Dr harold Gunatillake

Microwaving food – By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Microwaves Drastically


Do Microwaves destroy the nutrients of food?

Dr Harold GunatillakePlease click on the link and open the article written by Naturopath Ed. Bauman, PhD. under the caption, “Studies Show Microwaves Drastically Reduce Nutrients in Food” 

Above linked article has been circulated by one de Sayrah, a non-Medico,

Every home, every institution, every function centre, has invested in a microwave oven to cook and warm up food and veggies. It is not a devil, but a very useful convenient staple of equipment treasured in every kitchen and pantry, any house wife or chef will convey you.

This article (link) sends shock-waves, and most of the readers will get worried, and may feel guilty to use this most useful invention to mankind.

The facts are that heating meals through radiation does not destroy all the nutrients. Any form of cooking will destroy nutrients in some way, as all nutrients in foods are heat sensitive, and more water-soluble vitamins like folic acid, vitamin B and C.

Microwave ovens use less heat than most conventional methods, and there is less destruction of nutrients.

Further, the degree of destruction of macro and micro nutrients is determined by the extent the food is cooked, how much liquid is used and the cooking temperature. Microwaving food takes far too short a time and such destruction are least compared to other methods of cooking.

A good example is cooking of spinach. In studies at Cornell University, scientists looked at the effects of cooking on water-soluble vitamins in veggies and found spinach retained nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave but lost about 77 percent when cooked on a stove (ref: Anahad O’Connor-NYT).

Studies have revealed that when veggies are cooked in a microwave without adding water, the nutrients and antioxidants are retained much more than cooked immersed in water.

Microwave ovens cook food by using waves of energy that are like radio waves but very much shorter. These waves vibrate the intra-cellular contents of every food item and quickly builds up energy in the form of thermal heat to cook the food item.

Bottom line: Microwaving to cook or warm up food does retain nutrients much more than other methods of cooking, and so convenient and safe, too.

So, do not have any doubts in cooking or warming up food in your treasured microwave oven you have purchased. Use it with no fears and phobias.

“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory”. Laura Esquivel

About the author
Dr Gunatillake-Health editor is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Member of the Australian Association of Cosmetic Surgery. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (UK), Corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Member of the International Societies of Cosmetic surgery, Fellow of the International College of Surgery (US), Australian diplomat for the International Society of Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Board member of the International Society of Aesthetic Surgery, Member of the American Academy of Aesthetic & Restorative Surgery, Life Member of the College of Surgeons, Sri Lanka, Batchelor of Medicine & Surgery (Cey). Government scholar to UK for higher studies and training.

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Sri Lankan Seniors in NSW (Sydney) open day event- January 8th 2019 – Video thanks to Harold Gunatillake

This is a monthly event organized by the Sri Lankan Association of NSW. All seniors whether they are members or not are invited to participate and enjoy mixing with other seniors. A variety of indoor games, singing sessions and other events are organized at these functions. Filmed by Dr. harold Gunatillkae

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Sugar – may be the cause of most diseases by Dr Harold Gunatillake

Dr. Harold Gunethilake


Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-Health writer

Why blame sugar a food that is so sweet provides energy for survival? Debate goes on regarding the causes of heart disease. One of the suspects under constant scrutiny is sugar. Sugar has been blamed for various forms of heart disease both directly and indirectly. With proper background knowledge and by making smart choices, anyone can take measures to avoid any potential heart disease-related conditions associated with sugar. Heart Disease

The idea that sugar is associated with heart disease dates back to the 1960s when a study, showed that a higher intake of sugar was associated with increased cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have linked sugar consumption with coronary heart disease. The incidence in women is higher than men. Women with diets high in sugar had twice the risk in developing heart disease over a 10-year period. This association is directly related to weight gain, which in turn causes heart disease and other conditions such as diabetes that also is linked to heart disease.

