiety, too.

Whether it’s a stand-alone breast ultrasound or if it’s a part of your executive check-up, our radiologic technologist and radiologists can help guide you through the entire breast ultrasound process.

Keep your health in check and schedule an appointment today at The Hospital at Maayo.

When to See a Cardiologist: 12 Signs to Watch Out For

Nowadays, having access to a great hospital is vital for any person who may be experiencing symptoms of heart disease. Convenient, affordable, and fast healthcare services help reduce your fear and anxiety, which can also contribute to added cardiac risk. This kind of healthcare is exactly what The Hospital at Maayo Well aims to provide, especially for anyone who may be experiencing signs of a heart ailment.

But how does one know when to see a cardiologist? In the time of the pandemic when people with heart ailments are part of the most vulnerable, you need to undergo a personalized medical assessment of your symptoms before scheduling an appointment or making conclusions that you have heart disease.

To help you decide if you should avail of premium cardiovascular services, use this point-by-point checklist on when to see a cardiologist to check on your heart’s health.


Photo courtesy of jesse orrico via Unsplash

Cardiology 101: Why you should be careful with your heart

You probably already know that your heart is an important organ. But why is it exactly that important?

Our hearts work 24/7, without taking any breaks. They are responsible for pumping blood all throughout the body. This blood carries important nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, while also ensuring that harmful wastes are carried away from your blood. So basically, our hearts work hard to keep us alive.

If you have a heart ailment, you increase your risk of experiencing heart attacks or strokes. In some cases, other underlying conditions may also arise because of heart disease.


Photo courtesy of Giulia Bertelli via Unsplash

Signs that signal you should get a heart checkup

There are various telltale symptoms or signs in your health history that would help you determine if you should get your heart checked. Read through the checklist below to find out if what you are experiencing needs a visit to your cardiologist.

1. You experience chest pain

Chest pain is one of the most common signs if you are considering when to see a cardiologist. This kind of pain feels like there is pressure or tightness in your chest, and the pain may even extend to other body parts like your back, shoulders, and abdomen.

2. You have shortness of breath, palpitations, or dizziness

Shortness of breath accompanied by dizziness or palpitations can also be considered as symptoms of heart disease. It is normal to feel shortness of breath or dizziness when you overexert your body for intense workouts or other physically-demanding activities, but if it interferes with simple everyday tasks, it can be a cause of worry.


high blood pressurePhoto courtesy of Mufid Majnun via Unsplash

3. You have high blood pressure

High blood pressure is widely associated with heart ailments. It is when your blood is moving with much force in your blood vessels, and this usually happens when your arteries are blocked and narrowed due to other health conditions like obesity.

4. You have a history of high cholesterol

Cholesterol can be good, but too much of it results in the narrowing of arteries. High cholesterol, if not given attention to in a few years, may gradually result in a heart disease due to its effect on artery linings.


history of smokingPhoto courtesy of Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

5. You have a history of smoking

Smoking not only harms your respiratory system, but also affects your heart. Cigarettes contain harmful substances, so it is no surprise that they have a huge link with coronary heart disease, heart attack, and even stroke.

6. You are diabetic

Diabetes, another serious health condition, can also cause symptoms of heart disease. Having diabetes can also result in different heart-related concerns such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and other recurring cardiovascular illnesses.


history of preeclampsiaPhoto courtesy of Ashton Mullins via Unsplash

7. You have a history of preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, a condition that mostly pregnant women experience, can also be a warning sign for heart ailments. Preeclampsia is recurring high blood pressure, and may also be associated with high protein levels in the urine or kidney failure.

8. You have a gum disease

Your gum’s health also gives you clues if you may possibly have a heart ailment. Those with gum diseases are also shown to have two to three times the risk of developing common cardiovascular conditions like stroke or heart attack.


chronic kidney diseasePhoto courtesy of Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

9. You have chronic kidney disease

Those with kidney disease should be extra careful as they also have the risk of a heart ailment. This is because a poorly working kidney adds more stress to the heart, therefore, also resulting in negative effects on your heart’s condition.

10. You experience leg pains or foot swelling

If your heart is not working properly, your legs and feet are also affected. Your blood flow slows down, and this causes certain bodily fluids to build up on your body—thus resulting in swelling in the legs and your feet.


congenital heart disease in your childhoodPhoto courtesy of Thiago Cerqueira via Unsplash

11. You had a congenital heart disease (CHD) in your childhood

Your heart history, even if it has been recorded way back in your childhood, is also necessary if you are considering when to see a cardiologist. Patients who had congenital heart disease in their childhood are also strongly advised to check on their heart’s condition every now and then.

12. You are a cancer patient/survivor

Cancer affects most of your bodily functions, so you should be on the lookout for its effects on your entire body. Cardiovascular disease is also a common health concern among cancer patients and survivors.


heart checkupPhoto courtesy of CDC via Unsplash

Simple, painless tests for a heart checkup

Symptoms alone are not enough to deduce that you indeed have a heart ailment. To confirm your condition and to prescribe better treatments, your cardiologist would ask you to undergo certain tests.

But do not worry. These tests are simple and painless, and you may avail these premium cardiovascular services at The Hospital at Maayo Well.

To give you an idea, read through these tests that your cardiologist may suggest to you.

1. 24-Hour ambulatory BP monitoring

For this test, a portable digital pressure machine will be attached to a belt around your body and will be connected to a cuff around your upper arm.

2. Exercise stress test

One of the ways to determine if you have a heart ailment is to see how well your heart responds when it is working the hardest—which is exactly what the exercise stress test is for.

3. Arterial duplex scan

This painless heart test uses ultrasound to help capture internal images of the major arteries in your arms, legs, and neck.

4. Venous duplex scan

Another painless heart test that uses ultrasound to capture internal images of the veins that return the blood to your heart.

Take note that these are only some of the tests that your cardiologist may ask you to get. There are other tests that your healthcare specialists may need to assess your health’s condition.

We only have one heart. Don’t wait for your heart to exhibit symptoms of heart disease—start taking great care of it today. If you do start experiencing symptoms, don’t wait for it to get worse. Have your heart checked as soon as you can. Contact The Hospital at Maayo Well today to ensure that your heart is in great shape.

12 Oral Habits That You Need to Stop Doing

Practicing a healthy lifestyle means taking care of your physical and mental health.

Speaking of physical health? Did you know that taking care of your dental health is equally important, too? Practicing good dental hygiene is the key to maintaining a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums.

Unfortunately, we all have oral habits that are hard to break as 80% of Filipinos currently suffer from oral problems. The bad habits would have long-term negative impacts on one’s oral health, and general health as well. Among these include ulcers, callosities, malocclusion, dental caries, periodontal diseases, recurrent acute otitis media, and sleep disorders.

It’s a good thing thatThe Hospital at Maayo has a wide array of services at their dental clinic in Cebu that can help patients improve their overall oral health with quality dental care.

But of course, shifting to healthier oral habits include a change in lifestyle as well. So, if you have some terrible oral habits, now may be the time to stop them.

Do I have a bad oral habit? It’s time to find out if you have one.

12 Oral Habits You Need to Break

As mentioned earlier, bad oral habits may lead to long-term negative impacts on your overall health. There are many oral habits, the most common ones are often caused by our body-focused-repetitive-behavior (BFRB) or habits, while some are caused by anxiety and stress. But what exactly are the habits you need to break? Well, here are some of them.

1. Lip biting

Lip bitingPhoto courtesy of Timothy Dykes via Unsplash

For some, lip biting may be an action caused by anxiety, but from a dental perspective, lip biting may be an indication of a misaligned bite. A “good bite” distributes the pressure of biting across all the teeth, a misaligned bite would only put pressure on a few. Over time, this may cause your teeth to chip or break. Constant lip-biting may also lead to issues in one’s temporomandibular joint that may cause TMJ disorders.

How to break the habit:

If lip biting is caused by habitual actions, you can stop the habit by identifying triggers and practicing mindfulness whenever you find yourself biting your lip. You could also try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) exercises to help release the stress from the muscles in your jaw.

2. Nail biting

Nail bitingPhoto courtesy of Mona Eendra via Unsplash

Nail biting is another oral habit caused by habitual activity, and even anxiety and stress. As common as it seems, this could also be detrimental to your overall oral health. Biting your nails can weaken your teeth’s roots, which could cause your jaw bone to reabsorb them, meaning your tooth will fall out. The bacteria under your fingernails could also be transferred to your mouth, which can lead to gum disease.

How to break the habit:

You can try to gradually stop nail biting but keep your nails short. Like lip biting, identify your triggers in order to stop yourself from doing this bad oral habit.

3. Cheek biting

Cheek bitingPhoto courtesy of Brandi Redd via Unsplash

Whenever you bite your cheeks from trying not to laugh in an embarrassing situation, or when you bite them by accident when eating too fast, these can cause injuries in your inner cheek. Cheek biting causes tearing of mouth tissues, causing mouth sores, and ultimately ulcers.

How to break the habit:

If the cheek biting incidents happen more than usual, it’s time to consult with a dentist. But it can also be treated with self-discipline and habit replacements like chewing gum instead.

4. Biting on ice

Biting on icePhoto courtesy of Giorgio Trovato via Unsplash

Eating ice may bring instant relief, especially during the summer months when it’s extremely hot.

However, it’s your teeth that will suffer. The brittleness and freezing temperature of ice can damage the tooth enamel’s surface, which could lead to fractures and bigger dental problems like acid attacks and tooth decay.

How to break the habit:

Crushed ice is seen to have a lesser impact on teeth. However, it’s best to avoid eating or biting freezing foods in general.

5. Jaw clenching or teeth grinding

teeth grindingPhoto courtesy of Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

Teeth grinding or jaw clenching is also a common oral habit. It can happen during the day, or even while you’re asleep. Teeth grinding can cause your teeth to wear out, thus exposing your nerves. The pressure can also cause dental abscesses and gum damage.

How to break the habit:

If you find yourself teeth grinding or jaw clenching, you could talk to your dentist about having a mouth guard to use while sleeping to alleviate the pressure from your teeth and gums.

6. Using teeth as tools

Using teeth as toolsPhoto courtesy of No Revisions via Unsplash

Using your teeth to open a packet of chips, a bobby pin for your hair, and even opening a bottle can look cool. But it won’t be cool anymore once you experience pain in your gums and jaw.

When you use your teeth for something they’re not designed for, you’re at risk of cracking your teeth and even injuring your jaw as your mouth undergoes an unusual kind of pressure.

How to break the habit:

Well, it’s pretty easy. Instead of using your teeth and mouth to open objects, keep the necessary tools accessible at all times so you won’t be tempted to use your teeth.

7. Drinking carbonated beverages

Drinking carbonated beveragesPhoto courtesy of Matt Botsford via Unsplash

We all love the occasional cold carbonated drinks that go well with our favorite lunch meals. But too much carbonic acid in our mouth would erode away your tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay and staining, wrecking your teeth gradually.

How to break the habit:

As much as you love these carbonated drinks, it’s better to limit the consumption and opt to drink healthier drinks like water and natural juices as they contain less sugar content and carbonic acid, which are both harmful to your teeth and gums.

8. Neglecting tooth and oral pain and discomforts

tooth and oral pain and discomfortsPhoto courtesy of Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

When you feel the first jolt of pain coming from your gums and teeth and decide to brush it off (not literally), you have made a big mistake. Ignoring these signs of degrading oral health can lead to worse conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis or a worse form of gum disease.

How to break the habit:

When there’s discomfort in your mouth, consult with a dentist right away to help alleviate and cure these symptoms correctly.

9. Brushing with hard bristles

Brushing with hard bristlesPhoto courtesy of Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

Brushing your teeth is an essential step to good oral health. But the question is, are you using the right bristles for the job? Brushing with hard bristles may do you more harm than good, as it could wear away the enamel of your teeth, and cause gum recession, resulting in teeth sensitivity and aid in decay.

How to break the habit:

Instead of using hard-bristled toothbrushes, use soft bristles instead. It can also remove the buildup of plaque just as well without damage to your teeth and gums.

10. Cigarette smoking

Cigarette smokingPhoto courtesy of Irina Iriser via Unsplash

It’s no secret that smoking is detrimental to your health. Your oral health is no exception to that. Like tobacco chewing, smoking cigarettes can also cause teeth staining, gum diseases due to bacterial plaque. In worst-case scenarios, smoking can cause mouth cancer.

How to break the habit:

Quitting smoking is also the best step to take for this one. You can consult with your doctors on the best strategy to take on.

11. Chewing foreign objects

Chewing foreign objectsPhoto courtesy of Jarrod Reed via Unsplash

Have you ever found yourself chewing on your pen or pencil while concentrating on your work or task at hand? Well, chewing objects, that are not food, puts your teeth under a lot of pressure that may cause them to crack, chip, and even shift. The bacteria and germs from these foreign objects can also cause infections in your mouth.

How to break the habit:

Force of habits is hard to break. You can keep your mouth occupied by chewing sugar-free gum or healthy snacks so you wouldn’t be too tempted to insert foreign objects in your mouth.

12. Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygienePhoto courtesy of Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash

The most terrible habit anyone could have is having poor oral hygiene. If you’re not the type who regularly brushes their teeth, or use mouthwash and dental floss often, then it’s time to change that. Bad oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities, gum diseases, and in the long term, cancer and diabetes.

How to break the habit:

Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least two times a day, flossing at least once a day, and avoiding the bad oral habits mentioned above. Also, make sure to set an appointment with your dentist regularly.

Take care of your health today. The Hospital at Maayo offers a variety of dental services and other medical services fit for your healthcare needs. You can book an appointment through their website.

7 Advantages of Having a Reliable Cebu Dental Clinic

Dental care is often overlooked and it shouldn’t be. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities, gum disease, and in some cases, can even be linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Gum disease and tooth decay are two main dental problems you may experience without the right dental care.

If left untreated, a toothache can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. As a dental clinic in Cebu that cares for you and your well-being, we want to help you care for those pearly whites. That’s why we strive to offer modern, affordable and quality dental care just for you.

There are lots of other benefits of choosing The Hospital at Maayo as your healthcare provider but first, you should know what happens during a visit with your dentist.

What happens during a regular dental visit?

As stated earlier, dental care is absolutely vital and should be treated with just as much care as you do with other parts of your body.

After all, the last thing you want is to take off your mask at the end of the day and not be able to stand the stench coming out of your mouth. But joking aside, going to the dentist is one of the easiest medical checkups you’ll do all year.

A routine dental visit consists of a dental exam where the dentist cleans your teeth, checks for cavities, and thoroughly inspects every tooth – making sure there are no gaps between your teeth and gums. Once this is complete, the dentist will talk to you about your dental care and what next steps need to be taken.

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Your dentist may ask you to return for regular cleaning, which you mustn’t skip out on. Other times, you may need to have an x-ray if you feel pain around the teeth or if the dentist believes you need further examination to detect an underlying problem. These are some of the reasons you need a reliable dental clinic in Cebu. But if you are still not convinced, the following reasons should steer you in the right direction.

7 benefits of having a reliable go-to dental clinic in Cebu

Flossing, brushing your teeth and using mouthwash goes a long way in ensuring your mouth is in good condition. But it doesn’t end there. Oral hygiene is an everyday task. Sometimes plaque buildup can cause gum ache. Likewise, the foods you eat can be detrimental to the colour and health of your teeth, and play a role in gum disease and many other factors.

Therefore, it is important that you get occasional dental care every 6 months as recommended by dentists. And choosing the right dental clinic is equally as important, because a great dentist doctor will ensure you get the best care possible. So what are the benefits of having a reliable dental clinic or dentist?

1. Education on proper dental hygiene

Did you know that flossing your teeth is an essential part of your dental care routine? So many think brushing is all that’s needed and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some of the benefits of flossing include reducing bad breath, preventing your gum from bleeding, and helping to prevent tooth decay.

dental hygienePhoto courtesy of Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

Furthermore, medical-dental research has shown that tongue cleaning can drastically reduce bad breath when done with a tongue scraper. Yet, it is another important thing many do not do. Your toothbrush is for your teeth, and while it can clean the tongue, it does not do the job completely. Having a dedicated dental clinic will give you access to such information that you weren’t previously privy to, allowing you to make better decisions and take care of your oral health.

2. Preventative care & early detection

Prevention will always be the best cure. And with the Dental Clinic in The Hospital at Maayo, you have access to dentists that have decades of experience in oral health and hygiene. The dentists at The Hospital at Maayo have your best interests in mind, hence you will be given the best care and advice on lifestyle changes you can make to improve your oral health.

Wouldn’t you like to be proactive rather than reactive for a change? By having a dedicated dental clinic, you will be kept abreast of your oral health and potential problems will be detected early and taken care of.

3. Improved self-esteem

If you have ever gotten yourself a new piece of clothing you’ve always wanted, you will understand what type of confidence that brings. When you don’t feel good about your teeth, it creates a cloud above you that makes you less confident and enthusiastic about meeting others.

Improved self-esteemPhoto courtesy of Anna Shvets via Pexels

Getting gum and dental care from your dentist will ensure your teeth and more are well taken care of. Additionally, you will feel better and that can equally affect your mental and emotional well-being. An all-around improvement.

4. Help with other related health issues

As mentioned earlier, poor dental care can affect other parts of your body. Did you know that having certain dental issues can lead to cardiovascular issues?

Though we have premium cardiovascular services, you should know that bacteria buildup in your mouth can adversely affect your heart and put you at risk for strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure. Your overall immune system will fare better when it does not have to work overtime dealing with potential dental threats.

