Aster Kids Interschool Quiz Competition

In efforts to motivate and engage children with learning, Aster DM Healthcare with the support of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), hosted The Aster Kids Interschool Quiz competition at the DPS Academy, in Dubai Silicon Oasis on April 22nd. Three challenging rounds later, GEMS Modern Academy in Dubai were announced as the winners taking home 5000 AED. While GEMS Our Own Indian School were awarded the runner-ups, receiving 3000 AED.

“To ensure overall health and progress for the community, it is important to understand the growing social, physical, mental and emotional needs of children. Hence, the Aster Kids Club was created to cater to the development of children from the ages of three to thirteen.  The Club focuses on providing valuable information regarding health and wellness, using interactive and competitive events such as the Aster Quiz. We also invite parents, children, and extended families to be part of the club, ensuring children have a positive and supportive environment” said Ms. Alisha Moopen, Executive Director of Aster DM Healthcare and Group CEO of Aster Hospitals and Clinics.

Designed to both challenge and encourage young minds, the Aster Kids Interschool Quiz competitions semi-finals included 60 participants representing 18 schools, from grades seven to nine. Over the course of three rounds of elimination, the children were tested on general knowledge and aptitude. Moreover to encourage teamwork and collaboration, the quiz ensured that each school had two teams with two students in each.

“The children of today never fail to surprise us with their wit and worldly knowledge. They are the generation of tomorrow, the generation that will create solutions and produce innovations for the future. Hence, it is important to constantly provide a challenging, yet collaborative environment that celebrates the leadership and talent of young leaders today. We hope to be able to grow our network of Aster Kids to all children in the region, encouraging the creation of a space in which young minds flourish” commented Alisha Moopen, Executive Director of Aster DM Healthcare and Group CEO of Aster Hospitals and Clinics.


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Best Ways to Beat Diabetes – Simple lifestyle changes.


Type 2 diabetes is on the rise around the world. But if you’ve been diagnosed, there’s a lot you can do to improve your health — and the best place to start is by changing your lifestyle.

“Basic principles of good health like eating right, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can be as effective as medicine in the management of type 2 diabetes for most people,”

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

  • Improve Your Diet

Keeping close tabs on your diet is a major way to manage type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Focus on eating fruits and non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce, and having smaller portions of starchy foods, meat, and dairy products. Be especially careful about loading up on foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI), a system that ranks foods according to how they affect glucose levels. High-GI foods include white breads, white rice, and soda.

Limit fast food, too. In a 15-year study of 3,000 young adults, those who ate fast food more than twice a week developed insulin resistance (a diabetes risk factor) at twice the rate of people who weren’t fast food junkies. Plus, fast food is loaded with refined carbohydrates, Trans fats, and sodium, which can be especially unhealthy for people with type 2 diabetes.

  • Lose Weight

Shedding pounds can improve blood sugar levels and help keep type 2 diabetes under control. And you don’t have to lose a lot of weight to make a difference. “If you already have type 2 diabetes, losing just 10 to 15 pounds can lower your glucose levels,” says McLaughlin.

Where your fat is distributed also affects your diabetes risk and management. People who carry most of their fat in their belly (apple shape) are more prone to type 2 diabetes than those with fat mostly in the thighs, hips, and buttocks (pear shape). A woman whose waist measures more than 35 inches and a man with a 40-inch waist need to lose weight for good diabetes management, says McLaughlin, adding that a healthy diet and regular aerobic exercise will whittle away weight in the stomach area.

  • Exercise Regularly

Even without losing a pound, exercise can help keep type 2 diabetes under control.

“When you do physical activity, such as walking, your muscle contractions push glucose out of your blood into your cells,” explains McLaughlin. The result: Better blood sugar levels.

Of course, the more intense the exercise, the better. In one study of vigorous exercise and type 2 diabetes, women who walked quickly gained more protection from type 2 diabetes than those who walked at a more leisurely pace.

