Diabetic & Me

Fajar Siddiq

Fajar Siddiq
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Hello! Who are you? And tell us a little bit more about your diabetes.

Hey everyone! My name is Fajar Siddiq. I’m 34 years old and currently living in Singapore. I have Type 2 diabetes for a total of 1 year.

I’m a serial entrepreneur from Singapore. I didn’t grow up with diabetes. I got it from stress that lead to anxiety and after that a burnout. I didn’t hide it, it’s also part of my family history.

It was hard for me. I live alone and I manage my business, finance and medical health expenses with the support of government subsidies.

Fajar Siddiq

“Take care of what food you eat and your mental health.”

Your treatment

How do you treat your diabetes, did a lot change over the past years and are you able to manage it well?

I receive the most support from the government polyclinic. I also use the Health Hub app, they send me an sms and also an advance booking via their online e-booking system at the polyclinic for an appointment check-up every 3 months. They do a blood test, eye test, foot test, ECG and I get consultation from the doctor.

The first 3 months I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and was prescribed with Metformin & Glipizide pills. I changed my habit and lifestyle after that. I did intermittent fasting and controled my food intake. I now only take 2 pills in the morning and one Metformin before bedtime. I no longer take Glipizide. Glipizide is a strong pill and it can cause hypoglycemia.

I changed a lot of the past few years. But due to Covid-19 recently my good habits start to change. I work from home and currently I have my other personal reasons and this makes it difficult to cook and maintain my healthy lifestyle.

I think I manage my diabetes very well. I give myself a 9/10 for lifestyle, but I can’t be stressed. If I’m stressed I only give myself a 2/10.

Fajar Siddiq
Fajar Siddiq

Can you recognize the symptoms of a low/high blood sugar? Do you test often and can you tell a bit more about your experiences with low blood sugar?

Yes, I can recognize them. I used to take 2 pills Glipizide and 4 pills Metformin. It drove me insane. I only had side effects: severe hypoglycemia.

I don’t test my blood sugar, but hopefully with the Lumi Health app in Singapore who partners with Apple that uses the apple watch technology, I hopefully soon can test my blood sugar. I just maintain my daily food intake.

To treat my low blood sugars I eat 1 table spoon of honey and relax for 15mins.

I never fainted before. I try to make sure that I always read my medication prescription and make sure to not have any of the side effects. So I’m prepared. If I feel my blood sugar dropping I just sit down, try to open my fridge, grab any food and eat it quickly. I try to solve everything within 1 hour.

Food and diet

How does your diabetes affect your eating and do you find being on a diet restrictive?

For breakfast I drink water or coffee. For lunch and dinner I eat low-GI rice, vegetables, meat or fish.

I never skip any meals and my favorite food is chicken and rice. For snacks I eat fruits, biscuits, cottage cheese, drink juices and other healthy snacks. But for me it’s expensive to eat healthy snacks in Singapore.

I drink one liter bottle of water a day. I think it’s very important.

For me, diet is a healthy lifestyle. But at times when you stress you just eat unhealthy food. Check the nutrition facts on your food and try to eat healthy.

When people ask me about food that I can or can’t eat I don’t feel irritated. I take it as a change to educate.

Fajar Siddiq

Do you believe that a plant based diet can improve diabetes? Did you ever experiment with this?

Yes, I tried. It is good but intermittent fasting is great.

Do you have a hard time eating out in a restaurant? And what are you thoughts on making this easier?

No. Everything is good and I eat the portion of hand palm size and I choose what I want to eat.

“You can reverse diabetes.”

Exercise and work

Does your diabetes restrict you from exercise or your daily job?

I swim and walk to keep in shape.

I run multiple digital online companies and on my free time I have side-projects. I make a lot of digital things online. It affects my diabetes when I’m stressed but it is good when I earn good money and allows me to travel and buy healthier food. Both pros and cons, but mainly all good.

Fajar Siddiq

Final

Do you have any positive or negative effects because of your diabetes?

To manage my diabetes better I do intermittent fasting.

The hardest part about having type 2 diabetes is cooking and eat until you get tired. I eat 5 times a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2x snacks in between.

But the best part is to have a healthier lifestyle, I got more handsome and I lost weight. Chicks start hitting on me! Some girls like men who are super good looking 🤣

Diabetes does cause me some issues. I need more money to spend on food. Medication expenses are supported by the government. I’m a self-employed and I must be careful not to get stressed too much so I can take care of my businesses.

Fajar Siddiq

What is the best advice that you can give to non-diabetics, new diagnosed diabetics and diabetics?

Check your BMI. Use the calculator. If your BMI is high, chances of you getting symptoms of a chronic disease is near.

Take care of what food you eat, your mental health, do intermittent fasting, sleep well & work-out. Basically change your lifestyle to get more healthy.

You can reverse diabetes, get all the consultation advice every 3 months from your doctor.

What would you ask the other diabetics?

How can you educate your next generation of children that we have a family history of chronic diseases and make sure we start eating healthy?

Feel free to answer in the comments below.

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Hey! I'm Ely Fornoville, the founder of Diabetic & Me.

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