By getting a regular dental checkup with the dentists at The Hospital at Maayo, you can alleviate the intensity of the work being done by your immune system allowing it to focus on other parts of your body.

5. Reduce inflammation

Gingivitis is a gum disease caused by bacterial infection of the gums and when left untreated, this can cause tooth loss. This can be caused by smoking or vaping, poor oral habits, and not flossing.

Genetics also play a huge role. So, if you notice signs such as swollen gums, persistent bad breath, and painful chewing, then it is time to visit your dentist.

Reduce inflammationPhoto courtesy of Sarah Chai via Pexels

The good news is gingivatis can be prevented by regular dental visits every 3-6 months to have your teeth cleaned. Practising proper oral hygiene like proper brushing twice a day, flossing to remove plaque buildup, and eating the right foods like nuts, fatty fish, whole grains, milk, fruits and fresh vegetables will also help.

6. Detect oral cancer

Regular dental exams help detect oral cancer. Oral cancer appears around the mouth like your lips, gums, tongue, the inner lining of your cheeks, floor, and roof of the mouth. Oral cancer is more conspicuous than other oral diseases, making it imperative that you have a designated dentist or dental clinic to visit and have it treated right away. Signs and symptoms include lip or mouth sore, mouth and ear pain, unexplained bleeding in the mouth, and many others.

Oral cancer can be caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene and of course, not having a regular dental care checkup. In most cases, the only way to find out what you have is oral cancer and not an injury is through your dentist performing a comprehensive dental examination.

7. Save money

When all is said and done, treatment is more expensive and in most cases, more excruciating than prevention. By visiting your dentist regularly, you are essentially giving yourself the best possible chance and opportunity to avoid oral cancer, inflammation, and other oral diseases.

Save moneyPhoto courtesy of Joslyn Pickens via Pexels

There are many reasons to love the Hospital at Maayo and one of them is the presence of extraordinary physicians and medical experts that will go above and beyond to give you the best medical care.

Book a dental appointment at The Hospital at Maayo!

Neglecting your oral health is unwise and can lead to many other health risks that you may not be aware of. Practising proper oral hygiene is one way to guarantee this doesn’t happen, but the most important thing you need to do is get in touch with a dedicated dental clinic in Cebu. There are so many advantages to doing this and by choosing The Hospital at Maayo, you get a dental clinic with great technology, affordable prices, exceptional patient care, and outstanding medical services in Cebu.

If you experience any pain in your mouth or bad breath or if you would like to speak with the best medical practitioners in Cebu, The Hospital at Maayo has what you need. Please don’t hesitate to check our services and set an appointment today.

10 Crucial Signs to When To Book a Liver Health Consultation

Taking care of your health is essential, especially when the new year strikes. After quite a number of parties you’ve attended and the bottle of beers and other liquor you have shared with friends and family, your body has gone through a lot and your liver health is in need of utmost care.

The Hospital at Maayo is ready to provide state-of-the-art medical facilities and procedures to all its patients. And since it’s located at the heart of Cebu, it’s easily accessible to anyone who wishes to keep their health in check. So after partying hard at the end of 2021, it’s high time to get yourself, especially your liver health, in check for a healthier 2022.

But why the liver?

The liver plays an essential role not only in one’s digestive system but also in the entire body. One of the primary functions of the liver is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract before it’s distributed through the body. The liver detoxifies, separates sugars, and stores the nutrients we get from the meals we eat. To put it simply, it makes sure that clean blood flows through our veins to keep us up and going every day. With a huge responsibility like that, it’s important for you to keep your liver healthy at all times.

But do I need to get checked even if I feel healthy? As a matter of fact, you do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of the liver disease won’t show until the disease has progressed rapidly. When symptoms begin or progress, it’s best to have a liver health consultation with a hepatologist. From here, the doctor may schedule either endoscopy or a fibroscan to help with the diagnosis.

What are endoscopy and fibroscan?

An endoscopy is a common procedure when it comes to digestive concerns. It is where an endoscope – a long, thin flexible tube with a camera, is inserted into a patient’s body in order to capture photos of concerned organs, the liver included.

Meanwhile, a fibroscan is a non-invasive test that helps assess the current condition of your liver through fibrosis or scarring levels. Whichever procedure is used, these can help your hepatologist come up with a diagnosis and further steps to take to help manage liver health.

But how would you know if you need a consultation and these procedures? There are many symptoms of liver problems to watch out for.

The crucial signs of liver problems

Liver diseases may occur gradually and differently depending on your current condition, so it’s important to keep an eye on your health. If you happen to have any of these symptoms, consult a hepatologist to help determine whether you need an endoscopy, fibroscan, or any other medical procedure to help maintain or improve your liver health.

1. Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

Jaundice is a condition in which one’s skin and sclera—the white portion of the eyes – and mucous membranes turn into an abnormal yellowish color. This is caused by high levels of bilirubin released by the liver. You’ll need more than just a trip to the eye clinic.

Bilirubin is bile formed during the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundice can be caused by infections like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, pre-conditions like hematoma, clotted blood under the skin, or hemolytic anemia where red blood cells are removed from the bloodstream even before their end-life.

2. Abdominal pain or swelling

Photo courtesy of Sasun Bughdaryan via Unsplash

Liver pain can often be misread as simple stomach pain. Well, it’s important to pay attention. Abdominal pain caused by liver conditions can be felt in the upper right abdomen – it’s described as a dull and throbbing pain or a stabbing sensation.

It’s also accompanied by swelling and radiating pain on the back or on the right shoulder pain. Since these symptoms are also linked to digestive conditions, your doctor may schedule an endoscopy to help determine the cause of these symptoms.

Abdominal pain or swelling in relation to liver conditions is often caused by excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis, fatty liver, and even liver cancer.

3. Swelling of the legs or ankles

Photo courtesy of Nino Liverani via Unsplash

When the liver becomes more damaged, more obvious symptoms begin to show, and swelling of the legs or ankles is one of them.

The swelling is caused by edema or a build-up of fluid in the area. This is caused by cirrhosis of the liver, wherein the flow of blood through the liver becomes slower, increasing the pressure in the vein from the intestine and spleen.

Cirrhosis can be very difficult to heal, which is why it’s best to schedule a fibroscan with your liver doctor to determine if your liver is scarred or inflamed. So, if your feet don’t look and feel like they used to before, best to schedule a consultation with a doctor and have the necessary procedures done.

4. Itchy skin

If you find yourself with persistent itchy skin all over your body, then it’s probably time to have your liver checked. Itchy skin indicates that you may have high levels of bile salt in your skin. Bile salt is a product produced by the liver to help your body absorb and digest fats – but it should only be secreted to the bile ducts and gallbladder, and not to your skin.

Aside from bile salt, itchy skin can also be caused by histamine, and serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP). This symptom is commonly associated with liver diseases caused by alcohol, and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases.

5. Dark-colored urine

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UTI? Maybe. But dark-colored urine can also be a sign of liver disease. Urine becomes dark due to high levels of bilirubin, or the orange-yellowish pigment from red blood cells that are excreted through the liver. This can be associated with inflammation, liver cell abnormalities, and blockage of the bile ducts.

6. Pale, bloody, or tar-colored stool

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It is the liver that releases bile salts, giving the stool a normal brown color. If you find clay-colored stools while taking a number two, this may mean that your liver may be producing less bile than normal or the flow of the bile from the liver is blocked. The discoloration of stools is often accompanied by jaundice.

7. Chronic fatigue

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A commonly encountered symptom when you have liver problems is chronic fatigue. Be it muscle or physical fatigue, this can be caused by preexisting conditions like a virus or an inherited disease, or even excess alcohol or fat consumption during the holidays.

While chronic fatigue can be caused by multiple conditions, when you start feeling more tired than usual, then your liver should be checked as soon as possible.

8. Nausea or vomiting, diarrhea

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Another common symptom of liver disease that has an earlier onset is nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When the liver begins to lose the ability to eliminate toxins, your digestive distress will increase.

When toxins remain in the body because the liver was not able to filter your food intake, this may cause nausea and vomiting.

9. Decrease or loss of appetite

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Since the liver plays an important role in the digestive system, liver diseases may cause you to lose appetite, and lose weight in return. Loss of appetite can be caused by cirrhosis and even liver cancer. If you notice an unwanted change in your diet, it’s time to consult with a doctor.

10. Bruising easily

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The liver is responsible for producing proteins that prevent blood clotting. When the organ stops producing proteins due to liver conditions, blood clots will occur causing easy bruising and even excessive bleeding.

Do these symptoms sound vague? Undeniably. This is why an endoscopy or a fibroscan is important for both you and your hepatologist. When the liver is distressed, these procedures can help confirm that. Liver diseases, especially complex ones, cannot be diagnosed with a simple ultrasound. If your doctor writes down a doctor’s request for either of these procedures, it’s best to have these done quickly.

Key Takeaways

Taking care of your overall health is essential, especially as you age. While the liver is only one organ, it keeps our body running smoothly on a regular basis. In taking care of your liver, it’s important to keep these notes in mind:

  • It starts with you. Your current diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices will define your current health condition and the health of your liver. With proper diet, exercise, and moderate drinking, you’ll be able to keep your liver functioning well.
  • It can be genetic, too. Liver problems can also be caused by genetic conditions. If your family has a history of different liver diseases and even liver cancer, then best to schedule regular consultations, and even endoscopies or fibroscans with your hepatologist to help you understand your current health condition to help prevent any disease from occurring.
  • When in doubt, visit a doctor. Symptoms can present differently depending on your current condition, so it’s really not a good practice to assume your diagnosis. If the symptoms persist, visit your doctor for a liver consultation.

At The Hospital at Maayo, they are ready to provide the quality medical care you need to take care of your liver and yourself. Whether it’s an endoscopy, a fibroscan, or a regular doctor consultation, you can book an appointment with them to take care of your healthcare needs.

An Explainer on the ABCs of Hepatitis And
Other Infection Types

Patient-centered wellness experience is the goal of medical care provided in The Hospital at Maayo. Apart from providing top-notch facilities, the institution offers services dedicated to treating specific health issues, putting together truly holistic care for patients.

One of the areas we specialize in is liver wellness. With the growing burden of hepatitis infection in the country, we strive to help people take care of their liver health more intentionally. In observation of Viral Hepatitis Awareness and Prevention Month this January, we’ll be tackling in this article the ABCs of hepatitis, as well as other infection types, so you can take a more active role in prevention.

What is Hepatitis?

“Hepat” refers to the liver, “itis” is a suffix that means inflammation. Taken together, the word hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Depending on the causes, the health condition is categorized as viral hepatitis or toxic hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis, from its name, is liver inflammation caused by a virus. It can last less than six months (acute hepatitis) or carry on for more than six months, years, or even a lifetime (chronic hepatitis). Viral hepatitis comes in five different types.

Meanwhile, toxic hepatitis is inflammation of the liver in response to exposure to substances. This health condition can develop within hours or days of toxin exposure. Some patients, however, may exhibit hepatitis symptoms months after being exposed to the toxin.

What are the Types of Viral Hepatitis?

The five main classifications of viral hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Each condition is caused by a different virus. Similarly, the common route of transmission varies. But the symptoms across different types are somewhat similar, often involving stomach pain, jaundice, dark urine, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and joint pain.

These are the types and causes of viral hepatitis:

1. Hepatitis A

Caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV), this condition is found in the stool and blood of someone infected. It can be transmitted through the intake of fecal-contaminated food and water or direct contact with an infected person. For this reason, the ones who are most at risk for the disease are people who have poor sanitation and access to safe water.

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Unlike other types, most of these cases are acute. The hepatitis symptoms mentioned above can last up to two months. Eventually, patients recover and develop immunity for life. Even then, there are some incidents of death from hepatitis A, as the disease progresses to sudden liver failure.

2. Hepatitis B

This condition results from the hepatitis B virus, which is often spread through bodily fluids, such as blood or semen. Individuals who have unprotected sex with multiple partners or someone infected are at risk for developing the disease. Sharing syringes or needles and being born from an infected mother may likewise increase vulnerability.

In some cases, the condition is acute. For others, it can be chronic, lasting for years and resulting in life-threatening conditions, such as liver cancer or cirrhosis (liver scarring). According to a 2019 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), one in 10 people in the Philippines has chronic hepatitis B.

3. Hepatitis C

This condition is caused by hepatitis C, a type of virus passed via contact with blood from an infected person. This happens when there’s sharing of syringes and other tools used for injecting medications into the body. For this reason, the ones who are most vulnerable to the disease are those that use injection drugs. Sexual intercourse, which may involve contact with bodily fluids from genital sores or menstruation, can also increase risk for developing the disease.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska

Severe cases of hepatitis C often result in more serious liver problems, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. The WHO report cited above mentioned that six in 1,000 people in the Philippines have chronic hepatitis C.

4. Hepatitis D

A rare form of hepatitis, it only happens among hepatitis B patients. It’s also transmitted through contact with bodily fluids of someone infected. There are two ways hepatitis D develops. The first one is co-infection, in which a person contracts both hepatitis B and D viruses. The second one is superinfection, where the patient gets hepatitis B, and over time, progresses to hepatitis D.

Aside from having hepatitis B, individuals are vulnerable to this kind of disease when they use injection drugs and engage in sexual intercourse with someone infected.

5. Hepatitis E

The hepatitis E virus is spread through contact with the stool of an infected person. Poor hand hygiene and access to clean water contribute to the disease. Ingesting undercooked meat from infected animals may likewise increase risk for the health problem.

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Unlike other types of viral infections though, hepatitis E is acute. It usually goes away on its own after a month or two. During recovery, you’ll be advised to rest well, eat healthy food, drink lots of water, and avoid consuming alcohol.

What are the Types of Toxic Hepatitis?

The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the bloodstream. The process of breaking these down forms byproducts that can be damaging to the liver in large amounts. The types of toxic hepatitis are categorized based on the kinds of substances causing liver inflammation. The classifications include:

1. Alcohol-induced Hepatitis

Drinking too much alcohol can compromise liver health. Most alcoholic hepatitis patients have a history of consuming more than 100 grams a day for more than 20 years. Overweight heavy drinkers are more likely to develop the disease, which over time may advance to cirrhosis. This health condition is debilitating and life-threatening, affecting not only the patient but also their families. This is why hepatitis awareness, educating people about the risks and complications of the disease, is necessary.

2. Drug-Induced Hepatitis

This is a rare form of liver inflammation. Nonetheless, hepatitis can develop when you take too many certain medicines. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications that can increase the risk for hepatitis include anti-seizure drugs, anti-rheumatic drugs, antipsychotics, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, herbal and food supplements, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

Photo courtesy of Volodymyr Hryshchenko via Unsplash

When drug-induced hepatitis is suspected, patients are advised to stop taking medications. Doctors keep a close eye on the patient’s health as the liver recovers.

3. Chemical-Induced Hepatitis

Harmful chemicals that may cause inflammation of the liver include carbon tetrachloride (a dry cleaning solvent), polychlorinated biphenyls (dielectric and coolant fluids), paraquat (an herbicide), and vinyl chloride (a chemical used in making plastics).

Workers in manufacturing industries are particularly vulnerable to the disease as they may inhale, ingest, or come into contact with these toxic chemicals. For patients with suspected infection, the hepatitis diagnosis involves a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging tests, all of which are available in our list of medical services.

How to Protect Your Family from Hepatitis

Despite the prevalence of hepatitis, the health condition is actually preventable. Since you already know that viruses and toxins cause it, you can take these concrete action steps and keep your liver healthy:

1. Get Vaccinated

Vaccines are the best way to fight hepatitis A and B viruses. Children aged as early as 12 months to 23 months can get the hepatitis A vaccine. But if they’re traveling abroad, they can get it as early as 6 months from birth. Individuals who are treated with blood clotting drugs should also take the vaccine. Take the jab if you’re traveling to countries where the disease is prevalent.

Photo courtesy of CDC via Pexels

Parents are encouraged to have infants vaccinated against hepatitis B as well. Adults who are sexually active, have HIV infections, or work in a field that requires handling blood specimen must be inoculated too.

2. Wash Hands Regularly

As mentioned, hepatitis viruses can spread when you come into contact with something contaminated with an infected person’s bodily fluids or stool. Thus, it’s important to practice proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands after using the restroom or before preparing or eating food. When washing your hands, scrub between fingers, the back of the hands, and your wrists to make sure that everything is clean.

3. Stay Away from Unclean Food and Water

Avoid raw food. When eating outside, your meal should be hot to the touch. Try to steer clear from street food, since most of the vendors are unregulated. It’s also best to drink only bottled water.

Photo courtesy of Min An via Pexels

If you’re traveling abroad, don’t drink from the tap. Boil it first to kill disease-causing viruses and bacteria. After boiling for a minute, allow it to cool before drinking.

4. Think Twice before Sharing Personal Items

These personal items include razors, toothbrushes, nail cutters, even towels. Remember, contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids can cause hepatitis infections. In the same way that you’re careful about not sharing personal items, you must also be proactive in settings outside of your personal circle. For instance, if you decide to get a piercing or tattoo, which requires the use of needles, ask about the sterilization practices and make sure they observe proper infection control and prevention.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

5. Quit Drinking

As mentioned above, heavy alcohol consumption can cause liver damage. If you’re struggling cutting off alcohol in your daily routine, ask a professional. A therapist may help you uncover the reasons behind alcohol addiction and recommend steps for quitting. The support of loved ones may help as well. Be accountable to your significant other, sibling, or close friend as you commit to sobriety.