Regular weight-lifting sessions can also help keep blood sugar levels steady. McLaughlin recommends using hand weights or resistance bands for 30 minutes two to three times a week.

  • Control Sleep Apnea

Many overweight people with type 2 diabetes also have sleep apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing temporarily while sleeping.

People with type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are at higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke. Their blood sugar levels also fluctuate more dramatically while sleeping than in those who have type 2 diabetes, but not sleep apnea, according to one study. These fluctuations have been linked to a higher risk for diabetic complications.

Severe cases of sleep apnea may need to be treated with surgery or by wearing a special device while sleeping, but less severe cases can be managed by losing weight. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you may have sleep apnea — loud snoring is one sign. A special sleep test can diagnose sleep apnea.

  • Soothe Stress

Stress can make blood sugar levels harder to control, says McLaughlin. Try relaxation techniques to chase away stress. Top-notch stress busters include yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage, and soothing music.

As a bonus, stress relief may help you sleep better, important because studies show that not getting enough sleep can worsen type 2 diabetes. Sleeping less than six hours a night has also been found to contribute to impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that often precedes type 2 diabetes.

Besides yoga, try deep breathing before bed. Other tips to try:

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods at night.
  • Maintain a slightly cool temperature in your sleep environment.
  • Block out all light and noise.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night to establish a sleep schedule.




Dr. Abdelraouf Fouad

General Medicine

Aster Clinic, Business Bay


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World Health Day – Beat Diabetes

The main goals of the World Health day April 7, 2016 are to increase the awareness on the rise of Diabetes and its staggering burden and consequences on public health. This will include mainly the steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and long term care for the people with diabetes.

The latest regional statistics of diabetes:

Diabetes is now one of the most common non-communicable diseases globally. It is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most high-income countries and there is substantial evidence that it is epidemic in many low- and middle-income countries.

Complications from diabetes, such as coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, amputations, renal failure and blindness are resulting in increasing disability, reduced life expectancy and enormous health costs for virtually every society. Diabetes is certain to be one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st century. It is now recognized that it is the developing countries that presently face the greatest burden of diabetes.

New figures from International Diabetes Federation (November 14 2015) suggests that 415 million people have diabetes in the world and more than 35.4 million people in the   Middle East and North Africa region and by 2040 this will rise to 72.1 million.

There were over 1 million cases of diabetes in U.A.E in 2015. The U.A.E is ranked 16th worldwide, with 19% of the U.A.E population living with diabetes. These statistics indicate that the region has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity. This sedentary lifestyle and the globally increasing unhealthy diet have contributed to the rise in obesity and have increased diabetes prevalence in the region.

Current practice by the Doctors

We come across a lot of Type 2 Diabetes patients especially which are newly diagnosed. Patients often come with borderline blood sugars also known as Pre -Diabetes. There is a close association between diabetes and hypertension, they are diagnosed sometimes simultaneously. The risk factors are essentially same and so it needs to be screened when the diagnosis of one is made.

Diabetes in pregnant women also known as Gestational diabetes (GDM) is encountered frequently, the screening for this has to be done by standard OGTT at around 24-28 weeks of gestation. Women with a history of GDM should have lifelong screening for the development of diabetes or pre diabetes at least every 3 years.

We see the adverse complications of diabetes, mainly because of poor control of blood sugars. The most severe among them are cardiovascular and kidney complications. The earlier and the more intensive sugar control treatment remarkably postpones and reduces these morbid complications.

Most effective preventive measures.

At present, type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented.

However, there is a lot of evidence that lifestyle changes (achieving a healthy body weight and moderate physical activity) can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss (7% body weight) improves insulin resistance and reduces hypertension. People who are overweight or obese should therefore be encouraged to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Physical activity is one of the main pillars in the prevention of diabetes. Increased physical activity is important in maintaining weight loss and is linked to reduced blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, increased insulin sensitivity, improved body composition and psychological well-being.