There are varieties of sugars; simple sugars refer to mono and disaccharides. Then there the complex carbohydrates referred to as polysaccharides, starch being the commonest we are familiar with. Common disaccharides are sucrose found in sugar cane, sugar beets, honey and corn syrup. All sugars whether simple or complex are broken down to glucose before absorption into the portal blood stream that feeds the liver.

Kimber Stanhope, a nutritional biologistat the University of California…. She’s in the middle of a ground-breaking, five-year study which has already shown strong evidence linking excess high fructose corn syrup consumption to an increase in risk factors for heart disease and stroke. That suggests calories from added sugars are different than calories from other foods.

She claims that healthy young people, drinking a sweetened drink might be just as bad for their hearts as the fatty cheeseburgers we’ve all been warned about since the 1970s. That’s when a government commission mandated that we lower fat consumption to try and reduce heart disease.

By reducing the fat in American diet was replaced by adding sugars to compensate for the energy requirements. Reducing fat has increased heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and death are skyrocketing.

Kimber Stanhope’s study suggests that when a person consumes too much sweet stuff, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and converts some of it into fat. Some of that fat ends up in the bloodstream and helps generate a dangerous kind of cholesterol called small dense LDL. These particles are known to lodge in blood vessels, form plaque and are associated with heart attacks.

This is the outcome of replacing fat with added sugars.

Take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard. And the food industry knew that. So they replaced it with sugar

Sugar also increases bad cholesterol (LDL), and this may be the link to heart disease.

Though you reduce the consumption of fat to reduce heart disease and obesity, among others, consuming more sugars to compensate have similar risks on heart disease, obesity and others.

Fructose in fruits

According to Dr. Lustig’s theory we used to get our fructose mostly in small amounts of fruit — which came loaded with fibre that slows absorption and consumption — after all, who can eat 10 oranges at a time? But as sugar and high fructose corn syrup became cheaper to refine and produce, we started gorging on them. Americans now consume 130 pounds per person a year — that’s a third of a pound every day.

Dr. Lustig believes those sweeteners are helping fuel an increase in the most deadly disease in America: heart disease. For years, he’s been a controversial voice.

Sugar linked with Cancer

Sugar has been focussed on cancer research too. If you limit your sugar, it seems you have less chances of developing cancer.

Insulin secreted in the pancreas can cause various effects in the tissues and a particular concern is cancer. Nearly a third of some common cancers — including breast and colon cancers — have something called insulin receptors on their surface. Insulin binds to these receptors and signals the tumour to start consuming glucose.

When we eat or drink sugar, it causes a sudden spike in the hormone insulin, which can serve as a catalyst to fuel certain types of cancers.

Every cell in our body needs glucose to survive. But the trouble is, these cancer cells also use it to grow. Cancer cells seems to hijack the sugar circulating in the blood, and even depriving sugars still cancer cells will attract glucose due to the inherent insulin receptors.

Naturopaths apply this theory into clinical practice by injecting insulin into the body frequently to diminish the glucose levels in cancer patients. I met one casually getting such irrational therapy in Bangkok.

This person had liver cancer, and giving insulin is irrational. It is true cancer survives better when fed with sugar, but depriving sugar also deprives the requirements for normal metabolism which is important to maintain an efficiently working immune system. Furthermore liver cancer cannot be starved by giving less sugar, as liver is a store house for sugar as glycogen.

What is observed in research laboratories on animal experiments may not be clinically applicable to human beings having cancer.

Does eating sugar cause diabetes?

Studies have failed to produce consistent evidence that links a sweet tooth with type 2 diabetes. A study of more than 39,000 women, for instance, found that those who ate the most sugar did not have an increased risk for the disease.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood levels of glucose, or blood sugar, become chronically elevated. Consuming sugar makes blood sugar levels rise, so it seems logical that eating candy, cakes, and cookies would cause diabetes. But it doesn’t—at least not directly.