6. Be Smart and Responsible When Taking Medicines

To prevent drug-induced hepatitis, try to limit medications. Explore natural ways to manage existing health problems. For instance, in lowering blood pressure, instead of taking statins, exercise regularly, reduce caffeine and alcohol intake, cut back on sodium, and add more potassium to your diet. In instances, you really need to take medications, follow the directions carefully. Don’t go over the recommended dosage.

Hepatitis is a highly preventable health condition. Are you at risk? Take charge of your health and prioritize liver wellness. For a consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of liver diseases, contact The Hospital at Maayo.

22 Healthy & Transformative New Year’s Resolution Ideas

As the New Year approaches, it’s time to talk about the resolutions you can make. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’ll be a while before things get back to normal. But 2022 gives you a chance to start afresh with a clean slate.

As one the trusted hospitals in Cebu with a patient-centered wellness experience. Here are a few solid New Year’s resolutions ideas you can start with today:

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1. Eat healthily

The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that those who live an unhealthy lifestyle are putting themselves at risk. Healthy eating habits are vital to living a long, healthy, and happy life. You can start by trying a vegan diet or incorporating more vegetables, fruits, and essential vitamins into your diet.

Photo courtesy of Anna Pelzer via Unsplash

2. Give yourself a break

In today’s society, you must have multiple jobs and a side hustle. Don’t let society trick you into thinking you’re not doing enough, burnouts can happen.

Take a break; do something you love. Even doing simple things to maintain a healthy body weight can bring a positive change to your mental health.

Photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin via Pexels

3. Avoid trigger foods

What food makes you feel bad? What makes you feel sick? Best to know what your ‘trigger foods’ right at the start of the year!

For example: Stay away from foods filled with sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats; these can cause you to overeat and lose sight of your health goals you’ve set this year.

4. Put your mental health first

Every single person’s New Year’s resolution must start with this: Free yourself from situations that aren’t good for you. Taking proper care of your mental health will allow everything else to fall into place. Try looking for simple habits to improve your mental health today.

5. Prepare your own meals

Preparing your own meal puts you in charge of what goes into your body. The food you eat is essential to you functioning at 100% percent, which is one way to help you look and feel healthier.

Photo courtesy of Maarten van den Heuvel via Pexels

6. Spend a healthy amount of time alone

A study by the Journal of Environmental Psychology has shown that spending time alone increases productivity and can make you more creative. It can help you discover who you truly are and map out what you want from your life in the coming years.

Nothing wrong with a little soul searching through everything we’ve been through the past years, right?

7. Become one with your feelings

Most people find it difficult to feel things, especially when the world is moving too fast.

You’re heading towards a mental breakdown if you don’t get in touch with your emotions. Pay attention to your body, talk to someone about how you feel (a licensed therapist or a close friend), journal, or listen to music.

Find a good avenue to let your feelings out— don’t bottle them all up!

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8. Exercise regularly or even daily

Daily exercise brings a ton of health benefits such as helping you control your weight and reducing your risk of heart diseases. Get some exercise and along with our different cardiovascular services, you’ll be sure to be in great shape.

But don’t overwork yourself, simply taking a walk, doing jump ropes every morning, or sit-ups will do the trick. Sneak in a walk, yoga, or even some muscle and bone exercises— anything that gets you moving is essential, especially if you work from home.

Photo courtesy of Valeria Ushakova via Pexels

9. Be consistent in your resolutions and practices

A stop-start attitude will make sure you never get anything done. Be consistent in your personal, professional, and everyday life; may it be with exercise, diet, or your work ethic, you’d accomplish your goals faster, be more self-confident, and have direction

10. Practice being fully present

Life has become all about capturing the moment instead of being in the moment.

It’s time to put our devices down and experience the beauty all around you. Set yourself or your whole family some much needed break from screen time to enjoy the moment with the people around you (or even yourself!).

After all, experiences are better when shared with the people you care about the most.

11. Learn something new

This is guaranteed to give you a childlike feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
Learning something new related to your passion, job, or hobby keeps your brain refreshed, reduces stress, and improves your mental health. Plus adding new skills to your repertoire is always fulfilling.

12. Practice saying no

Get out of your comfort zone and set healthy boundaries so that you don’t overexert yourself to please others, especially if it comes at your own discomfort.

Focus more on yourself this year and reap the benefits.

13. Get enough sleep and rest

Lack of proper sleep may lead to health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and many more.

Your focus this new year should be on getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night. This will improve your mood and help you function better.

Photo courtesy of John-Mark Smith via Pexels

14. Take your time eating and chewing your food

This new year, take your time when you eat and pay more attention to your body; you’ll experience better digestion, greater hydration and it aids in maintaining your weight.

15. Work on a skill you’ve been meaning to improve

There is no better feeling than when you accomplish something new. Psychologist Vanessa King’s research shows that when you improve a skill, you gain more confidence, your happiness is boosted and you feel motivated to do more.

So work on something you’ve been trying to improve and make sure you nail it this time around.

16. Practice proper time-managemen

Manage your time better by setting aside time to work, time for leisure, and time for relaxation. Having a consistent sleep and work schedule allows you to find a rhythm that’s beneficial for your mental health and overall well-being.

Photo courtesy of Lukas Blazek via Unsplash

17. Don’t sweat the little things

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 10% of the world’s population has anxiety, which stems from overthinking. Learn to accept the things you can’t change and stop worrying. Some ideas to get you started are limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake, getting proper sleep, exercise, and positive affirmations.

18. Push through adversity

It’s a tale as old as time itself – never give up. Keep going. You’ve fought through the pandemic with all its downsides, so when you’re met with adversity, there’s no doubt that you can push through it.

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19. Aim for excellence

With all that’s going on in the world, this is something that will help you stand out from everyone else. Put your best into everything you do. Don’t aim for perfection because that’s unachievable; just be the best at what you’ve set your mind to do.

20. Reconnect with friends and family

The pandemic has taught us that we all need each other. Spend more time with the ones you love the most. It doesn’t have to be a party, simply being there with those who love and care about you is more than enough.

Photo courtesy of Helena Lopes via Unsplash

If you’ve been with them throughout the pandemic, try building healthy new year resolutions together to keep things fun and interesting. It may can be taking time off your phones to genuinely talk with each other, get into a new exercise routine, or even start healthy eating habits as a family so that all of you are well and fit for many more years ahead!

21. Practice proper hygiene

Although the vaccine rollout is underway, don’t forget that you’re still living in a pandemic. Washing your hands, covering your mouth when you sneeze, using deodorant, etc. can help boost your confidence, self-esteem and prevent you from spreading or contracting any infectious diseases.

22. Have regular check-ups

Don’t wait for something to happen before you act.

Be proactive and have regular checkups. After all, prevention is better than a cure. Regular executive checkups will allow you to detect health conditions early, giving you the best chance of getting the right treatment.

Photo courtesy of Thirdman via Pexels

You are more capable than you think, so don’t limit yourself. These 22 new year resolution ideas are bound to have you living healthier, happier, and more fulfilled.

But if you ever need to consult a medical professional in any of your resolutions, the health experts from The Hospital at Maayo are here to assist you.

Set an appointment with us today.

8 Immediate Signs You Need to Talk to Your ENT Doctor

If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit your ENT doctor, then you’ve come to the right place.

Sometimes, even the slightest discomfort can be a sign for you to be cautious and get in touch with your doctor. With the many different ENT services and specialists at The Hospital at Maayo, there’s no harm in asking questions. After all, they are experts that prevent your diseases from developing into major health concerns such as tuberculosis.

At The Hospital at Maayo, you can rest assured that you’ll be provided with high-quality medical care that you need. See the following health concerns and contact our resident Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT specialist) today at The Hospital at Maayo if you think you’re experiencing any of these:

  1. Nose Bleeding
  2. Nasal Blockage
  3. Problems with your voice and difficulty swallowing
  4. Constant sore throats, earaches, and sinus pains
  5. Tinnitus
  6. Vertigo and problems with keeping balance
  7. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  8. Snoring that is causes difficulty breathin

1. Nose Bleeding

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Your nose is susceptible to bleeding because it contains several blood vessels that could get easily irritated. While it’s easy to dismiss the danger brought by nose bleeding, it’s important to know when you need to consult your ENT doctor because it might be a sign of a potential major health concern.

Nose bleeding is commonly triggered by trauma exerted inside the nose such as excessive nose-picking and rubbing.

Avoid exerting force and pressure to your nose especially if you have a sinus infection because it might snowball into a more serious problem.

2. Nasal Blockage

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Nasal blockage is another symptom that patients like you commonly dismiss as a minor concern. It is normally caused by a runny nose from a common flu or from an allergy, that is why most patients simply wait until it passess.

Due to the blockage in your nose, you might have trouble smelling which corollary leads to a loss of taste and loss of appetite. This is because your olfactory and gustatory senses are connected.

However, it is important to note that nasal blockages are usually triggered by another health problem that only an ENT specialist can diagnose.

Nasal blockages should be immediately treated if your baby has it. A blocked nose will keep your baby from breathing properly, as well as inhibit their appetite. Learn also how to identify asthma attacks caused by nose blockages to help save a life.

3. Problems with your voice and difficulty swallowing

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It’s not easy to determine which causes these problems and a specialist is the only one who can diagnose your sickness. Avoid Googling your symptoms because this could only lead to paranoia and self-diagnosis that could worsen your condition.

Here are some possible reason why you have problems with your voice and your ability to swallow:

  • Laryngitis – An inflammation in the larynx that causes it to swell. Certain habits such as straining your voice when speaking, excessively smoking, and inhaling irritants such as dust and airborne particles can trigger laryngitis. It’s best to rest your voice and avoid speaking when you’re experiencing this.However, keep in mind that laryngitis could also be caused by bacterial and viral infection. It’s important that you take the necessary medication when this happens to avoid further discomfort.
  • Chronic coughs – These are coughs that go beyond six weeks. But also do note the severity and duration of the coughs.
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) — A neurological affliction that causes unpredictable and uncontrollable contractions of the laryngeal muscles. This tightening of the muscles causes difficulty in speaking. Women are more susceptible to it than men according to one stud. It is still unsure if this is affected by hereditary or environmental factors, but it is revealed that exposure to stress may be the reason behind this.

Remember to take this information with caution— asound mind is a sound body after all.

4. Constant sore throats, earaches, and sinus pains

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When it comes to sore throats, earaches, and sinus pains, there is no set number of days that you have to wait before you finally decide to contact your ENT doctor. Similar to the other diseases in this list, these symptoms may just be the tip of an iceberg.

Sore throats are commonly caused by colds and flus, allergies, and even dry air. While there are home remedies that you can do at home such as gargling with salt mixed in lukewarm water, remember to monitor yourself if the symptoms don’t go away for more than five days.

For children who are experiencing sore throats that won’t go away, check if they have symptoms such as chest soreness, headaches, and perennial coughing to prevent and avoid complications of bronchitis.

Ear aches are a corollary symptom of sore throats due to sinus infection and strep throat. It may also be due to earwax buildup.

Finally, signs that you need to check that could determine if you have sinus pains include headaches, sinus drips, fever, and brightly colored mucus that includes yellow or green phlegm. The latter is a sure sign that it is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection.

While these common pains might look innocuous, take note the world is still currently facing a pandemic and a seemingly minor health concern could lead to life-threatening disease if you contract COVID on top of these ailments.

5. Tinnitus

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Are you hearing a ringing or buzzing in your ears even when you’re alone or just lying down on bed? Healthy Hearing listed a few sounds people with Tinnitus report hearing which include:

  • The buzzing of insects such as crickets or cicadas
  • A running vehicle
  • Metal grinding against metal
  • Wind of a fan
  • The hissing of a kettle
  • Fluorescent lights

This could be a symptom of tinnitus. This is caused by blockage in your ears in which your ear canals may be experiencing buildup from fluids due to an infection. Another sign that you’re experiencing tinnitus is hearing loss.

The emotional toll brought by tinnitus could lead to psychological distress. The constant jarring sound you hear could keep you from getting proper rest.

6. Vertigo and problems with keeping balance

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Your ears enable you to sustain balance, hence an ENT doctor should be contacted if you’re feeling dizzy and finding it difficult to maintain proper footing.

One example of a disease that causes you an impaired sense of balance is vertigo.

Vertigo refers to a sensation of feeling dizzy even if you’re standing still. This dizziness causes you to feel as if the world is spinning uncontrollably, which in turn causes you to lose your balance.

Vertigos are caused by infections within the ear. The most common of these is the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPSV) that can be triggered in a change of your head position from sudden movement.

While vertigo is normally considered not a serious health concern, check if the symptoms persist because it might be originating from another health problem your body is facing.

7. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when acid from your stomach that is supposed to digest food flows back into the tube connecting your stomach to your mouth. Frequent exposure to this acid reflux damages your esophagus.

Some signs that you are experiencing GERD include heartburns, chest pains, and difficulty in swallowing.

While a gastroenterologist could provide you information about acid reflux, an ENT expert would be able to assess the damage of the acid backwash on the lining of your esophagus which is directly connected to your throat. Besdies this, ENT specialists can also help you with the other symptoms of GERD such as possible formation of lumps in your throat, difficulty swallowing, and halitosis or bad breathe.

People who are overweight, constantly smoke, or are currently pregnant are prone to experiencing GERD because of weakened lower esophageal sphincter.

8. Snoring that is causes difficulty breathing

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Most people tend to ignore snoring because they believe it isn’t related to a health concern. However, there is a science behind why people snore. While it is true that it is hereditary, some other reasons why you or someone you know snore is because they might be overweight, they are experiencing nasal congestion and blockages, and they have weak lungs due to smoking.

Snoring does not only affect physical health, but emotional and social health as well. Your partner may not tell you, but they might already be bothered by your snoring that keeps them from having a good night’s sleep.

Believe it or not, ENT specialists are trained to address possible underlying health concerns that cause you to snore, as well as recommend you science-based steps to at least minimize your snoring.

Taking care of your health means also protecting and caring for others around you after all.

If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to problems in your ears, nose, and throat, it’s that most people dismiss these concerns not knowing there’s an ENT specialist who’s ready to help and alleviate their concerns. Keeping all parts of your body in top shape is key to achieving a holistically healthy physical condition.

Don’t wait for these seemingly minor problems to evolve into life-threatening ones. Set an appointment today with The Hospital at Maayo.

Filipino Home Massage Techniques for Muscle Pains

It’s unavoidable to feel body ache every now and then, especially when our lifestyle is a bit sedentary and we’re sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours or more. There must be pain on certain muscles or a knot on your back every day and it’s keeping you from being productive.

While standing up and doing a few exercise routines at home helps a little, but what if the discomfort and muscle pain return?

We’ve asked our physical wellness therapists, and they suggest something more traditional massage techniques you can try at home:

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Filipinos are well-known for their own brand of massage techniques. Former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan explains that one thing unique about the Filipino hilot is that it is the only type of massage “that uses coconut oil and, for its spa version, virgin coconut oil.” This is unsurprising since coconut trees were an integral part of the traditional lifestyle back then.

If you want to learn some traditional massage techniques you can try at home, then continue reading below:

What is hilot in the Philippines?

Different kinds of massage have been associated with the cultures they originated from. These types of massage can usually be found in common wellness spas such as the Shiatsu massage from Japan, as well as the Thai and Swedish massage.

In fact, even licensed health practitioners and doctors offer massage services in their clinics since they too believe there are lots of benefits that can be acquired from a good massage.

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The Philippines has its own massage technique called hilot. While the other previous massages mostly appeal to people looking to relax and destress, the hilot prioritizes its intention to heal and alleviate pain. This is because hilot is closely associated with, and practiced by folk healers called the albularyo or manghihilot.

It is also believed that paghihilot can be traced back to the pre-colonial babaylan. The babaylan were local shamans in communities who acted as intercessors between the material and spiritual plains. This indicates that hilot addressed more than the physical ailments, but also spiritual concerns – an element that is still present in the modern panghihilot.

It’s misleading and derogatory to dismiss both the albularyo and manghihilot as quack doctors practicing pseudoscience. The advancement of medicine and science has painted them in a negative light. However, the existence of the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Healthcare (PITAHC) which is recognized by the Philippine government, proves that hilot massage techniques and practitioners are not a dying aspect of the Filipino culture.

What are the benefits?

Hilot primarily targets physical pains caused by lamig. Lamig is a Filipino word for muscle spasm. An albularyo can identify these spots on the body by feeling these hardened muscles with their hands. The healer will also sometimes use special oils such as eucalyptus that give off heat to soften these muscles so they will respond better when massaged.

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Besides providing physical wellness, the PITAHC claims that this can also address “mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects” with the use of other folk medicine paraphernalia such as medicinal plants.

Basics Massage Techniques You Can Try

While you can always call your physical wellness clinic to have your muscle spasms and pains checked by a licensed professional, it’s also great to know a few massage techniques you can do at home if you’re looking for a quick solution.

Below are some easy-to-do techniques that you can do safely alone or with the help of another person.

The following are a few basic unique Filipino hand strokes in that you need to know before trying it at home. These are also included in a module developed by the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA):

1. Hagod

A technique done with an open palm and fingers spread out which are used to apply long deep strokes with strong pressure through the body, identifying the locations of the lamig or muscle spasms on the back. Remember to avoid the spinal area when doing this technique.

2. Haplos

Short, gentle strokes done with an open palm and fingers spread out after the hagod to help the muscles relax after being applied pressure.

3. Pindot

A 5-second application of pressure directly on the lamig concentrations to break them down. This is done using the two thumbs placed not more than 1 inch from each other.

4. Pisil

A squeezing hand movement using the thumb and the index finger to release the energy within the body.