A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for health. A healthy diet reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

Smoking: a well-established risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and its complications. As well as other harmful effects, smoking increases abdominal fat accumulation and insulin resistance. All smokers should be encouraged to quit smoking.

Stress and depression: There is evidence of a link between depression and both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, hence steps towards decreasing stress help prevent diabetes.

Sleeping patterns: Both short (<6h) and long (>9h) sleep durations may be associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation may impair the balance of hormones regulating food intake and energy balance.

Long term care and mobile apps

Education helps people with diabetes initiate effective self-management and cope with the stress of diabetes when they are first diagnosed. Care of diabetes has shifted to an approach that is more patient centered and places the person with diabetes and his or her family at the center of the care model working in collaboration with doctors. The long term care to get best results we should respect and respond to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensure that patient’s values guide all decision making.

People with diabetes should perform at least 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, spread over at least 3 days per week with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise.

The mix of carbohydrate, protein, and fat may be adjusted to meet the metabolic goals and individual preferences of the person with diabetes.

Saturated fat intake should be, less than 7% of total calories, also reducing intake of trans-fat lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.

If adults with diabetes choose to use alcohol, they should limit intake to a moderate amount (one drink per day or less for adult women and two drinks per day or less for adult men) and should take extra precautions to prevent hypoglycemia.

Regular glucose monitoring using HBA1C has been recommended to perform twice in a year for patients with stable glucose control and at least every quarterly when treatment goals are not met.

Check of blood glucose at home using a glucometer device is very effective in monitoring therapy, especially in patients using multiple insulin doses in a day. However, it is imperative that patients learn the proper technique and the way to interpret the results.

The therapy has to be individualized as per the patient’s age, lifestyle and other co-morbid illnesses.

As the smartphone has become such an important part of our personal and social life, it is needless to say the idea of apps related to diabetes will have an impact. These apps are excellent self-awareness tools, they help in better monitoring and serve as a constant source of continued education about diabetes.

A study published in the journal Clinical Diabetes concludes that “the use of mobile apps leads to improved A1C and self-management in diabetes care.”

It is recommended to choose apps based on individual goals. For some people with diabetes, that’s weight control; others need help tracking blood glucose or remembering to take medication. It is equally important to remember that unused apps stored on a smartphone do not change behavior or improve health.

Once Diabetes is diagnosed, then patients need to continue with the medicines and not stop the medicines abruptly once the sugars are controlled. We need to understand that Diabetes is a chronic disease and in order to “Beat Diabetes “regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels , compliance with therapy and lifestyle modification and continued education about the disease are important.


Dr. Srikanth Badavath Narayana

Specialist Physician

Aster Clinic, Al Butina


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Laparoscopic Total Colectomy and Ileo Rectal Anastomosis

Recently, a case of laparoscopic total colectomy was performed at Aster Hospital, Mankhool.

A patient complaining of abdominal pain, vomiting and constipation came to the Gastroenterology department at Aster Hospital Mankhool. He reportedly was suffering from significant weight loss, loss of appetite, and was syncope due to pain. He was seen by Dr. Amal Upadhyay – Consultant Gastroenterology and upon performing colonoscopy, he was found to have bowel cancer. Post biopsy, he was advised to seek surgical help and the opinion of an oncologist.

Considering his financial situation and the fact that he had no insurance cover, the patient was considering various options including travelling to India for further treatment.

Upon consulting with Dr. Moni Suseelan our Specialist General Surgery at Aster Hospital Mankhool and was advised to undergo laparoscopic total colectomy with Ileo-rectal anastomosis. Upon detailing him on the operative procedure, outcomes and after effects, he was also advised to consult an Oncologist for neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. He was required to undertake chemotherapy after his procedure as per the Oncologist at Saudi German Hospital, Dubai.

The procedure was performed successfully on 23rd  March 2016, and he was tolerated soft diet within few days post operatively, considering the loss of total colon.


Dr. Moni Suseelan


Specialist General Surgery

Aster Hospital



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