In recent years, many experts (though not all) have pointed their fingers at diets with a high glycemic index (GI) as a main culprit behind the obesity epidemic as well as an epidemic of insulin resistance, a core problem in type 2 diabetes. The GI is a measure of how much the carbohydrate in a food raises blood sugar. When you eat foods that cause a steep rise in blood sugar, your body churns out of lot of insulin to “process” that blood sugar and get it out of the bloodstream and into cells. Over time, repeated floods of insulin make the body less sensitive to the hormone, leading to a condition called insulin resistance—and so the path to diabetes begins.

It has been shown that excess sugar consumption includinghigh GI foods may be responsible for high incidence of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, among others.

Living on low glycemic (GI) carbs, unprocessed and whole meal products and daily exercise, is advised.

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Good advice by Dr. harold Abdominal discomfort and its causes

Dr. Harold Gunethilake


Abdominal discomfort

Every person at some spell of his life-time will experience one or more bouts of abdominal discomforts and other symptoms that go with it according to the severity of the situation. Babies get more colicky discomfort and the mothers would give them gripe water a home remedy to give relief. Adults generally let the discomfort subside naturally, and in most situations they do. Some individuals get more frequent bouts of discomfort with pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating and lose motions or constipation.

It is important to remember that your gut is a sensitive organ, and slightest imbalance can cause upset stomach, constipation, heartburn, or gas among other symptoms.

The discussion is more about those chronic recurrent discomforts which are more serious and needs further investigations.

The inner lining of your gut is made up of millions of cells lining minute projections called villi. These form a tight barrier that acts as a security system to prevent toxins and other harmful chemicals entering the blood stream. However, when the gut becomes unhealthy this barrier becomes weakened and toxic material in food including bacteria can leak into the blood stream. This state of unhealthy gut is referred to as the ‘leaky gut’.

Abdo’ pains arise within the abdominal cavity, comes from organs within the cavity and adjacent to it. Colicky type of intermittent pains called ‘colic’ comes from the contractions of the smooth muscles of the small gut and gall bladder with calculi (stones). Excruciating pain comes from inflammations of organs, and pancreatitis is the best example. Nausea and vomiting are mainly from upper gastro-intestinal ailments, and abdominal distension with colic and constipation comes from the lower bowels. An exception is the inflammation of the appendix, when the earliest symptoms would be nausea and tenderness at the site of the appendix.

The common chronic diseases that cause symptoms are inflammation of the gut, and mainly refers to Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis, quite common among Sri Lankans. The other disease to be suspected would be malignant disease of the large bowel

Others are-non-specific gastro-enteritis, bowel obstruction, gluten and lactose intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among others

Food affects your gut feeling

The food we eat contains additives and ultra-processed foods without much fibre. These affect the gut environment and increases the risk of bowel diseases. You will observe that such bowel changes are seen going on holidays and eating from wayside outlets and hotels when the food could be different to what your gut is accustomed to. Most ultra-processed foods such as fast foods are manufactured for extra taste by using ingredients or additives. They are found in soda, sugary or savory packaged snack foods, packaged breads, pastries and so on. Some examples of processed foods are canned such as salted meat products. Always take gut stabilizing drugs (Imodium) with you on such journeys.

Such situations could cause dysbiosis of the microbiota in your large gut, adding more disturbances in your gut.

Most abdominal disorders start with similar symptoms like discomfort, colics, distension, lose motions and so on.

Most abdominal disorders start with similar symptoms like discomfort, colics, distension, lose motions and so on.

Doctors need to listen to the history carefully to clinch a diagnosis. In some situations many investigations would be required to diagnose the condition.

Most discomforts in the upper abdomen with distension, accompanied by nausea or vomiting could be related to a problem in the stomach, gall bladder and other upper visceral structures.

Natural sugars in fruits can create uncomfortable bloating

Eating fruits daily are good for you- with high antioxidants to rid those toxic free radicals formed in your body. But all fruits have a natural sugar called sorbitol, and if your gut cannot digest it may cause uncomfortable bloating, belly pain or have diarrhoea, gas or nausea. So next time when you eat fruits like apples, blue berries, plums, dried date, peaches and raisins, dried fruits, be aware what gut problems you can have, though fruits are good for you.