5. Piga

A technique to spread heat in the body to spread out the melted lamig concentrations after performing pindot and pisil.

If one technique seems inadequate to alleviate your muscle pains, you can combine all of these hand techniques with herbal materials such as banana leaves. This “banana leaf method” was described by DOH’s Dr. Jaime Tan in the article cited previously.

Photo courtesy of hay s via Unsplash

To perform this method:

  1. Start by creating long strips of banana leaves.
  2. Drenched the banana leaves in warmed virgin coconut oil
  3. Applied the banana strips on the body with pressure, gliding them to different parts such as the side of the arms. The area where the banana leaf stops moving indicates that there is an “energy block”.

The five basic massage techniques can then be performed on this particular area to eradicate the lamig or muscle pain. If you are interested to learn more about medicinal plants and its uses, check out PITAHC’s full guide.

While it’s still unclear how much longer people will practice a sedentary lifestyle during the lockdown, you can still consult your physical and therapy experts. But if you need quick healing, you can definitely try these traditional and folk medical practices.

To maximize the benefits of these home remedies, always consult and set an appointment with your doctor to ensure that you’re always on top of your health.

13 Simple and Healthy Habits to Improve Mental Health for Any Age

Living in a busy world where your day-to-day routines are filled with heaps of tasks will surely leave you feeling worn out. With tons of workloads to do, how could you cope with this multitude of things whirling around your mind?

Practicing habits to improve mental health grants you the ability to have a good relationship with others and with yourself while staying on top of everything else.

Why is mental health important?

As per the Mental Health Act of the Philippines, our mental health is just as important as physical health since it includes your psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Your productivity and relationships depend on your mental health since it affects the way you:

  • Handle problems and cope with stress
  • Relate to others
  • Stay physically active
  • Work productively
  • Make important life decisions

You cannot control the things that happen around you but you can control how you react to them. Instilling habits to improve mental health can be your only solution in having quality time in your life.

Let’s learn how to restore, take care of, and protect our mental health at all times.

How to improve your mental health

Maintaining healthy mental health is important from childhood and teenage years through adulthood. Having an outlet for your stress at different life stages can create a great influence on your overall health wellbeing.

Training your mind to nourish healthy habits, however small they may be, is the best way to improve your mental wellbeing. Habit works through a loop – cue, routine, and reward. Instructing your brain over time will make a habit an automatic behavior.

To help you out, we listed down some essential habits to improve mental health and wellbeing for all ages:

For Kids, 12 years or younger

Children are still in the stage of learning social skills and maintaining healthy developmental and emotional health. Eating nutritious food, following bedtime rules, and avoiding too many sweets aren’t the only ones that you should be teaching your kids to practice.

If you have children that are 12 years old or younger, they’ll surely enjoy these fun habits:

1. Give them time and freedom to play

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Playing is important for your kid’s mental and social development since it is through it that your children learn to interact and engage with the world around them. Let your kid get along with other children and find great playmates.

Let them be creative in their games, too. They may be just games, but they’re also great ways of developing their mental and physical health to maintain their body weight.

What if your child can’t go outdoors and play? Don’t resort to merely letting them play or watch on gadget screens. There are still plenty of indoor games they can try out including hide-and-seek, charades, or Monopoly!

Plus, don’t forget to be involved in your child’s playtime too as this builds a positive bond between you and your child.

2. Communicate with your children

Does your child ask for your help with homework or speak to you whenever they’re sad or scared to sleep alone at night?

Don’t deride nor dismiss their sentiments and always show that you’re concerned about how they feel. Establish the idea that there’s nothing wrong with feelings of sadness, anger, or fear but what is important is how they handle them.

Ask how they feel, what they did in school for the day, or how their friends are doing. Assure them that they always have a safe space to speak up with anyone.

For teenagers, 13 to 18 years old

Ages from 13 to 18 years are the usual ages from high school, which also means it’s a formative time and a transition period from childhood to adulthood. Try out these habits to improve mental health at this stage of your life.

3. Encourage them to pick up a hobby they enjoy

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Practicing any hobby allows your kids to unwind from your exhausting daily routines from school. In picking out a great hobby, have them start trying out activities and see what they already enjoy.

Do they like listening to music? Maybe playing an instrument will be suitable. Are they fascinated by other cultures and places? Learning new languages or cooking different cuisines might be good.

Encourage them to transform things they already love into a hobby that they’ll truly enjoy.

4. Get an adequate amount of sleep

Regular and adequate amount of sleep aids the brain to recover from mental exertion, leaving your mind recharged, refreshed, and alert.

A mental health and sleep study suggests that sleeping strengthens your memory and helps you retain new information processed in your brain. Ergo, sleep significantly affects your teenagers’ performance in school.

Having low quality and inadequate sleep can negatively impact their mood, affect their decisions, how they interpret events and lose their ability to focus. So make sure that they are having adequate sleep every night!

Remind them to stay out of your phone at least two hours before bedtime, have cool room temperature, or read a book. You can also serve bedtime teas like chamomile tea since it is commonly regarded as a sleep inducer.

Young adults, 20 to 24 years old

Individuals in this age range may be finishing degrees, having a part-time jobs, or starting with their careers. No matter how busy, don’t forget to practice these habits to improve mental health:

5. Practice positive self-affirmations

Give positive self-affirmations for focus and motivation to transform negative thoughts into positive thinking patterns. It reminds you that there’s always room for improvement whenever we face failures and shortcomings.

You can also use affirmations during your yoga or meditation practice. Set your intention before the exercise and think about what particular area of your life would you want to improve then direct your mind and energy into that thought throughout the exercise.

6. Write down your worries

Have something you’re worried about? Just write them down. Every time there’s something bothering you, let it out in your journal. Having these unwelcome thoughts whirling around your mind all day and just forcing them to stop may only increase your worries.

Letting out your worries by writing them down can redirect your thoughts towards positive things. You can also do these before bedtime, along with your accomplishments and gratitude journals.

For adults, 25 years old and older

You’re holding much more responsibilities in your work, bills, and house upkeep. Create a routine having the following habits then you’ll definitely feel more thrilled with keeping up with your life obligations, rather than feeling overwhelmed.

7. Stay physically active

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Whenever you’re exercising, your body releases endorphins which are chemicals that trigger positive emotions.

A recent study suggests that aerobic exercises like jogging, walking, cycling, gardening, and dancing can improve your mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Create a physical fitness routine or do simple weight-maintaining exercises that you frankly enjoy, either on your own or in a group.

8. Prepare ahead of the week

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Practice healthy eating habits by listing down your everyday menu and prepare your lunches at the start of the week. Planning your week or day ahead helps you feel more in control of your everyday routine.

You can even pick out your clothes ahead of the week or day so you’ll not be troubled about your clothes every single day.

With regard to budgeting, planning them ahead of time will make sure you’re prepared for the unforeseen finances throughout the week.

Senior citizens

With so much time in your hands, you may still feel stressed from boredom and totally consumed at the end of the day. Exercise these habits that are effective in nourishing your mental strength, even at the age of 60!

9. Form hobbies that keep your day occupied

Keep yourself busy with things you love to do or hobbies you wanted to try when you were younger but never got the chance to do. It’s never too late to do things that you honestly enjoy.

Want to physically fit? Try out some easy bone and muscle exercises that will help you keep your body limber at any age.

Do you have photos of your family piling up on your phone’s gallery? Try printing them out and make a creative photo album. Your family will surely be excited to see them next time they visit you.

Got more room in your garden or house? Introduce more colors and plants to your house. Or, maybe you can even make your garden into a vegetable-bearing space to save you a trip to the vegetable market!

Photo courtesy of Zen Chung via Pexels

10. Socialize with your friends and with the community

The pandemic restricts you from physically socializing with your friends and family as much as you want to but there are a lot more ways you can stay in touch with your loved ones. You can try hosting a virtual party through video calls or joining forums and chat rooms on social media. Consider being active in your community, too. There are clubs or charities where you can meet new people and experience new things.

Investing in having healthy mental health through cost-effective and simple habits is a worthwhile effort. They are easy-to-do things that you can incorporate into your daily routine that wouldn’t take much of your time and effort but are definitely effective in building up your mental strength.

Need assistance in other health aspects to improve your mental health? We have health professionals, nutritionists, and physical therapists on board at The Hospital At Maayo Well. Feel free to book an appointment and consult with us!

Simple yet Effective Muscle and Bone Strengthening Activities for the Elderly

As you walk through the course of life, you’re faced with many challenges–including those that involve your overall health.

Many senior citizens in the Philippines suffer from bone and muscle conditions. In 2019, it was reported that 16.6% of ages 60 to 69 year-olds, 20.1% of 70 to 79 year-olds, and 18.8% of Filipinos over 80 years old suffer from arthritis, neuralgia, or rheumatism.

Bones and muscles tend to deteriorate as you age. But this can be prevented with muscle and bone-strengthening activities even at home. This Bone & Joint Awareness week, improve your overall health by conducting physical activities every day.

Improve your bone and muscle density with the following simple exercises:

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Weight-Bearing ExercisesPhoto courtesy of Tomasz Wozniak via Unsplash

Weight-bearing exercises are defined as activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. Here are some exercises you can do to strengthen your bones and muscles.

1. Brisk Walking

Walking plays an important role in a senior’s exercise life. Brisk walking helps prevent the development of arthritis and reduces arthritis pain if one is diagnosed with it. It is recommended that people over 65 years of age conduct 30 to 60 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise at least five times a week, and brisk walking fits the requirement.

What you need: Running shoes to support your feet and ankles when taking a walk.

2. Jogging

While walking poses benefits to seniors bone and muscle condition. How about taking it up a notch with jogging? Running at a steady pace allows you to build muscle and help strengthen your bones. In turn, your range of motion is well maintained, allowing you to do your usual things and more even as you age. It is recommended that seniors could jog at least 5 to 10 minutes a day, or 50 minutes each week to gain benefits.

What you need: Running shoes to support your feet and ankles when jogging

3. Stair Walking

If you have stairs at home and walking outside is not your thing, how about going against gravity and try stair walking at home instead? Climbing stairs on a daily basis help achieve healthy body weight and help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints as you age. In turn, this exercise increases leg power in the long run To add, stair climbing greatly helps in postmenopausal women’s bone density.

The great thing about stair walking is that this can be accumulated throughout the day. It is recommended to climb up and down a flight of stairs for a good 30 minutes daily. This can be squeezed in while working on your household chores or going to and from the living room and the bedroom.

Strength-Training Exercises

Strength-Training ExercisesPhoto courtesy of Alora Griffiths via Unsplash

Don’t let old age stop you from feeling healthier, more energetic, and younger even. You can do that with a series of strength-training exercises. Improve your strength and endurance even as you age with these equipment-free activities.

1. Wall Push-ups

You don’t need to go down on the floor to do push-ups. All you need to do is stand two feet away from the wall, put your hands against the wall at shoulder height. Keep your body straight and slowly lower your chest to the wall, and let your heels come off the floor. After that, slowly press through your hands and straighten your elbows. Then repeat.

Wall push-ups help you work on your biceps, triceps, pecs, and other anterior deltoids that not only improve your upper-body strength and maintain proper movement of your shoulder. It is recommended for seniors to do push up at least two to four times a week, with an interval of 24 hours each time.

2. Weights

Strength training remains essential even when you reach senior age. With a good set of weights, you’re able to improve your flexibility, build muscle strength, reduce lower back pain, and even improve your cardiorespiratory functions.

However, when you already have a bone or muscle condition, it’s best to consult with an orthopedic surgeon before starting on lifting weights.

What you need: A pair of weights compatible with your weight and current health condition

3. Resistance band workouts

No to weights? Don’t worry. There are other ways to do resistance training at home. You can conduct workouts at home with resistance bands. This is a good series of exercises perfect for seniors and beginners. Among the resistance band workouts for seniors include:

  • Leg press
  • Triceps press
  • Lateral raise
  • Bicep curl
  • Band pull apart

Resistance band workouts don’t require expensive equipment and can be done in the comfort of your home. These workouts help improve your posture, mobility, and balance and also strengthen your core.

4. Pilates

Another popular core strengthening exercise for seniors is pilates. Developed over a century ago, Pilates is known to help build muscle strength without having to go through higher-impact exercises which can be more challenging and damaging for those in the older ages. Some pilates exercises for senior citizens include:

  • Mermaid movement
  • Side circles
  • Food slides
  • Step ups
  • Leg Circle

Pilates has been proven to improve one’s balance and flexibility among senior citizens. Furthermore, it helps the development of muscle strength and tone, thus improving your core strength.

What you need: mats, pilates balls, or other inflated accessories.

Other exercises

Photo courtesy of JD Mason via Unsplash

If you’re up for the challenge. Here are other forms of exercise that can also help strengthen your muscle and bones even as you enter the senior citizen age.

1. Water Aerobics

If you love the pool, then you’ll enjoy doing aerobics while enjoying a refreshing splash on the pool. Water aerobics is popular and is an ideal exercise for older folks with arthritis and joint pain. Water buoyancy puts less stress on one’s joints. And since water has natural resistance factors, this greatly helps in muscle and bone-strengthening exercises. Here are some of the recommended water aerobics exercises for seniors:

  • Aqua jogging
  • Flutter kicking
  • Leg lifts
  • Arm curls

Conducting water aerobics help improve your body’s strength, flexibility, and balance, which makes it perfect for seniors who look to improve their overall health.

2. Yoga

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age doesn’t require overstretching your muscles and bones. One of the best ways to do that is by doing yoga. Whether taking yoga classes or doing it at home, this is one of the best forms of exercise for older adults.

While there have yet to be studies that prove the benefits of yoga on muscle strength, this exercise can strengthen bones and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Furthermore, yoga can enhance one’s balance, movement, mobility, and strength, and at the same time, help reduce pains that come along with aging.

3. Side-Lying Circles

Improve your mobility and core strength even as you age. The side-lying circles are a simple activity that works on the glutes, the body’s largest muscle group. All you have to do is lie on one side on the floor with a straight body with the bottom arm extended to your head, and lifting your leg in small clockwise circles, and counterclockwise in the air.

These little moves won’t stress you out too much but greatly help in improving your mobility through the joints.

4. Squats to chair

Squats are one of the most functional exercises for all ages – including senior citizens. Squatting helps strengthen your entire lower body and core, especially when you need to pick something up from the floor or getting up from the couch.

In doing this, you would need a chair in front of you. Like a usual squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest upright and gently push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body just above the chair. It is important to distribute your weight over your heels and mid-feet to help improve your muscular strength.

Taking care of your body is an essential part of healthy aging. If you’re afraid of your joints cracking in the process, keep in mind that little physical activity is better than none at all. Exercise for people above 60 poses great health benefits, like preventing various chronic conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatism.

If you find yourself suffering from body pain, or hear more bones cracking than usual, it’s best to consult a doctor before continuing your usual physical activities.

Book an appointment at The Hospital at Maayo Well today.

How to Take Care of Your Liver If You Have Diabetes

how to take care of liver

In the Philippines, diabetes is a prevalent and persistent health problem – one with complications that may affect your liver health and other body systems.

Based on May 2020 data from International Diabetes Federation, 6.3% of Filipino adults are afflicted with diabetes; rounding out to nearly four million cases. But having diabetes is not the only issue that these affected adults have to worry about, because the disease also results in other unpleasant and surprising health issues.

Poor liver health is one of these unpleasant complications. Those affected with diabetes usually experience non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Dr. James Tabibian of the University of California, Davis stated that it is considered a common diagnosis among diabetes patients, and often comes as a shocking revelation to patients. NAFLD worsens over time, which is why Dr. Tabibian strongly advises that those with diabetes take extra precautions on taking great care of their liver.

What is a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

NAFLD is a common metabolic disorder that often develops in people living with diabetes.

It is a condition wherein there is excess fat in your liver. From the name itself, you can develop this form of fatty liver disease even if you drink little or no alcohol at all. It is linked mostly to diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

Additionally, the link between NAFLD and diabetes and how they are correlated is also known to go both ways. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that NAFLD increases the risk of a patient developing diabetes, while having diabetes can similarly increase the risk of NAFLD developing and progressing to liver inflammation and scarring.

What are the symptoms of NAFLD?

NAFLD usually does not have symptoms and you will be needing health examinations to determine if your liver health is in trouble. But as the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Do not wait for an examination to confirm your fears that you might have NAFLD, but focus on finding ways on how to take care of your liver.

How to protect your liver health if you have diabetes

Here are some expert care tips that you can follow to prevent diabetes from damaging your liver.

Consult your doctor about your health concernsPhoto courtesy of National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

1. Consult your doctor about your health concerns.

It is not good to guess what is good and what is not bad for your health. If you find yourself getting worried about your liver health, seek medical advice from excellent doctors. Avoid listening to medical advice that someone just told you, unless they are an actual medical expert. Medical misinformation is also common online, so be sure to read information in legit medical websites and be discerning enough to spot fake medical news.

Directly asking medical advice from doctors will prevent unnecessary fear and worry. Also, your doctors will provide you with effective options that will truly help you in avoiding NAFLD.

Avoid artificial or processed foodsPhoto courtesy of Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

2. Avoid artificial or processed foods.

Processed foods are not good for anyone’s overall health. They are high in harmful content such as fats, sugar, and salt, which will definitely result in poor liver health if you eat them everyday. But it can be difficult to avoid them these days, especially if you have a fast-paced lifestyle where you have little to no time to prepare food for yourself.

Still, you have to find eat healthy even if you are super busy. Prepare healthy meals in advance, browse the healthy options in your local restaurants, and allot budgets for healthy snacks like fruits are some of the solutions that you can try to avoid picking artificial or processed meals.

