MANILA, December 27, 2003 (STAR) The Christmas season has a way of making people forget diet and throw caution to the wind. Before taking that extra slice of rich decadent cake, think again! As the saying goes, sweet moment on the lips, forever in the hips (and other parts of the body).

Addressing the growing concerns of obesity in all parts of the globe, St. Luke’s Medical Center recently opened the first center in the country to help individuals who are patently obese and thus, are prime candidates to weight-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer and hypertension.

Called the Endocrine, Metabolic and Diabetes Center, it has a staff of more than 20 consultants led by endocrinologist Dr. Joselynna Quimpo.

The Endocrine and Diabetes Center was simultaneously inaugurated with the Weight Management Center to provide a holistic approach to obesity.

It also aims to educate the general public through a comprehensive educational program on diabetes, help with the fertility problems of overweight women who are having a difficult time conceiving, work with menopausal patients who might need hormonal treatments, and help people suffering from thyroid problems to see if the thyroid gland is working properly.

Even if a person has exerted all efforts to remain healthy like being careful about his diet and exercises regularly but still is gaining weight, the person might be suffering from under-production of the thyroid gland. This causes insufficient burning of energy and makes the person fat. Weight gain problems that are endocrine-related can be treated if detected properly.

As in the case of diabetes, most sufferers are overweight individuals. Ninety-five percent suffer from type 2 as it is commonly known with victims getting to be younger worldwide. It is not anymore called an illness of the rich because the poor are also afflicted.

Type 2 is the product of unhealthy living, lack of exercise and consuming food rich in fats and sugar.

The center will also work closely with the upcoming diabetic Foot and Wound Care Center to better manage foot care problems among diabetics and prevent future limb amputation.

For those wishing to avail themselves of the center’s services, it will soon service not only in-house patients but will accept referrals from provincial physicians who would like an immediate and accurate analysis of blood samples with results out in three to five days either by fax or courier. Since testing of endocrine hormones is very delicate, there are dedicated technicians to do the job. Quality control is assured because the samples are sent to SLMC’s partner in the United States, namely the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital and Mayo Clinic.

Endocrine patients with rare diseases that require special types of medicine need not worry since the center will make available medicines not readily available in the country.

For more information, call St. Luke’s Endocrine, Metabolic and Diabetes Center at 723-0101 local 5210.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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