Watermelon, a fruit containing fructose and plenty of water is a God-given fruit when you travel in the dry zone areas in Sri Lanka. It is traditional to stop on the way and enjoy a couple of slices of water melon that refreshes you instantly.

The body can have trouble digesting it, so you might get gas. If you are diabetic, you are advised to restrict eating water melon because for some reason or other the glycaemic index is over 80

Cooked potatoes though nutritious can cause gut bloating,

Mushrooms have a natural sugar called mannitol that can give a bloated gut and too much of it can cause diarrhoea.

Those nutritious peas have a chain of sugars called galacto-oligosaccharides that feeds gut bacteria and cause gas.

Also remember eating too many fruits daily can cause ‘nonalcoholic fatty livers’ from the high fructose content, which are metabolized, and the excess stored in the liver.


Upper abdominal discomfort with heart burn is a specific condition related to incompetent valve system at the gastro- oesophageal junction. There may be a gastric hernias projecting into the chest cavity above the diaphragm disrupting the valve mechanism. Food and acid refluxes into the lower gullet mimicking a burn behind the heart, referred to as ‘heart burn’. This condition is referred to as ‘GastroOesophageal Reflux Disorder’ (GERD) Treatment for heartburn and other signs and symptoms of GERD usually begins with over-the-counter medications that control acid. They are called antacids that have stood the test of time for decades.

Avoid eating food or drinks before you lay down to sleep. It is advisable that you have a light meal in the night about 2 hours before bedtime. Avoid foods that upset your stomach and give heartburn.

There are the H-2-receptor blockers like cimetidine, ranitidine and so on they too reduce the acid production in the stomach.

At present the most popular medication is Proton pump inhibitors. Long term continuation of this specific medication can cause kidney damage- a warning that your doctor will tell you.

Simple home remedy for heartburn when it occurs at dead of night is a cold glass of fresh milk and munching a few cut slides of cucumber from the fridge. Bet you’ll have a good night sleep after this home remedy. Sleeping upright with pillows also helps. Sleeping on your left side also helps. Losing weight is important.

Gall bladder disease

The gall bladder is a storage organ for bile secreted in the liver. When you enjoy your fatty food, it starts contracting and pumping the bile acid into the upper gut to mix with the churned and partly digested food from the stomach.

Did you know that bile is required for the absorption of cholesterol in your food? Cholesterol is not water mixable, so with bile cholesterol forms an emulsion to get absorbed.

Gallstones are common among the fat fertile forties females. The symptoms are similar to any upper abdominal disorder. Clinical examination by your doctor and X rays will clinch the diagnosis. Treatment is surgical.

Stomach ulcers

These are called peptic ulcers. They are found in the distal segment of the stomach and the first few inches of the duodenal segment of the small gut. They were thought caused by stress and hyper-acidity in the stomach, and unnecessarily the vagus nerve fibres supplying the stomach lining that secretes acid juice is surgically de-nervated to reduce the acid content in your stomach to heal such ulcers.

They could be diagnosed through gastroscopy or having barium meal x rays.

Today, it is believed that these ulcers are due to bacteria called helicobacter pylori
and can be healed by giving antibiotics combined with other medications.

Ulcers in the stomach can be caused by anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and cortisone preparations and most of all stress situations and unknown causes

Ulcers in the body of the stomach can undergo malignant changes. Cancer of the lining of the stomach was common among tea-pluckers in tea estates in Sri Lanka.

When the author was surgeon Badulla General Hospital in the seventies found many cancerous ulcers among these people, drinking strong irritating home- made soup (pepper water), was supposed to cause such ulcerations in the stomach lining. Subtotal gastrectomy operation was the only solution for these unfortunate- mainly women.

Ulcers in the distal part of the stomach -the pylorus, were called pre – pyloric ulcers , and they don’t seem to undergo malignant changes. They are the ulcers that are caused by the helicobacter germ which is curable with medication.