Drink lots of waterPhoto courtesy of Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

3. Drink lots of water.

Some health tips do not have to be complicated. Drinking lots of water is one of them, and it can already do wonders for your liver. Drinking water can help flush toxins from your body, prevent dehydration, and help your liver to function better.

But remember, focus on drinking water alone. While fruit juices and other sweetened drinks may have water, it is not the same as drinking water on its own. They have artificial sweeteners, which are not recommended for your liver if consumed in high amounts.

Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a dayPhoto courtesy of Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

4. Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

Exercise is strongly recommended for anyone who wants to have good liver health. According to Dr. James H. Tabibian of the University of California, Davis, losing weight through exercise can help maintain diabetes and prevent NAFLD. He added that losing 10% of your current body weight can help decrease liver fat and inflammation.

But if you have tried both diet and exercise and nothing seems to work, it is time to consult your doctor once again. Consider discussing other options with your doctor to help you lose weight, such as weight loss supplements. Do not attempt to try other weight loss options or medications on your own, as doing so can be dangerous and harmful to your health.

Eat fiber-rich foodsPhoto courtesy of Wesual Click on Unsplash

5. Eat fiber-rich foods.

Fiber does wonders for your liver health. They help your liver work at its best, and they can help regulate your blood sugar. You can increase your fiber intake by replacing common food items with fiber-rich options.

For example, replace white rice and bread with brown rice or wheat bread. For snacks, buy whole fruits and raw vegetables instead of your usual biscuits, candies, or chips. Make sure not to overdo it though. The recommended daily intake for children and adults is only 20 to 30 grams per day. Too much fiber can result in stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and bloating.

If you want to keep your liver healthy, it is best to have regular health habits. Get regular health checks, make small healthy changes to your diet, and stay away from health misinformation.

To make sure that you only get the best medical services and consultations from excellent doctors, book your online consultations and medical examinations with The Hospital at Maayo.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Your Questions, Answered

Maintaining a healthy body has been a priority for everybody over the last year. You probably adopted new sanitation practices or learned quick exercise routines to keep your body healthy and functional in these trying times.

So you already know the importance of listening to what your body needs, especially when it comes to physical discomfort. Ignoring body pains only serve to worsen your health, making you more vulnerable to long-term diseases and other medical conditions.

For these reasons, you should definitely integrate physical medicine and rehabilitation into your overall health routine this year. If you’re experiencing bodily pains right now, then you’ll benefit from physical wellness and rehabilitation services that provide you amazing healthcare solutions and patient-centered wellness experiences. After all, The Hospital at Maayo’s medical services in Cebu will always put you first.

Do you want to maintain a healthy body and achieve holistic wellness this year? Take a look at this comprehensive guide on the benefits of physical medicine and rehabilitation, before booking that appointment for your wellbeing.

What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) is a medical specialty that focuses on rehabilitating a patient’s bodily functions. These regular body functions are often damaged or lost due to injuries, disease, pre-existing medical conditions, or even other causes like poor work environments and sudden lifestyle changes.

PM&R actually refers to the services of an entire multidisciplinary medical team, and not just a few attending physiatrists or physicians. The physical rehabilitation services involved in PM&R aim to integrate different aspects of physical medicine rehabilitation to ensure a patient’s health and physical recovery.

Overall, the goal of this specialty is to help you achieve holistic wellness. Using comprehensive and integrated healthcare solutions, your PM&R team will help you recover, improve, and sustain a functional body for your everyday life.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

What are the different types of PM&R?

The multidisciplinary nature of PM&R means that you’ll have access to several kinds of healthcare providers for your individual needs. The different types of this medical specialty include, but are not limited to:

  • Physiatry;
  • Physical therapy (PT);
  • Musculoskeletal PT and medicine;
  • Orthopedics;
  • Neurophysiology;
  • General rehabilitation;
  • Sports medicine, and;
  • Outpatient PT.

The right healthcare providers will offer you several approaches to serve your specific needs. You may undergo land-based rehabilitation exercises, special aquatic treatments, and many other unique practices. Whichever type of PM&R you encounter, know that these procedures are geared towards helping you achieve a well-balanced life.

What are the signs that you need a PM&R guide?

If you haven’t gone for your executive check-up yet this year, then you might not even know that you already need PM&R. You should definitely seek treatment from your local PM&R facility if you’re currently experiencing any of the following:

  • Chronic neck pain;
  • Chronic back pain;
  • Chronic body pain;
  • Chronic pain from arthritis;
  • Pain or limited functional capabilities due to a current or past injury;
  • Limited functional capabilities due to severe illness, disability, or pre-existing medical conditions;
  • Limited functional capabilities due to nerve damage or a past stroke, or;
  • Limited functional capabilities due to surgery recovery.

There’s no harm in asking for help when you’re in pain. Anybody who’s ever had an injury, surgery, or medical condition has definitely gone through a medicine and rehabilitation journey before too. PM&R is essential to the promotion of your own physical health and your meaningful lifelong comfort.

Photo courtesy of Gustavo Fring via Pexels

How do PM&R physicians diagnose patients?

Nowadays, physicians can execute excellent online consultations for patients who can’t make it to hospitals or nearby clinics. But generally, PM&R physicians and physiatrists use highly specialized diagnostic tools to understand and address your current condition. Here are some of the ways physiatrists diagnose your medical conditions:

  • Physical exams;
  • Analyzing medical histories;
  • Imaging studies;
  • Nerve conduction studies, and;
  • Electrodiagnostic medicine.

A multidisciplinary PM&R team will use your information to identify any illnesses you may have to create a treatment plan that is catered to your needs. For example, a physiatrist may work with a physical therapist to prescribe medication and manage an exercise program that will help you recover your functional body.

What are common PM&R practices?

PM&R is highly individualized, with plans and programs designed to fit your exact needs. However, since this specialty is offered in many different healthcare facilities, there are some common rehabilitation practices that you may observe in PM&R. Some common PM&R practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Physiatric evaluation and assessment;
  • PT exercises;
  • Prescribing pain medication;
  • PT land treatment;
  • PT aquatic treatment;
  • Specialized aquatic treatment (Aqua Pi Yo Chi, Burdenko, Bad Ragas Ring, Halliwick, Watsu, or Waterdances);
  • Prosthetics or orthotics;
  • Interventional spinal therapeutics, and;
  • Spasticity management.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

How do you choose a PM&R facility?

Your medicine and rehabilitation journey is geared towards your recovery as a functional individual. This means that you deserve PM&R services that focus on excellent planning and patient-centered wellness experiences.

Choose a PM&R facility that provides comprehensive and integrated healthcare solutions for all your medical needs. Your PM&R unit should have state-of-the-art facilities that cater to your needs in a relaxing, accommodating, and patient-friendly environment.

By investing in a trusted local medical facility, you can recover, improve, and thrive in all aspects of your life. Your holistic wellness journey begins when you devote time towards your health, not just physically, but socially and emotionally as well.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Leman via Pexels

Stay healthy and active by integrating PM&R into your everyday life this year. You can find fantastic world-class health providers when you check out The Hospital at Maayo and its excellent roster of medical services.

Knowing the amazing benefits of PM&R, don’t forget to set an appointment with this modern outpatient clinic unit too. Start your journey towards recovery, healing, and holistic wellness with The Hospital at Maayo today.

5+ Doctor-prescribed Tips on How to Prevent Diabetes

In 2016, the Philippines was labeled a diabetes hotspot due to the rising number of people diagnosed with the disease in the country. Since then, the figures have been steadily rising, with latest statistics from the International Diabetes Foundation revealing that the total cases of diabetes in adults are nearly four million.

These figures are alarming, especially considering the pandemic we’re facing, as people with diabetes are more likely to develop serious symptoms and complications of COVID-19 when they get infected. Inflammation or internal swelling are among the common concerns, according to the American Diabetes Association.

As we observe Diabetes Awareness Week, we highlight the importance of prevention over cure yet again. To reduce your risk of the disease, our doctors and health specialists enumerated preventive measures below, including what food to avoid with diabetes— to how to maintain an active lifestyle.

What is diabetes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition wherein the body does not produce insulin (hormone that controls blood sugar)—or, in some cases, does not use insulin as well as it should.M/

This poses a threat to the body because when there’s too much glucose in your bloodstream, it can trigger serious health conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure, and vision loss, among others.M/

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type I diabetes. Previously called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, it is a condition wherein the body stops producing insulin and is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. There are no known ways yet how to prevent this type of diabetes.
  • Type II diabetes. The more common type of diabetes, this medical condition occurs when the body doesn’t use insulin well, resulting in abnormal levels of blood sugar in the body. Although prevalent among adults, it can also occur among children. Through proactive, healthy lifestyle choices, this type of diabetes can be prevented.
  • Gestational diabetes. This is a diabetic condition that develops during pregnancy. Although it disappears after childbirth, it makes women more vulnerable to type II diabetes. The child may also develop the same type of condition. Your OB-GYN will closely monitor your health given the pregnancy risks that come with this type of disease.

If you’re predisposed to the disease, it’s a must to keep up with regular health check-ups. For convenience and your safety during this time, try booking online doctor’s consultations to better monitor your health.

How do you prevent diabetes?

As mentioned, it’s possible to reduce your risk of developing type II diabetes and gestational diabetes. If you’re susceptible to these diseases, here are some lifestyle routines you can adopt:

1. Reduce sugar intake.

Sugar is at the top of the list of what food to avoid with diabetes, for obvious reasons. Less sugar intake is no easy feat since a lot of the food (and drinks) in the market are loaded with sugar, including candies, chocolates, milk teas, and fruit juices, to name a few.

What’s even more challenging is that some of the food we think are healthy are also sugary, namely sports drinks, low-fat yogurt, granola bars, and salad dressings, among others.

The best way to approach this is to read product labels before buying them. Be familiar with the different names for sugar. Below are some of them:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Ingredients that end with -ose such as Sucrose, Lactose, and Fructose

Photo courtesy of Laura James via Pexels

If you’re pregnant, take note that you’re at risk for gestational diabetes if you have developed gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy or have an immediate family member who has diabetes.

High concentrations of blood sugar early in the pregnancy can cause birth defects. Thus, it’s important to reduce sugar intake when you’re pregnant and predisposed to diabetes.

2. Practice portion control.

Eating too much can make you more vulnerable to diabetes. According to recent diabetes research, overeating overburdens the membranous network inside cells called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). When there are too many nutrients to process, the ER sends an alarm signal to the cell, weakening the insulin receptors on the cell surface. As a result, the body experiences high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

Be better at practicing portion control by following these simple strategies:

  1. Use smaller plates. Large plates can make your food look smaller. Your tendency is to fill it up with more food, which can lead to subconscious overeating. Instead, replace large plates with smaller ones.
  2. Fill half the plate with veggies. This allows you to not just eat healthily, but also satisfy your hunger fast. Then there would be no need to reach for an extra cup of rice because you’re already full.
  3. Don’t eat straight from the box or bag. Most people aren’t unconscious of how much they’re eating when they consume snacks straight from the container. Again, this could result in overeating. It also applies to serving family meals straight from the stove. Avoid this by portioning snacks and meals into bowls or plates.

If you’re pregnant, you would have increased nutritional needs because of your growing baby, but this doesn’t mean overeating is warranted. The last thing you need during this time is to spike your blood sugar.

The tips mentioned above will apply to your situation. If you’re tempted to eat more, the best approach is to eat smaller meals and have snacks in between to keep your blood sugar stable.

3. Swap unhealthy for healthy food.

While you’re cutting out sugar and limiting portion sizes, fill up your diet with healthier food choices. Our nutrition services can help give you an idea of what to include in your food. Promote good nutrition by creating your meals around these:

  • Healthy carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products such as milk and cheese are good choices.
  • Fiber-rich food. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes are also rich in fiber, aiding digestion while helping control blood sugar levels.
  • High-protein food. Meat and fish are rich sources of protein. This essential nutrient does not increase blood sugar levels but instead helps you feel fuller for longer. Eating more protein will help crave less sugar.
  • Good fats. Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats found in omega-3, nuts, and seeds, canola, and olive oil, help control blood sugar.

Photo courtesy of Yoav Aziz via Unsplash

If you’re pregnant, swap sugary drinks for more water especially when you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes insipidus, a condition characterized by extreme thirst and excessive amounts of urine.

4. Keep an active lifestyle.

As much as you’re watching what and how you eat, it’s also important to exercise regularly and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Below are some workout routines you can try to reduce your risk for type II diabetes:

  • Aerobic exercises help lower insulin resistance. Some options you can try include walking, swimming, and stationary cycling.
  • Resistance exercises enhance muscle mass and strength. Muscles use the most glucose; so when you build muscle mass, you’ll help your body control blood sugar. Some options you can try include weight training and resistance bands.
  • Flexibility exercises also improve muscle strength. Some options you can try include yoga and pilates.

If you’re pregnant, ask your OB-GYN what types of exercises will fit your needs. In general, however, the exercises above should be fine for pregnant women.

5. Stop smoking.

Smoking can cause blood sugar levels to rise. The nicotine material alters cells that they’re unable to respond to insulin. Moreover, smoking triggers inflammation in the body, which further contributes to insulin resistance. Simply put, smoking puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Quit the habit by following these recommendations:

  • Avoid triggers. This varies from person to person. Some are triggered by stress, others by parties and bars. Learn yours so you can intentionally stay away from them.
  • Form a new habit. For some, smoking has been a part of their daily routine, doing it before breakfast or after a long day at work. To break the habit, find a better, healthier activity. For example, run around your neighborhood before eating breakfast or meditating after a stressful workday.
  • Join people who want to quit. You’re less likely to smoke when you’re committed to a group of people who have the same goal as you. Knowing you’re accountable to someone can help you resist the urge.

Photo courtesy of Irina Iriser via Unsplash

If you’re pregnant, quitting the habit is not only beneficial in the prevention of gestational diabetes. Remember, smoking can result in serious pregnancy complications which can hurt your baby.

Although prevalent, diabetes is a preventable disease. The key is to adopt a healthier, more active lifestyle. Make the decision today to take charge of your well-being. Set up an appointment with us to know more about our diabetes management plan.

Promote Nutrition and Wellness at Home in 7 Doable Steps

July is here and this means it’s time to once again remind Filipinos to be mindful about nutrition and wellness, as we celebrate the 47th National Nutrition Month.

This year’s theme aims to strengthen the Philippines’ continuing efforts in combating malnutrition. By keeping a close watch over the first 1,000 days of adopting nutrition and wellness practices, we acknowledge and underscore the importance of proper education and guidance in combating malnutrition at home, apart from offering nutrition services one needs to stay healthy.

How do you ensure proper nutrition and wellness, and what specific practices are necessary to battle malnutrition?

What are malnutrition and its many forms?

The World Health Organization describes malnutrition as “deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.”

Therefore, malnutrition can be categorized into:

  1. Undernutrition. This form of malnutrition refers to a deficiency in calories and essential vitamins and minerals which can lead to stunted growth, being underweight, and micronutrient insufficiencies.
  2. Obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases. It’s often a misconception that overweight individuals are not malnourished. In fact, overweight individuals may suffer from these forms of malnutrition. Examples of diet-related non-communicable diseases are diabetes and heart diseases.

Malnutrition in the Philippines

A recent nutrition study led by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) further showed that problems in nutrition and wellness continue to be pervasive in the Philippines.

Results of the study showed that, as of 2018, a little over 30% of children under the age of five are stunted, about 5% are wasted, and 19% are underweight.

These sobering figures and the persistent lack of community awareness on key strategies to address malnutrition, has prompted the nation’s nutrition council to continually highlight malnutrition-related issues during the yearly Nutrition Month in July.

Competent medical services in the Philippines are also participating to help improve nutrition-and-wellness education in the country. The Hospital At Maayo wellness hub aligns with the NNC’s goals to end malnutrition, starting at home. Their website contains a wealth of actionable tips and information, including the ones below:

1. Know the important nutrients your body needs.

Photo courtesy of Louis Hansel via Unsplash

Nutrition and wellness begin with learning about the building blocks that help your body function properly. These building blocks are composed of essential and non-essential nutrients that help support the various functions of your body. Know the difference between each type of nutrients, and determine what your body needs.

Essential versus non-essential nutrients

  • Essential nutrients come from nutritional sources outside your body such as food and dietary supplements. These contain specific components that the body doesn’t naturally produce but are essential to maintain its optimal function, health, and wellness.
  • Non-essential nutrients are naturally produced in the body and need not be obtained from external sources such as food or dietary supplements.

So, what kinds of essential nutrients do you need to consume daily?

Essential micronutrients and macronutrients

Nutrients are categorized into:

  • Micronutrients. These nutritional components are composed of vitamins and trace minerals derived from food or dietary supplements which you can consume in minute amounts. These include vitamins B6, C, E, and the minerals magnesium and zinc which can help support bodily functions and strengthen your immunity.
  • Macronutrients. These are nutritional components which you need to consume a lot, including water, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Each of these macronutrients serves to support specific functions in the body:
    • Proteins help to build and repair muscular and other tissues;
    • Carbohydrates provide fuel and energy;
    • Fats serve as an alternative source of energy and assist in absorbing certain kinds of vitamins; and
    • Water is essential to various body functions, like body temperature regulation and transporting other nutrients, to name a few.

Knowing the roles of each type of nutrient in your body is the first step in avoiding malnutrition. Invest in your health by incorporating different types of food to your diet. Ensure that you consume the daily recommended amounts of these nutrients.