Similar innocent ulcers are also found in the first part of the duodenum (duodenum is the first 1 inches of the small gut which surrounds the head of the pancreas).

Loss of appetite, losing weight and gastro-intestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting could be the early symptoms of stomach ulcers. Vomiting blood (haemoptysis), could be a symptom if not diagnosed early. Diagnosis is through doing barium Meal X rays followed by endoscopy.

Pancreatic cancer

When depression is accompanied with abdominal discomfort, it may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Also, these ulcers can cause excruciating pain in the back of the stomach region or the spine. Diagnosis is through abdominal scans.

Crohn’s Disease

This is an inflammatory disease involving the entire wall of the bowel. It can involve the mouth to the large bowel. There are inflammatory segments of the gut interspersed with intervening normal segments.

Ulcerative Colitis

Unlike Crohn’s in ulcerative colitis the inflammation involves the inner lining of the large bowel and the rectum. There are scattered minute ulcers or erosions and they may bleed occasionally. Abdominal pain and diarrhoea are common to both Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis. Treatment is palliative- meaning with medicine.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The symptoms are similar to any other inflammatory bowel disease; In IBS there is no inflammation of the bowel as in the previous two inflammatory diseases described. The cause is not known but it is believed to be dysfunction of the intestinal muscles, nerves and secretions and not inflammation. Stress could be a factor. IBS could mimic diverticulitis, celiac disease and colon cancer.

Recent studies suggest that the balance between the good and bad bacteria when disrupted, may cause the disease. Other diseases caused by such disruptions are asthma, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cognitive and mood problems not discussed in this article.

Increasing dietary fibre can help with symptoms

Bloating among women

Many women experience bloating during the monthly menses cycle, but if it occurs more regularly you need to consult your doctor, Sign of ovarian cancer include bloating and other digestive discomforts. Your doctor after palpation of your tummy will order a CT scan and perform blood tests to aid in diagnosis.

Sometimes indigestion with abdominal discomfort and change of bowel habits could be early cancer of some part of the gut-oesophagus, stomach or throat.

Cancer of the colon and rectum

This cancer seems to be common among adults, more in men than women. It starts with a growth starting on the inner lining of the gut. Most of these cancers grow from an innocent polyp. Symptoms are similar to other lower abdominal conditions. Change of bowel habits seems to be an early symptom. Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, or dark coloured stools, change in consistency of stool is all early symptoms of the disease. Diagnosis is made by endoscopic examination and biopsy confirmation of the cancer tissue.

Diverticular disease

A diverticulum is a finger like bulge that can form mainly in a segment of the large gut, in the sigmoid colon. These diverticular can get inflamed like the appendix getting inflamed. One could get abdominal distension with lose motions and fever. Diverticula per se don’t give problems. They may get abdominal cramps, bloating and abdominal swelling, rectal pain and diarrhea.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

This is a condition where there is increased permeability in the inner lining of the small gut, may be due to several chronic and autoimmune conditions like coeliac and type 1 diabetes.

In this syndrome harmful substances like bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles may enter the blood stream and cause certain diseases.

Keeping your gut healthy by consuming good food may help prevent this condition.

Keep your bowels healthy to avoid disruptions

Avoid eating packaged and processed foods you invariably purchase from your super-market. As mentioned earlier, they contain additives and preservatives that disrupt the healthy bacteria in the gut causing diseases.

Eat plenty of veggies and fruits, and fibre containing whole grains, legumes (lentils) in your diet.

Include probiotic rich food which contains cultures of beneficial bacteria, such as plain yogurt (Greek type) and no added sugar. Add plenty of fermented foods containing the cultures like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, Misso soup and drink kombucha.

Most fermented foods are probiotic foods. These foods go through a process of lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid.

Eat less red meat, poultry, and include more sea food.

Eating good food means good health. But some people may suffer from allergic reactions even with good food. Some people may suffer from food intolerance even with good food due to lack of enzymes.