2. Foster a positive relationship with food.

Photo courtesy of Pablo Merchán Montes via Unsplash

Additionally, preventing malnutrition can be made possible by adopting a positive relationship with food. Improper diet begins from a negative attitude towards certain types of food such as vegetables and fruits or other carbohydrates.

Make eating fun and enjoyable. Don’t force children to eat vegetables and suppress them from enjoying sweets. This will only result in them having negative associations with vegetables and fruits. Instead, introduce them to all kinds of food and educate them about the importance each one plays.

Organize activities that will help your children see vegetables and fruits more positively such as hosting a vegetable tasting event or encouraging them to grow a mini vegetable garden.

3. Calculate your calorie intake.

Photo courtesy of Artur Łuczka via Unsplash

Calories are units of energy found in food that our body burns up to provide energy. People with physical health goals count the calories they take to monitor the supply of food that they are putting into their bodies.

The chart from a book chapter by Klen and Jeejeebhoy (page 3 out of 18) shows the following Daily Energy Requirements of different age groups.

Knowing your calorie count and activity level is important in determining your nutritional requirements. Generally, people who work out and are physically active require more calories since they also burn more energy. It’s also important to note that you still burn calories while sitting or lying down – but not much, in contrast to being active

Online calorie calculators can help you determine your daily nutritional and caloric requirements. However, nothing beats an executive assessment by medical professionals to arrive at more accurate results.

4. Involve kids in the joy of meal preparations.

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Kids are naturally fascinated by their surroundings. So involving them in cooking and meal preparations can help them gain a wider perspective on nutrition.

Make everything an opportunity for them to learn. Ask them what kinds of food they want to eat and explain to them the benefits and possible effects if they do not mind what they eat.

To help them better understand where the food they eat comes from, take your kids along to your next grocery errand. This can help encourage them to appreciate each meal served to them. As well as to let them know that cooking and meal preparation are crafts that involve a meticulous and well-thought process.

5. Establish a consistent meal schedule.

Photo courtesy of Free-Photos via Pixabay

If you work from home, you might find it difficult to separate your personal time from your daily tasks. Sometimes, this could even lead to skipping breakfast or lunch.

Strive to be a model of healthy practices to your family by prioritizing your nutritional needs and wellness by eating right, enough, and on time.

The Hospital at Maayo suggests fixing your circadian rhythm or sleeping schedule to prevent skipping certain meals within the day. Strive to sleep at the same time each night – ideally a few hours after dinner – to help discourage midnight snacking, too.

Avoiding malnutrition doesn’t only involve planning your meals well, but also paying attention to supporting aspects of your life.

6. Develop a food-first approach for the elderly.

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Children aren’t the only age group vulnerable to malnutrition. A study revealed that malnutrition among seniors adversely affects their well-being, resulting in major repercussions that can compromise their physical and mental well-being.

A recommended medical strategy to deal with this problem is a food-first approach. This refers to encouraging the elderly to eat small yet highly nutritious meals more often throughout the day.

This strategy helps to minimize the downside of having to eat heavy meals which can be more challenging for the elderly.

7. Continuously educate yourself in nutrition.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Acquiring basic knowledge in approaching nutrition is a great step to avoid malnourishment in the household. Remember that information abounds; so read and research before believing diet and nutrition-related posts on social media – especially those that claim to be the magic bullet against all kinds of diseases.

Each part of your body needs special care. Taking care of your liver, heart, lungs, and other vital organs requires attention to the kind of food you eat and the activities you engage in.

Above everything else, always consult your healthcare provider before making any major dietary change.

Health is wealth, and your knowledge about nutrition is your primary investment to avoid malnutrition. Take great care of yourself, first and foremost, and be mindful of factors that could potentially affect your overall well-being.

Did you learn a great deal on how to effectively keep malnutrition at bay? For more nutrition-related articles, visit The Hospital at Maayo.

4 Ways How Crucial the Role of Laboratory Tests is in Cancer Survival

One of the biggest, most dangerous misconceptions about cancer is that it always ends in a tragic death. The recovery stories we’ve seen and heard from loved ones and friends prove that this isn’t true. The simple truth is that cancer is curable and treatable. Yet, it largely depends on an oft-ignored doctor’s call: early detection and cancer diagnosis. Laboratory tests done in a timely manner increases patient survival.

Prevalence of cancer in the Philippines

Next to heart diseases, cancer was the leading cause of death among Filipinos in 2020, according to a recent report from the Philippine Statistics Authority cited by CNN Philippines. Over 60,000 Filipinos died of cancer last year. Although the figure is a 9.3-percent decline from the death toll recorded in 2019, one death is too many, as the old saying goes.

In terms of specific types of cancers, lung cancer had the highest mortality rate in 2018, followed by liver, colorectum, and then breast cancer, as shown in the World Health Organization’s latest cancer country profile. While these figures are saddening, the truth is that cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence.

With the advancements in medicine and technology today, there’s a wide array of treatments available. Here at Maayo Well, for instance, we offer comprehensive health services for cancer patients. But as mentioned, in the matter of cancer treatments, early detection and treatment play a huge role.

Early diagnosis and treatment and cancer patient survival

If you’ve been following the cancer awareness movement in the country and abroad, you’ll notice that the message across the board focuses not only on educating the public about certain types of malignancies. It also encourages health procedures and laboratory tests for early cancer diagnosis.

Doctors and advocacy groups call for regular check-ups especially if you are at risk, say, you are of a certain age, have a family history of the disease, or have specific lifestyle habits, such as smoking or drinking. Early cancer diagnosis and timely treatment is even enshrined in our own cancer control law, which was passed in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Thirdman via Pexels

Why exactly is early detection, diagnosis, and treatment important? In a nutshell, it increases cancer patient survival and improves quality of life. Getting examined at an accredited testing laboratory in the Philippines, therefore, must be your priority if you’re at risk for certain types of malignancies. Here are the specific ways you or your family member can benefit from early detection and cancer diagnosis:

1. You have the best chance of fighting cancer.

Cancer detected and treated at an early stage has a greater chance of survival than when it’s detected late. The “five-year survival rate” is a measure used by health professionals to refer to the percentage of people who survive for five years after a cancer diagnosis.

In breast cancer, the five-year survival rate is a staggering 99 percent in its early stages, when cancer hasn’t spread yet outside of the breast where it started. The survival rate shrinks to 28 percent in advanced stages, when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body. In some instances, late diagnosis is caused by patients delaying seeing their doctor or getting tested.

This huge gap of survival rates between an early and late diagnosis should compel the public to go through diagnostic procedures regularly or when they are at risk. Outlined in the table below are the survival rates for other cancer types, according to Cancer.org.

Type of cancer Five year-survival rates when cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body Five-year survival rate when cancer has spread to other parts of the body
Lung Cancer 63% 7%
Liver Cancer 34% 3%
Thyroid Cancer (papillary) Nearly 100% 76%
Bone Cancer (chondrosarcoma) 91% 22%
Colon Cancer 91% 14%
Rectal Cancer 89% 16%
Cervical Cancer 92% 17%
Ovarian Cancer 93% 31%
Prostate Cancer Nearly 100% 30%

The bottom line is that you have the best chance of fighting a fatal disease when you go through diagnostic procedures. Here at The Hospital at Maayo, we have our own diagnostic center that offers different kinds of laboratory services and tests aimed at reducing the number of cancer-related deaths in our country.

2. You can be more proactive about your health.

When you have an early cancer diagnosis, you have the opportunity to adopt healthier lifestyle choices. These changes will give you a sense of being in control of your well-being in the midst of a hurry and flurry of treatments. Below are some of the lifestyle adjustments you can make:

  • Embrace a healthy diet. This will help in managing the side effects of cancer and recovering quickly. Include vegetables and high-fiber food in your meals.
  • Exercise regularly. This reduces the fatigue and loss of strength after cancer treatments. Find a fitness routine that is safe for you.
  • Eliminate stress. This will help strengthen your mental health, especially at a time of great uncertainty. Use relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing.

3. You have more time to plan with loved ones

Other than physical health benefits, an early cancer diagnosis offers you socio-emotional advantages. Since the disease is still in its early stages, you can take the time to process the reality of the disease with loved ones. You get to have an open discussion with them of what you want in terms of treatment, which is very crucial in case the disease progresses. This eases anxieties and prevents disagreements down the road.

Photo courtesy of Bich Tran via Pexels

Outside of medical matters, you can reflect on what else you want to accomplish in life. Travel the world? Run a marathon? With an early cancer diagnosis comes timely treatment. Therefore, you can power through the disease and live a full life.

4. You’re less likely to deal with costly treatments.

On top of the physical and socio-emotional benefits, there are financial advantages to having early cancer diagnosis and treatments. For one, the cost of treatment is much less when you catch the disease in its early stages.

Secondly, most people find cancer symptoms manageable at this point, so they’re able to still work, support the family, and fund their treatments. Thirdly, as mentioned above, the chance of surviving cancer is greater when it’s treated early on. Thus, you can avoid costly procedures down the road. These financial benefits ultimately give you peace of mind, which can contribute to a better quality of life while on treatment.

Laboratory tests used to detect cancer

An early cancer diagnosis makes a whole lot of difference to a patient’s life, physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. There’s a host of procedures and laboratory tests to determine if a malignancy is present in the body. Here’s an overview of those examinations:

Type of cancer Diagnostic procedures
Breast Cancer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), mammogram
Lung Cancer Computed Tomography (CT) scan, sputum cytology, biopsy
Liver Cancer Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, blood test for cancer
Thyroid Cancer Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, chest x-ray, radioiodine scan, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, biopsy
Bone Cancer MRI, CT scan, x-ray, bone scan, bone marrow biopsy,
Colorectal Cancer Stool tests, colonoscopy
Cervical Cancer Pap smear, HPV DNA test, punch biopsy
Ovarian Cancer Pelvic exam, ultrasound, CT scan, blood test for cancer
Prostate Cancer Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), blood test for cancer, biopsy

Your physician should be able to discuss with you how these diagnostic procedures are done. Before the screening or laboratory test, our Cebu doctors here at Maayo Well give patients instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, including what to eat (or what not to), what to bring, even what to wear. Some tests may be uncomfortable, so some doctors would recommend taking some medications before or after the procedure.

Photo courtesy of MART PRODUCTION via Pexels

Remember, early cancer diagnosis can save lives. It can save yours or your loved ones’. If you’re at risk for any type of cancer, make it a habit to go on regular doctor consultations and check-ups. If you’re interested to know more about cancer diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with us.

8 Quick Exercise Routines to Avoid Common Body Pain

Transitioning to the new normal demanded people to drastically change their lifestyles and move school or office work into their homes. Because of that, you may find yourself sitting for longer hours and forgetting about your physical wellness, which is a dangerous thing to overlook in these times.

While the work-from-home arrangement provides the best solution for avoiding your exposure to COVID-19, it’s also brought to light some health threats related to working long hours at home. Apart from work-from-home burnout, among these health challenges are body pains arising from prolonged sitting or lack of mobility.

Body aches commonly felt in the neck, shoulders, and lower back, to name a few, often result from poor posture or slouching while sitting in your chair. Add to that, the lack of movement may also lead to joint and muscle stiffening — making mobility difficult, later on. Needless to say, if you continue down the path of neglecting your physical wellness, these body aches and pains can worsen.

Thankfully, there are also a lot of ways to alleviate and prevent chronic body pains — one of the simplest being physical exercise. To help you get moving more to alleviate and even avoid body pain all together, here are some tips from The Hospital at Maayo’s physical wellness and rehabilitation team.

Stretches and exercise for neck and shoulder pain

Poor posture after a day of sitting and craning your neck to look down onto your laptop results can result in tension build-up in the neck and shoulders. Apart from ergonomic adjustments that provide external support to your body, it’ll help tremendously if you also strengthen the internal support systems — the muscles and bones.

Bear in mind that these low-impact exercises are meant to help manage mild to moderate body pains. For severe pain, make sure to immediately consult with health experts to map out the cause and a corresponding treatment plan.

1. Shoulder and neck rolls

back massage spa imagePhoto courtesy of rawpixel.com

Movement allows for tension release and neck and shoulder pain relief. One quick way to introduce motion in this area is by doing neck and shoulder rolls.

How to do a neck and shoulder roll:

  1. Stand straight and let your arms fall on the side, making sure to relax your body.
  2. With your head upright, chin parallel to the floor, roll your shoulders forwards and backwards, as if you’re drawing big circles.
  3. Do your forward and backward shoulder rolls for 10 counts each, paying attention to your breath as you do it.
    Now that your shoulders are loosened, you can proceed to doing your neck stretches.
  4. Stretch your neck by tilting it side to side, holding it down lightly for around 10 counts. Do this on both sides. For a deeper stretch, you can stretch your arm out diagonally.
  5. After your side stretches, stretch your neck forward and backwards by bending the head to try and get your chin to touch your chest. Hold this stretch for about 10 counts.
  6. Counter the forward stretch by craning your neck backwards, using your hand to lightly push it back for 10 counts.

After your neck and shoulder warm-up, you are now ready to perform other active exercises to build up your neck and shoulder muscles.

2. Wall pushups

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A push-up is a great low-impact exercise that helps you build up the bigger muscles around your shoulder and chest area — providing greater support for the neck and head.

You typically perform this exercise on the floor, but if you’re looking for something beginner-friendly, you can start by opting for wall push-ups. You can incorporate this routine as much as you can so that you are eventually able to do regular pushups.

How to do a wall push-up:

  1. Simply stand facing a wall.
  2. Then place your hands on the wall’s surface with your arms straight. You should be in at least a 45-degree incline on the wall.
  3. Begin leaning and lowering yourself towards the wall by bending your elbows as though you are doing a normal push up.
  4. Do not rush this exercise and make sure that you feel the full range of the motion on your arms, upper back, and chest. Many people forget to be mindful of doing a full range of motion when following exercise routines, and that is why they fail to maximize its physical wellness benefits.

3. Seated horizontal wrist and shoulder stretches

Photo courtesy of Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

Have you been typing documents all day? Then add this quick exercise to your routine as these stretches are good for releasing tension in the wrist and arms.

How to do a seated horizontal wrist and shoulder stretch:

  1. Sit tall with your feet flat in the ground and your back away from the chair.
  2. Lock your fingers in a way that the thumbs are facing down and your palm is facing away from you.
  3. Now press your arm away from your chest and hold it.
  4. Again, feel the extent of the stretch while you steady your breathing.

You can do this routine as a form of quick break when working continuously in an extensive number of hours.

Stretches and exercise for lower back pain

Strengthening the lower back is important not just in managing pain, but also preventing injuries for athletes and non-athletes alike. One’s lower back, after all, carries a huge part of our weight when you’re tied to the chair all day.

Build up lower back strength by following these recommended exercises.

4. Planks

Woman planking during coronavirus quarantinePhoto courtesy of rawpixel.com

Besides strengthening your abdominal core, planks are also effective to activate your hips and knees as long as you follow the proper form.

How to do a plank:

  1. Begin this exercise on the floor by facing down with your forearms and toes planted firmly on the mat.
  2. Your elbows should be positioned directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward.
  3. Now activate the abdominal muscles. Make sure that your torso is straight to keep your whole body rigid with no other parts such as your hips sagging on the mat.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, then bring your body on the floor to rest.

Gradually increase the length of time of your planks every week or depending on your strength level. Overtime, you’ll eventually notice your core strength improving until you pass the one minute mark.

5. Floor bridges

Young gymnast doing a bridge posePhoto courtesy of rawpixel.com

Performing bridges on the floor activates the gluteus maximus, which is an important muscle in the buttocks area. This engaging exercise provides your body a full range of motion that would activate your body to be able to work all throughout the day.

How to do floor bridges:

  1. Lie on your exercise mat, or any comfortable and flat area on the floor of your home.
  2. Bend your knees with the heels of your feet nearly touching your buttocks.
  3. Making sure that your arms and palms are firmly planted on the ground, begin to alternately lift and lower the lower half of your body.
  4. Mind your form at all times — make sure that your body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.

Now start descending the buttocks until it is lying flat again. Repeat this exercise for three sets of 15 counts.

Stretches and exercises for the hip and knee pain

Both the hips and knees would suffer from body pains if you continue to ignore your physical wellness. This includes osteoarthritis which is related to the wear and tear of the joint associated with aging.

Keep your hips and knees in top shape to prevent future ailments. Follow these beginner exercises at home:

6. Knee-to-chest exercises

Photo courtesy of bublikhaus via Freepik

Along with your buttocks, you will also need to work on your hamstring muscles to provide better support for the hips and lower back. Elongate your lower back and bring physical relief by following the last exercise with this routine.

How to do knee-to-chest exercises:

  1. With your back on laid down on the ground or standing upright,
  2. Bend one leg upward as if you are marching, but this time try to reach your chest with your knee.
  3. Use both hands to hold your raised leg to hold this position for a few seconds.
  4. Now return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with your other leg.
  5. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.

7. Alternating kick-backs and arm raise (bird-dog exercise)

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The last two exercises will prepare your lower back for this exercise. The bird-dog exercise targets the erector spinae muscle to fully strengthen your core so that you can avoid future body pains in this area.

How to do alternating kick-backs and arm raises:

  1. Position yourself on all fours on the ground — looking like a table on the floor.
  2. Make sure that your wrists are directly in line with your shoulders; your knees directly lined up with your hips. Your toes should be resting firmly on the ground.
  3. From this kneeling position, raise your right arm and left leg, making sure that your raised arm and leg are in line with your back. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  4. Assume the same position for your left arm and right leg, or whichever arm and leg is opposite from the ones you started with.