Organic foods

‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. (Google)

Studies have shown that consumption of organic foods reduce cancer risk. A French study showed that consumption of organic foods reduced the incidence of cancer. Such organic foods include fruit and veggies, ready to eat meals, among others.

Eat your meals regularly which assists your circadian rhythms. Chinese do eat every two hours a small cup-full of noodles or rice which keeps them slim and healthy.

Bottomline: Be aware that when you suffer from continuous gastro-intestinal upsets you need to see you doctor for evaluation and investigations to detect any disease process brewing in your gut and other visceral organs.

Hope this article was helpful.

About the author: Dr Gunatillake-Health editor is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Member of the Australian Association of Cosmetic Surgery. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (UK), Corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Member of the International Societies of Cosmetic surgery, Fellow of the International College of Surgery (US), Australian diplomat for the International Society of Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Board member of the International

Society of Aesthetic Surgery, Member of the American Academy of Aesthetic & restorative Surgery, Life Member of the College of Surgeons, Sri Lanka, Batchelor of Medicine & Surgery (Cey): Government scholar to the UK. for high studies.

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Preliminary blood tests to check whether you are a diabetic-Good advice by Dr. Harold

Courtesy diabetes Australia

“If you were to choose what chronic disease you prefer if you are given a choice, diabetes should be the preference despite being the ‘gateway’ to other diseases and life-threatening complications.

It is one of those diseases you have full control of the management with proper education and your lifespan would never be hindered with self-discipline in the management. You are the captain of your ship”

When your doctor suspects that you could be having diabetes, with symptoms like thirst, frequency in passing urine, tiredness and wasting of muscles, or with a family history, he would first organize a fasting blood sugar test, among other tests to check whether you have sugar in your blood far in excess to the normal range.

People older than age 45, obese people, and those having additional risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, a sedentary form of life should go for a diabetic screening test annually.

If you are a non-diabetic your fasting blood sugar varies from 80-100mg/dl. This is measured in the morning after fasting for 8-12 hours from the previous night’s dinner.

In a normal non-diabetic subject blood sugar 2 hours after meal would read less than 140mg/dl (4.4-7.2 mmol/L)

If you are a diabetic your blood sugar reading 2 hours after a meal may be less than 180mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L) or more, the reason been that your pancreas does not manufacture enough insulin to courier the blood sugar for storage for energy purposes, to maintain a steady normal level in your blood.

Blood sugar levels depends on the regulation of it by the secretion of insulin from your beta cells in the pancreas.

If your pancreas does not secrete enough insulin, or less sensitive to insulin, the blood sugar tests will clinch the diagnosis of diabetes.

Some people may have a normal fasting blood sugar reading, but their blood sugar may rise rapidly as they eat. For these people your doctor will decide to do a glucose tolerance test to make sure that you are not a diabetic.

If your doctor suspects that your fasting blood sugar is beyond the normal range, he would organize another test called HbA1c. A non-diabetic will record less than 5.7%, and if you are a diabetic it could go above 7%. The normal recommended value for HbA1c for a diabetic should be maintained below 7.0%.

Bringing down your HbA1c to the non-diabetic’s level could give hypoglycaemic episodes and could be dangerous. Keeping your reading just below 7% is good enough

HbA1c is also called the glycated haemoglobin test. This test may be used to confirm diagnosis of diabetes after a fasting blood sugar test is above the normal range, and it is used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. This blood test does not require fasting and indicates the average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It is a measure of the amount of glucose attached to the haemoglobin of the red blood cells, through a process called ‘glycation’

Is it required to fast for the morning blood sugar test?

It has been found that a greater percentage of people having diabetes who fast for 8-12 hours before the test got into a low blood sugar episode called ‘hypoglycaemia’ while waiting for the test in the collecting centre.

Further, if you get hungry midnight, as diabetics do, that would disturb your sleep and could be unfit to travel in the morning on an empty stomach.

This could be dangerous and now the thinking is that you need not fast for your morning blood sugar test unless it’s done for the first time on suspicion of diabetes.