Aside from providing your lower back with a full stretch, the bird-dog exercise makes you more attuned to your body by being mindful about the importance of maintaining stability.

8. Clam exercise

Photo courtesy of Klaus Nielsen via Pexels

The clam exercise is a fundamental routine to develop strong hips and knees. It’s quick and easy to do in between tight working hours.

How to do the clam exercise:

  1. Lie on your side with your hips and shoulders in a straight line.
  2. Bend your knees forward so that your thighs are at a perpendicular angle to your body. This will make your hips stack vertically from each other.
  3. Rest your head on the top of your extended arm, making sure that it is long so it’s not tilted forward or backward from your body.
  4. Breathe in and keep your big toes together as you slowly rotate your leg in the hip socket so that the top knee opens like a clam.
  5. Repeat this exercise 5 times then switch over to the other side to perform the same routine.

This list of exercises is a great way to start your journey to achieving physical fitness and wellness. Remember to always check and set an appointment with your doctor to monitor your progress and ensure that you’re always healthy.

4 Doctor-recommended Ways to Take Care of Your Kids’ Eyes

With technology taking over most of our everyday lives, are your children’s eyesight still okay?

Kids today no longer play outside with other kids. Now, they spend more time with an iPad or a smartphone. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, screen time further increases as online classes are the only solution to postponed classroom learning. This is on top of doing their research, homework, and leisure time by watching YouTube and Netflix and online gaming.

Studies have shown that most children are already exposed to mobile devices by the age of four and can independently use them. This kind of exposure, however, can greatly damage your children’s eyesight. Some other common eye disorders may arise from too much exposure to screens:

  • Astigmatism
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurring vision
  • Dry eye

While we can’t totally exclude the use of devices in this age of technology, it becomes more and more important to take care of our eyes, especially as we devote more time facing the screen. A trip to a credible eye clinic can do wonders to keeping your mind at ease. It’s never too early to get to know the different ENT services available, but proper care is still of the essence.

Here are some tips from medical experts on how to keep a healthy eyesight for your children.

How to keep your kids’ eyes healthy

1. Have them maintain a healthy diet.

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Many food items contain vitamins and nutrients that can help reduce the risk of eye problems even at a young age. Among the nutrients your children need for a healthy eyesight include:

  • omega-3 fatty acids,
  • zeaxanthin,
  • lutein, and
  • beta carotene.

Fish like salmon and tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, and anchovies contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve one’s eye health. Fish oil has been found to reverse dry eye, which is commonly caused by spending too much time in front of a computer screen.

Leafy green vegetables are also a good source of nutrients for the eyes. Spinach, kale, and collards are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and eye-friendly vitamin C. Carrots, meanwhile, are rich in vitamin E, which plays an important role in vision. It contains rhodopsin, a nutrient that helps the retina absorb light.

If you’re looking for snacks that kids can eat while keeping their eye health in mind, you can give them nuts like walnuts, cashews, and peanuts. Peanuts contain high levels of vitamin E that can protect the eyes from age-related damage.

Eggs can also help reduce the risk of sight loss due to age as they are good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.

2. Make sure they get enough sleep.

Photo courtesy of Brett Durfee via Unsplash

Ever notice how your eyes hurt whenever you don’t get enough sleep during the night? It can happen to your kids, too. Sleep deprivation can cause eye spasms and twitching throughout the day. This can affect your kids’ concentration during learning sessions — it’ll make them feel more tired, too.

Lack of sleep can also cause eye strain and dry eyes. So it is important to get enough sleep to help recharge your kids’ eyes after a productive day of schooling and playing.

The chart below shows the sleep requirements of a child based on age.

Age Group Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day
Toddler 1–2 years 11–14 (including naps)
Preschool 3–5 years 10–13 (including naps)
School Age 6–12 years 9–12

Before your kids head to sleep, it’s important for parents to prevent them from using their smartphones and gaming devices. These digital devices contain blue light that may contribute to them having a hard time sleeping. Blue light, in nature, only comes from the sun, making our eyes think it’s daytime if your kids are still on their phones during bedtime.

Dark rooms and bright screens also don’t go well together. This combination leaves your kids prone to eye strain. If possible, use the night shift mode or dark mode of your kids’ smartphones if you really can’t stop them from using their phones before going to bed.

3. Practice no-screen hours.

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If you notice your kids rubbing their eyes while doing their school work or even while playing with tablets or smartphones, it’s probably because they’re getting tired. Too much screen time can cause dry eyes, irritability, and even headaches, and eventually, blurred vision.

It is important to give them tech breaks from time to time to allow their eyes to rest.

To prevent further blurring of one’s vision due to screen time, take occasional breaks from the screen to rest your kids’ eyes. Keep them entertained by sharing stories or a snack with them. To resist temptation, it would be better to place the phones or tablets in a place they won’t find them.

As parents, it’ll be better if you provide limited screen time for kids especially if they’re not school-related. While your kids probably do not understand the conditions that come with technology, your job is to protect their eyes from damage.

4. Practice eye exercises.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Your kids’ eyes pretty much work most of the time. With school in the morning, playing in the afternoon, and leisure watching at night — their eyes can easily get tired and irritated. Apart from taking screen breaks and limiting screen time, there are certain eye exercises that can help improve eye health and prevent eye strain.

There’s a method called the 20-20-20 rule. For every twenty minutes in front of the computer, your kids need to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give their eyes a break. You can also teach your kids to blink more often while they’re facing the screen to avoid the possibility of dry eyes.

Another exercise is focus change where you can place a finger near your kids eyes so they can focus on it. The challenge here is while the finger moves away, they have to hold their focus on it and look away for a moment.

Another exercise is the figure eight. It’s a method where your kids can pick a point on the floor and trace an imaginary figure eight with their eyes. Ask them to do this for 30 seconds in both directions.

In keeping your kids eyes’ health in check, it is important to have regular consultations with an eye doctor to ensure your kids still have 20/20 vision. With regular checkups, you’ll be able to see if your kids need prescription glasses.

Want to know more about your kids’ eye health? Check out Maayo Well’s services and consult a doctor today!

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Executive Check-up

Before, most people used to go to the doctor only when something’s wrong. In recent years, more have been conscious about their health, prioritizing preventive care. Then, the unforeseen happened: the pandemic. At the backdrop of a health crisis, everyone has become more proactive in terms of taking care of their well-being. But beyond being advocates for hand washing and vaccination, you must prioritize regular executive check-ups as well.

Seeing your doctor regularly offers a host of benefits. It reduces your risk of getting sick, detects potentially life-threatening diseases early on, manages complications from an existing ailment, and improves your chances of recovery when you’re already going through treatments. If executive check-ups weren’t part of your habit before, you may be curious about other aspects of it on top of the benefits it offers. In this article, we compiled some frequently asked questions about executive check-ups to help you learn more about it, and more importantly, take charge of your health better.

What is an executive check-up?

An executive check-up is an assessment that involves different medical procedures aimed at preventing health problems. It’s a lot more detailed than your visits to the eye clinic. As mentioned earlier, taking care of one’s well-being goes beyond going to the doctor for treatment. It’s also about reducing the likelihood of catching diseases or addressing them early on before they progress into a serious case.

Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

With a medical assessment, the physician will recommend lifestyle changes to help you better take care of your physical health. This may include incorporating or avoiding certain food, taking medications, starting routines such as exercising, or breaking bad habits including smoking.

What does an executive check-up include?

In getting the full picture of your physical health, and executive check-up would involve different lab tests and procedures depending on your healthcare provider. But these are some of the most common:

  • Vital signs check:
    • Heart rate
    • Respiratory rate
    • Blood pressure
    • Temperature
    • Body mass index
  • Lipid profile test (cholesterol check)
  • Complete blood count
  • Cardiac work-up:
    • Chest x-ray
  • Hepatic work-up:
  • Pulmonary work-up
  • Renal work-up:
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Stool exam
  • Sensory check:
    • Eye check-up
    • Ear exam
  • Risk assessment for certain diseases, such as diabetes (e.g, fasting blood sugar test) and cancer (e.g., HPV screening).

These are the additional tests and procedures that may be recommended for you depending on your sex, age, and medical history:

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This imaging technique helps in detecting muscle and bone problems, as well as the presence of tumors, infections, or blood clots. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up to detect diseases, such as heart disease, liver masses, and cancer.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI, another imaging technique, can examine different organs in the body, including the brain, spinal cord, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, uterus, and more. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up to rule out abnormalities in these organs or diagnose certain conditions.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test focuses on your heart function. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up if you’re having symptoms of a potential heart problem, such as chest pains, heart palpitations, rapid pulse, and shortness of breath.

Photo courtesy of Jair Lázaro via Unsplash

  • Colonoscopy. This is a health assessment of the large intestine and rectum. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up if you experience abdominal pains or have a family history of colon cancer.
  • Ultrasound. Another imaging technique, ultrasound can also show different parts of the body. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up if you’re at risk for breast cancer, thyroid problems, bone diseases, among others.
  • Mammogram. An imaging technique, mammogram shows an x-ray image of the breasts, a tool for breast cancer screening. Your doctor may include this in your executive check-up if you’re at risk for this type of disease.

Maayo Well offers a range of medical services that can help evaluate your health better. Our Cebu doctors will guide you through each diagnostic assessment, talking about the procedures so you can better prepare for them.

How much is an executive check-up?

The executive check-up price in the Philippines ranges from Php3,000 to Php15,000. Hospitals provide different kinds of packages, involving different procedures for each. Generally speaking, the more tests involved, the more costly the package will be. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to invest in preventive care. If you think about it, you’ll have more financial gains in the long run:

  • You can avoid treatment costs down the road since the executive check-ups reduce the risk of getting sick.
  • You can steer clear of higher hospital bills if you do get sick because executive check-ups can help detect life-threatening conditions early, while managing existing conditions.

Take a proactive approach in caring for your physical well-being to keep your financial health in check as well. Compare executive check-up price lists of different Philippine health centers to find services that suit your budget.

Is an executive check-up covered by health insurance?

The executive check-up price, as you know, isn’t inexpensive, but fortunately, most health maintenance organizations (HMO) include check-ups in their insurance plans. Here at Maayo Well, we have expanded our HMO partners to serve our patients better:

  • AXA
  • Generali
  • Philcare
  • AsianLife
  • Lacson & Lacson Insurance Brokers, Inc.
  • Avega
  • Intellicare
  • Maxicare
  • Insular Health Care
  • Life & Health
  • Medicard
  • Sun Life GREPA
  • Cocolife
  • CareHealth Plus
  • Bright Care
  • Allianz PNB
  • eTiQa
  • WellBe

Is an executive check-up covered by Philhealth?

Under Philhealth’s expanded primary care benefit program called Konsulta (Konsultasyong Sulit at Tama), you can get primary care services and selected lab tests, which form part of the executive check-up.

In this Philhealth Konsulta benefit table, you’ll see that the primary care services involve consultation for any medical condition and preventive health services. Selected lab tests, on the other hand, include complete blood count with platelet count, urinalysis, fecalysis, sputum microscopy, fecal occult blood, pap smear, lipid profile, fasting blood sugar, oral glucose tolerance test, ECG, chest X-ray, and creatinine test, among others.

Under the Konsulta program, you can also get medicines for anti-microbial, anti-asthma, anti-pyretic, anti-dislipidemia, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive needs.

In the midst of a global health crisis, it’s important to be proactive about your physical well-being. An executive check-up is a must, as it minimizes the likelihood of getting sick, detects diseases early on, and manages existing conditions more effectively.

3 Ways to Recover Well from COVID in This Cebu Isolation Room

When you think of isolation rooms, what picture comes to your mind? The most common image you’d imagine might be dimly lit and stuffy rooms that impose on you the feeling that you’re being confined. Not the most comforting image, isn’t it?

Arguably, upholding the ideal standards for patient care delivery has become more of a challenge than ever before, pushing medical administrators to a grim corner of compromise. However, in that regard, it’s just fair to say that not all hope is lost in terms of meeting these standards despite the velocity with which COVID cases fill up hospitals.

Some medical services in Cebu offer facilities that help provide these accommodations and welcome and help patients in need.

Recovering well

One such facility is Maayo Isolation Center (MIC). Designed to provide the ideal patient care experience, this isolation facility is dedicated to aiding you or your COVID-positive loved ones in recovering well.

From round-the-clock care to hotel-like rooms, discover exactly how Maayo’s Isolation Center guarantees a pleasant recovery period:

1. Smooth admission process

Before the pandemic, waiting to get admitted into a room at your local hospital was already known to eat up much of your time. Typically, you’d be lucky if you only had to wait for an hour to hear from your nurse or doctor that you finally got room to rest and recover in.

But during a pandemic, time is of the essence in terms of making a difference in your medical outcome. That’s why at Maayo’s Isolation Center, admission is made to be the shortest and easiest process you’ll have to go through.

If you suspect yourself to have COVID-19 and have confirmatory test results, all you have to do is book a telephone or online doctor’s consultation with Maayo Well. After the interviews and initial assessments are done, pack your belongings and go to the Maayo Isolation Clinic to be admitted into your designated recovery room.

2. Clean, calm environment

What’s the first thing that comes to mind that you would want to do if you want to relax? We imagine it would be your comfortable bed at home, wouldn’t it? Or perhaps, a hotel room. But what does this have to do with you recovering from illness?

You’ll find that in fact, be it sanitation, providing a sense of safety, security, and comfort, your environment will have a massive impact on many facets of your holistic health. Experts have long been studying the effects of environmental design on medical outcomes, because of the subjective reports about it.

Roger Ulrich, an architect and original proponent of the theory, suggests that your medical outcomes and care quality may be affected by the design quality of your physical environment. In the same sense, Maayo Isolation Center boasts a high-care and high-touch facility that balances medical functionality and sanitation with thoughtful design elements.

The rooms go above and beyond being just a functional place to recover, but it also takes into consideration your level of comfort. Apart from reducing stressors, elements that promote calm and comfort are also incorporated into the hotel-reminiscent rooms.

When you stay at Maayo Isolation Center, you may even begin to wonder if you’re at an isolation facility at all.

3. Warm and attentive caregivers

But more than a comfortable environment and efficient admission process, the best way Maayo Isolation Center helps you recover is through the care of warm and competent medical experts.

At Maayo Isolation Center, your recovery is being handled by world-class doctors, nurses, and staff. They are on top of your medical situation 24/7 and are able to address your concerns in a highly competent and, more importantly, compassionate way.

Surely, with their expertise, you’ll be left with nothing to worry about in terms of recovering well from COVID-19.

Wanting to recover from disease, and from COVID nonetheless, is a very stressful experience. While recovering at home can be just as good, worries about your loved ones getting sick too, might just add up to the stress your body is going through. Ultimately, recovering at a dedicated recovery facility is the ideal option for you and your family.

Recovering well at Maayo Isolation Center eliminates every possible cause of stress and provides you with top-notch medical care so you won’t have to worry about a single thing.

For more information about Maayo Isolation Center or to book an online consultation with our doctors, you may reach out via our website. For other practical tips on preventive health care provided by our doctors, feel free to browse the Maayo Well blog.

An Expert Guide to Accurately Check Blood Sugar Levels at Home

As doctors’ clinics remain difficult to access for patients amid the pandemic, learning how to do primary care and assessment at the home setting has become vital to healthcare. If you are the primary caregiver of a diabetic family member, this means that it’s important you learn how to accurately check blood sugar levels at home.

It cannot be stressed enough how important primary care at home is in terms of the overall process of healthcare delivery. This is because at-home caregivers are able to monitor the patient more frequently, and therefore, provide doctors with deeper insights on symptoms that they can’t observe themselves.

However, one more hurdle you may encounter in this process is ensuring the accuracy of assessments – especially if you have no medical training. For without accurate results, doctors can’t form a correct diagnosis and, subsequently, a treatment plan.

This quick step-by-step guide will break down for you the simple process of a blood glucose test so that you can assure accurate assessments. To help you give better care for your diabetic loved one, you will also find care tips to add to your routine.

How to do accurate blood sugar tests at home

Thankfully, the blood glucose test is a simple procedure that, as long as you follow this guide, you’ll be able to do perfectly well at home. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Schedule the ideal timing to do the check

Getting an accurate result for a blood sugar test heavily relies on both technique and the timing of the test.

When it comes to timing your blood glucose tests, there are a few important considerations you need to take note of:

  • Diagnosis. Are you conducting the test for a family member with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? These conditions affect the body differently, and therefore, testing for blood glucose may vary.
  • Medications. Medications like insulin affect blood sugar levels. It is best to test for blood glucose at least two hours before, or after delivering your insulin dose.
  • Food and drink intake. Food and beverages are the body’s sources of glucose. When testing, make sure that the person you’re testing has not had any food either 2 hours after eating or 12 hours before eating to ensure that their blood sugar levels are at their lowest.

Taking from that, you can time your tests either:

  • Every 12 hours. Or less, if your family member doesn’t eat full or heavy meals.
  • 2 hours after any intake. Intake simply means food, beverages, and/or medications that are ingested. Make sure to only test once a 2-hour period passes.

2. Gather the tools for the test

Like most diagnostic tests, the checking for blood sugar levels also requires a few tools. But compared to other procedures such as a complete blood count (CBC), you don’t have to be drawing out a lot of blood and running it through technical machines.

Photo courtesy of Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels

Because diabetes is a disease that afflicts many people – 493 million, according to a 2019 estimate of diabetes prevalence – around the world, scientists have developed a convenient tool that gives patients and their home caregivers the ability to test and monitor blood sugar levels in a simple and convenient way.

The device is called the glucometer or more commonly known as glucose monitors. There are many choices for glucose monitors out in the market these days, all with accuracy guarantees and at reasonable prices.

Some other tools you need along with your glucometer are:

  • Glucose strips that are compatible with your glucometer.
  • Alcohol swabs or cotton balls soaked with alcohol.
  • Sterile lancet.
  • Clean gloves.

3. Insert the glucose strip into the glucometer

You have to double check if your glucose strip is compatible with your glucometer. It helps to buy them as a set. Take note of where you bought your glucometer so you know where to run to when you need to restock on glucose strips.

Once you’ve confirmed that your glucose strips are compatible with your monitor, insert it into the slot indicated for the strip, which is usually found at the bottom of the device. The device will turn on, automatically.

4. Prick the side of any finger to draw out blood

Take your lancing device or lancet and prick the side of any finger on the non-dominant hand of the person you’re testing. Make sure to prick the side of the fingertip so it’s less painful for your patient.

5. Have the blood drip onto the strip

After drawing out a small drop of blood, let it drip onto the testing strip and make sure that the tiny slot for the blood is filled.

After that, wait for a few seconds and the results will be displayed on the screen of your monitor.

6. Interpreting the results

Once the results are readable on the screen, record the findings in a notebook that you bring whenever you visit the doctor for routine check-ups. Doing so also helps you keep track of your regular blood sugar levels so that you are able to spot any major discrepancies.

You can refer to this table for a basic guide on interpreting the results:

Source: Asean Endocrine Journal, St. Lukes PH, Makati Med PH, Endo-Society PH.

What to do based on the readings

When unsure of what to do about your blood glucose test findings, always seek the opinion of a doctor so that a care plan can be mapped out. Go visit the doctor when:

  • Blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) and it’s not increased by regular food intake
  • Blood sugar is too high even after an insulin dose or two- to 12-hour fast

For non-urgent consultations, you can also book online doctors consultations so you can avoid long waiting lines at hospitals or clinics.

How to manage your blood sugar at home

Diabetes care and management is a practice that should be carried and practiced consistently at home. After all, a doctor can only do so much with the contact provided only at the hospital setting. Ultimately, the overall care of your diabetic family members should continue at home and must be practiced religiously.

Thankfully, management and care for diabetes are as simple as:

  • Improving your diet. Avoid snacks or food that contain too much fat, salt, and sugar.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical exercises use up glucose to power your body. Additionally, exercise also helps your body use insulin more effectively and improves your metabolism.
  • Minding your medications. Once diagnosed with diabetes, your body will need the help of these medications to keep your blood sugar levels managed. Take your doses in a timely manner. Consult with your doctor about other medications that will go with your diabetes medications, as there are some that affect your blood sugar, as well.

Primary care and assessments done at home are essential parts of the overall patient care that you can actively take part in. Learning simple healthcare procedures like a blood glucose test not only allows continuous delivery of care but assures you that you are in control of your own health and well-being.

7 Doctor-Approved Tips on How to Take Care of Your Liver

How you take care of your liver can greatly affect your body’s ability to regulate toxins and remove waste from the blood. Ironically, despite it being a vital organ, the liver doesn’t get as much attention as the heart or the lungs.

The reality is, you should keep a close eye on your liver health, as failing to do so can lead to the development of debilitating chronic diseases. Thankfully, caring for your liver can be done easily.

In the Philippines, one in 10 people have Hepatitis B. More people are getting diagnosed with fatty liver and at ages when they aren’t supposed to be having fatty liver. This poses another irony as these diseases are actually highly preventable with a healthy lifestyle.

As you know, prevention is better than cure. Be kind to your body and follow these recommended tips on how to take care of your liver, straight from Maayo Well’s professional doctors:

1. Have a regular schedule for liver function tests.

When it comes to yearly check-ups, make sure to include a liver function test on your to-do list. As one of your vital organs, this should actually be one of your priorities when coming in for your routine diagnostics, especially if you have a family history of liver disease.

Remember: regular checks are important for early detection of diseases so that, in turn, you can seek early treatment for them. The Hospital at Maayo has medical services in Cebu that can help you do just that.

Liver diseases often develop slowly, and are difficult to reverse once acquired. Add to that, you can also appear and feel healthy for a while without knowing that your liver health is declining. With liver function tests, you can spot and treat liver disease earlier; contributing to better outcomes for your health.

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Liver function tests measure the level of proteins and enzymes in your blood to determine your liver’s health. If you’re already on medication, this diagnostic test is important in assessing how well your body is responding to the treatment.

2. Avoid fatty food.

An unhealthy diet can contribute to fatty liver disease, which means exactly what it sounds like: having too much fat in your liver. This causes inflammation that damages the organ and creates scarring, ultimately resulting in liver failure. That said, pay attention to your nutrition. If you need a bit of help, we’ve got different nutrition services to get you started.

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Brunner via Unsplash

In a healthy liver diet, avoid fried or fatty food, and those that are processed from animal fat, like cheese and butter.

Additionally, you can switch up your diet to include more foods that are good for the liver, like:

  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Omega-3-rich foods like salmon, tuna, and sardines
  • Whole grains.

These food items can either prevent the buildup of fat in the liver, reduce inflammation, and fill you up quickly so that you don’t crave those burgers in the middle of the night.

3. Drink water frequently.

As much as you eat healthy food for your liver, hydration is essential, too. While there are a lot of detox products out there, the best flushing agent is actually simpler and more accessible: water. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day will help the liver clean your system.

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On the flip side, dehydration causes the blood to become thicker. It may be harder for the liver to remove toxins in the body when the blood is thick. So remember, drinking water should be part of your liver care.

4. Sleep well.

In a study, scientists found that mice that experienced sleep interruptions were more likely to develop liver problems. The liver’s ability to make glucose and process insulin gets affected when you’re sleep deprived. This increases your risk of developing fatty liver disease (and type 2 diabetes).

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Caring for your liver involves getting enough sleep. If you have trouble dozing off in the night, it will probably help by adjusting your sleeping environment. Lower the temperature of your air conditioning, turn the lights off (including the one from your phone) and close the doors and windows to keep noises down.

5. Avoid toxins that are harmful to the liver.

Constant and prolonged exposure to certain chemicals can increase your risk in developing liver problems. Some chemicals that are harmful to the liver and should be avoided are:

  • Vinyl chloride (used in making plastics)
  • Paraquat (chemical used in herbicides)
  • Ethanol or alcoholic beverages

Some herbal supplements, even though they’re natural, can likewise be harmful. The risk could be greater if you take more than one medicine.

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If your job involves exposure to the mentioned chemicals, make sure to have the right protective equipment to reduce risk. Meanwhile, for the supplements, don’t take anything without consulting your doctor.

6. Maintain a healthy weight.

Obesity is closely linked to liver disease. When fat accumulates in liver cells, this causes inflammation and damage to the organ’s tissues, which is a medical condition called steatohepatitis.

You need to maintain your ideal weight through exercise and a balanced diet. But bear in mind that instead of aiming to weigh 120 pounds or less, you should rely more on assessing if your body mass index (BMI) is within normal ranges. Relying on your measurements on the scale, can only tell you so much, and what is a healthy weight for some, can be an unhealthy one for you.

That said, always establish your weight goal with your BMI in mind. While you can have your doctor or nutritionist determine your BMI, you can also compute for this on your own.

Here’s a quick table to help you determine your body mass index and global standards for interpreting your BMI:

Computing in imperial units

Computing in metric units

BMI Interpretation
0 to 16.0 Severely underweight
16.1 to 18.5 Underweight
18.6 to 25 Normal
30.1 to 35 Obese

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If you need to reduce weight, control calorie intake on top of picking healthy food for liver. Be mindful of your food’s portion sizes. If you want to gain weight, on the other hand, squeeze in healthy snacks in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meanwhile, if you’re just getting started on exercise, consider doing aerobics. Increasing your heart rate and the amount of oxygen you breathe in, will speed up the delivery of oxygen to vital organs, including the liver.

7. Exercise regularly.

In line with maintaining a healthy body mass index, exercising regularly is one key factor to keeping a healthy liver. In that regard, it helps to establish a routine that is practical and sustainable so that you stay consistent.

What is a practical and sustainable workout, you ask? Anything that gets you feeling physically challenged for at least 30 minutes a day. That could be brisk walking, running, jumping ropes, or whatever exercise you can stick to and enjoy doing.

The reason most people abandon their fitness routines is because they often make the mistake of setting goals that are not realistic for them at their current fitness level.

That’s why it’s important to keep your workouts simple and set more practical goals if you’re only starting out with establishing your workout routine.

Start out with the ‘easier’ or low-impact workouts and achieve your small small wins so that exercising feels more rewarding and less like a chore you have to do. Eventually, you’ll develop a habit and craving for these small wins, and make a routine of achieving them. Later on, when these simple workouts aren’t challenging you anymore, you can switch up your goals, and build up your fitness to a whole new level.

But ultimately, your goal is to stay healthy and if, for now, you can walk every day for 30 minutes in order to do that, then that’s achieving miles for your health already.

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The liver plays an important role in filtering blood and flushing out toxins. Be kind to this vital organ in your body. Embrace a healthy, active lifestyle and set an appointment with our doctors at Maayo Well to improve liver wellness.

Online Consultation Customer Reviews

Have you ever been in a situation where you want to consult with a doctor but you’re too afraid to go out of the house in the fear of contracting COVID-19? Most of you might say yes.

Due to the rising number of active COVID-19 cases, people are encouraged to stay home, causing most transactions to be done online. Shopping, bills payment, food delivery – whatever service you name, it has an online transaction.

Today, there are medical services in Cebu like online doctor consultations – commonly referred to as telemedicine – thanks to modern technology.

What are online doctor consultations?

Medical News Today defines telemedicine or online doctor consultations as a method of providing medical care remotely, usually through video chat. It’s been used for decades now but only recently became popular most likely due to the increasing number of internet users amid the pandemic.

As people are encouraged to stay indoors most times, people have learned to resort to telemedicine for an initial assessment and diagnosis before proceeding to the clinic or hospital. In fact, a survey from Software Advice showed that 77% of the patients are interested in trying telemedicine.

What is perhaps the biggest reason why online doctor consultations are fast becoming popular is because of the convenience it offers to patients and healthcare providers. With online consultations, you can easily schedule an appointment which can be done in just a few minutes, instead of going to the clinic.

What online doctor consultations are like in Maayo Well

When it comes to quality medical providers, including online consultations, Maayo Well Clinic’s services have been highly regarded by clients. If you have a health concern you’d like to consult over a telemedicine call, here’s some proof of positive experiences from satisfied patients:

1. Good and kind in handling concerns

Photo courtesy of Maayo Well Facebook page

One of our worries in doing online consultations is how accurate the results can be when doctors are only able to ask us questions online. But worry no more as Maayo Well has a set of professional staff who will make sure that you will have the quality service that you deserve.

In Maayo Well, your questions will be handled properly. With an accommodating and knowledgeable staff, you will have a unique online check up experience.

2. Has an approachable and pleasant staff

Photo courtesy of Maayo Well Facebook page

Your anxieties shouldn’t be met with more friction, especially during an online doctor’s consultation. When it comes to these services, something as simple as approachable and pleasant staff can provide monumental ease for you amid your fears over your health.

After all, kindness goes a long way – even the smallest of them like being approachable and pleasant with your dealings with people. More so, when it comes to medical services online. With Maayo Well, you’re guaranteed to be greeted by accommodating and friendly doctors, nurses, and other staff.

3. Reliable health care provider

Photo courtesy of Maayo Well Facebook page

Indeed, it is hard to go outside for doctor consultation nowadays. With limited transportation and fear of contracting the virus, some people will just choose to stay home and set aside health issues that they may have.

But this should not be the case. With Maayo Well’s online consultation, you can consult your doctors easily! Don’t ignore your health issues. Take care of your health as there are medical providers who are willing to help you in every possible way.

4. Expert and skilled doctors

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This pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us. With the increasing number of active cases everyday, the government needs to implement stricter community quarantine in some areas.

As if it is not stressful enough, we also feel that health issues sometimes that add up to our worries. But remember that you should not self-diagnose any health issues that you may have. Ask the experts and set up an online consultation immediately.

5. Overall satisfaction

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Maayo Well Clinic will give you an overall satisfying experience like no other! Here, you will truly feel that they care for you and your health.

Be it online consultation or clinic visit, Maayo Well will provide exceptional customer experience like no other. You will feel overwhelmed and satisfied with the quality of service that they provide that you will be looking forward to every visit.

6. World-class health services

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Are you tired of the neverending queue, grumpy staff, and low quality services that other medical providers give? Perhaps it’s your sign to consult other clinics

When it comes to your healthcare provider, never settle for less. You deserve a world-class experience – from the amenities and clinic staff to the medical expertise. In Maayo Well Clinic, you can have it all!

Online consultation is one of the trends right now in the medical field. This will save you time and energy which you can use instead to take care of yourself and your family. With all the testimonials of our satisfied customers, you know that Maayo Well Clinic will cater to your health-related needs. Schedule your online consultation now and experience a world-class medical provider like no other!

8 Factors to know the Best Online Consultation

As families continue to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have turned to digital for buying essential goods, communication and leisure.

Seeking medical advice is no exception to this shift. As COVID cases continue to rise in the country, many have restrained themselves from coming to the clinics or hospitals due to the fear of contracting the virus. This is a dangerous move as delaying one’s medical care can lead to worsening conditions for your ailing family members.

Thanks to technology, however, this hurdle is overcome through online consultations or telemedicine – two examples of the premium medical services in Cebu that The Hospital at Maayo offers.

What is telemedicine or online consultation?

The rise of Telemedicine began in 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization has described telemedicine as “the delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”

Telemedicine has filled the gap between the patient and the doctor, especially in these trying times. In the US, there has been an exponential rise in using telemedicine rather than in-person appointments.

Now, online consultations are everywhere and easily accessible. But how would you know if this telemedicine service offers the quality medical care you and your family deserve?

Top considerations in choosing an online doctor consultation service

1. A smooth overall process

As a patient, it’s essential for you to have a smooth experience in looking for a specialist for your condition, booking an appointment for your consultation, diagnostic procedures, and payment. With your current condition, you don’t need any more unnecessary stress piling on top of that.

It is important for an online doctor’s consultation service to have a streamlined process to help patients like you easily get answers to your health concerns.

2. Hospitality is key

Whether in-person or virtually, you would want to be treated the best way possible, especially when coming into a call about your health and well-being.

In choosing the right telemedicine service for you and your family, you should consider whether the service has a professional and hospitable medical staff.

Observe the following when it comes to staff hospitality:

  • Are they ready to answer all your questions?
  • Do they portray a friendly professional impression over the phone?
  • Do they assist you in everything that needs to be done?

If their disposition and responsiveness seem to satisfy these questions then you’re on the right track in choosing your telemedicine service provider.

3. They have the doctor or specialist you need

Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

In order to fit your needs, a medical institution offering online consultations services should also have a complete line-up of specialists that can answer a specific healthcare concern.

When looking over your choices for online doctor consultations, you should check with information sources how diverse a specific institution’s specialties are. If not, this adds friction to your consultation process as you would have to go find another clinic that has the doctor you need to talk to about your health concerns.

4. A universal platform is used for all consultations

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The world has a lot of communication platforms to choose from such as Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet.

A health institution offering online doctor consultation services must equip their doctors and other healthcare staff with a proper and unified communication platform.

Why is this important? As a patient, surely you would need more than one professional doctor to consult with. It’ll be a hassle for you if doctor A wants to use ZOOM while Doctor B prefers Viber instead. That’s multiple apps to keep up with just for a consultation.

This is especially important if someone in your family is a senior citizen and is struggling with modern technology. Having a telemedicine provider with a universal communication platform will greatly help you eliminate the hassle of multi-platform communication.

5. Accepts various modes of payment, including insurances

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Medical services are often costly, so as much as possible, you’d like to take advantage of health management organization (HMO) services that can help cover your medical tab – even a telemedicine service.

Make sure that the service you’re choosing is not only able to accommodate various payment options, but is also accredited by a number of HMOs and, accordingly, provide a smooth process for transacting claims.

6. They have the service you need

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Healthcare doesn’t stop with one medical consultation. Consultations are often backed up by necessary medical exams like blood tests, x-rays, or CT-scans.

When looking for telemedicine services, consider looking at other “home” services they offer like home services for your necessary blood works or imaging tests. If your doctor prescribed a certain medicine will they be able to deliver it to your doorstep? Look for telemedicine services that go above and beyond in order to provide you with the quality healthcare you need.

7. Their patients speak for their service quality

Starting to second guess your options?

One way to help you decide if a provider gives good service is to look at the patient feedback. If you happen to be in touch with other patients, ask about their experience during their online consultations.

Otherwise, you can always check reviews on the internet or social media that the facility receives. Nothing speaks better than good customer reviews – especially in healthcare.

8. Provides holistic care packages

Another factor you should also consider is if the telemedicine service offers packages that cover everything you need for your consultation: blood exams, imaging exams, one (or two) consultations, delivery of prescription medicines, a medical certificate, and even ambulatory assistance.

These packages, of course, come in a cheaper or discounted price. Getting packages like these not only saves you time from booking these services one by one, it can also help you save money for other important matters. In these trying times, it’s important to be practical.

The world of medical care has indeed changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But thanks to technology, each home can now have a clinic with the right telemedicine service.

In choosing your telemedicine, the key is to experience the hospitality you usually experience when you visit the clinic or the hospital through your phone calls and video calls.

If you’re looking for a telemedicine service that fits your needs, consult with a Mayo Well doctor today.