Those patients most at risk of having low blood sugar levels while fasting are those on insulin or sulfonylurea meglitinide classes of medication

On the same token, the researchers feel that there is no need to fast for the cholesterol blood test, either.

The only snag is that to check your triglycerides in your blood you may have to starve in the morning before the test.

Importance of checking your blood sugar level

When you are diagnosed having diabetes checking your fasting blood sugar level takes you no where and is a waste of money on strips and time.
It is advisable to do random readings before lunch, 2-3 hours after lunch and before dinner. Such testing will develop confidence in looking after your diabetes. You still need to get your HbA1c test done every six months.

Such random testing gives you better understanding to adjust as required after certain foods, lifestyle influences such as travel, stress, illness and most importantly exercise.

You’ll notice that with exercise both aerobic types and body muscle building you may need less medication.

If you were to chose what chronic disease you prefer if you are given a choice, diabetes should be the preference despite being the ‘gateway’ to other diseases and life-threatening complications.

It is one of those diseases you have full control of the management with proper education and your lifespan would never be hindered with self-discipline in the management. You are the captain of your ship.

New research

As mentioned, people having diabetes don’t have enough insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas to control blood sugar levels. Beta cells are also called islet cells.

Two drugs lately discovered may stimulate your pancreas to revive the dead beta cells and make more. Work has been done in the lab on rodents and this discovery may help in the future to try in humans.

Dr. Andrew Stewart the director at the Mount Sinai Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute in New York City explains that the release of these drugs at this stage may affect other cells and needs further studies.

Researchers also found that a drug called harmine could prompt beta cell regeneration in the lab in mice.

Bottom line: Check you fasting blood sugar level once a year, if your doctor suspects you have early diabetes.

When you are diagnosed as a diabetic, fasting levels do not carry you anywhere: do random tests and HbA1c memory test every six months.

Get well educated about lifestyle changes and the control of the disease, through medication, low glycaemic dietetic regimes, exercising daily (10,000 steps), among others.

Hope this article was useful.


About the author
Dr Gunatillake-Health editor is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Member of the Australian Association of Cosmetic Surgery. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (UK), Corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Member of the International Societies of Cosmetic surgery, Fellow of the International College of Surgery (US),Australian diplomat for the International Society of Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Board member of the International Society of Aesthetic Surgery, Member of the American Academy of Aesthetic & restorative Surgery, Life Member of the College of Surgeons, Sri Lanka,Batchelor of Medicine & Surgery (Cey): Government scholar to the UK for high studies.


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Why Melbourne is called, “Little Ceylon”

By Dr harold Gunatillake-FRCS,FICS,FIACS,AM(Sing),MB,BS (Cey) –Health editor

“Hoppers described as the love-child of a crepe & crumpet. It has become a very popular street food in Sri Lanka, in big towns and rural areas. It is now considered as a special ‘super staple food’


When Australia opened doors for Southern Asians in the late fifties and early sixties, it was a great opportunity for most Sri Lankans to migrate to Australia, those who disliked SWRD’s “Sinhala only within 24 hour policy” This gave a great impetus specially for the burgher community then, contributing to the good of the country, excelling on sports, athletics, trade, law enforcement, and so on, to leave her shores for greener pastures in Australia, and the loss this enterprising community is felt, even today in that developing country.

Melbourne was the place preferred by many Migrants at the time, whilst a few professionals and others settled down in Sydney. Today, if you walk along the streets of Springvale in the city of Dandenong, Glen Waverley, Noble Park, Broadmeadows, no matter which way you turn, you are bound to “bump-into” a Sri Lankan with a warm smile and a greeting of, “Hello Machang, how are you?”

The Sri Lankan food industry in Melbourne is flourishing like no other; both Sydney and Brisbane run a poor second. In Sydney, to enjoy treats like hoppers you need to travel many miles, there is one place called the ‘Blue Elephant” in Pennant Hills, where you need to give them prior notice. There are a few food caterers for home parties making hoppers on a circular device where at least ten hoppers could be cooked in one go. There is one lady by the name of “Kumarika” fairly famous, catering hoppers cooked on the spot for home parties, in Sydney.

Ask Dallas Achilles a talented musician, settled down in Melbourne for many decades, about Sri Lankan restaurants. He would say, “Those living in close proximity to Clayton are blessed with an abundance of restaurants specialising in Sri Lankan Cuisine.” His favourite spots are Walawwa Restaurant, Café Ceylon, Kites, Merqury Inn, Fab and Cake Point, La Festiva under new management serving a variety of Sri Lankan and International Cuisine, Merqury Inn may have got their spelling wrong: It should read “Mercury”.

Sri Lankans love Pizzas just like the way they love hoppers. Visit La Festiva in Springvale, they serve the best special Sri Lankan flavoured Gourmet Pizza, and for their dishes like Ambul Thiyal, Chicken devilled, Curry chicken and potatoes and Lamb Korma.

Awadhi Dum Biriyani

Then there is the “Corlam Kitchen in Glen Waverley for lunch. They serve a special Awadhi Dum biriyani, also called “Pukka”. Breathe in the aroma of this princely mutton biryani, cooked the royal Awadhi style, a perfect delicious meal for your lunch or dinner feast with your family and friends.


This “spot” is available for birthday parties, celebrations, Graduations, weddings and Anniversaries, etc. The Chef’s special at Corlam kitchen is “Chilli Crabs” only a few other restaurants, if any,serve this spicy dish.



Dallas would recommend ‘The Fab Curry & Pizza in Centre Road in Bentleigh for hoppers and pizzas. This is a rather little “shop” at the far end of Bentleigh’s Centre Road, and primarily a “take away” Business. It is fairly rare to see a combination- Sri Lankan Shop/Restaurant which serves both “Hoppers” and also a “Combination Curry Pizza”When you visit this little place, you are always welcomed by a friendly Sri Lankan lady while being overpowered, at the same time with the enticing aroma of exotic spices.

Dallas says that they serve 5 hoppers, an egg hopper and a bowl of chicken, beef or fish curry with sambol for $9. There are very good reviews on this Fab Curry & Pizza joint, and a worthwhile spot for a delightful tasty cuisine experience.

Waitress at ‘Walawwa”

The Walawwa

Café Ceylon in Centre Road, Clarinda is another eatery. On their “Menu” they feature Roti, Parata, Pittu with curry, wafer and Masala Thosai with fish, beef, chicken and vegetable curries. Vegans would love to patronise this joint.
The nearby restaurants are- Champion in Clayton, Clayton Fish, Merqury Inn, Clayton and Kites in Clayton.

“Walawwa”- ‘The Bungalow’ at Sandown Regency, Noble Park
This is a favourite “Eatery”, says Dallas. The best street foods of Sri Lanka are served here, at best prices in Melbourne for $ 25, and you could enjoy all you can eat. They have a dinner buffet with live music and entertainment. They have “Set Meals” too, beginning with “Starters” and snacks, soups, Main dishes like savoury rice, curry pasta with small pieces of roti stir fried with spicy vegetables and cheese, Chicken seafood and deserts.
They recently organised a Baila Masala Boogie Night with live music on one Saturday

There are many other restaurants owned and run by Sri Lankans in Melbourne. Ask Dallas- he will direct you.

Dallas mentions a good Hopper Eatery next door to “Curry & Chips” It is called “Yamu” owned by Upali.

There are many other “Eateries” by Sri Lankan chefs other areas of Melbourne and outskirts, not visited to write about.

Sydney as was mentioned earlier, boasts just a few Sri Lankan eateries and not within close proximity of each other, although they DO have more Chinese Restaurants than Melbourne.

Is it any wonder then, that Melbourne has been “nicknamed” Little Ceylon”?

Thank you Dallas, your information is appreciated.
Thanks Desmond Kelly for proof reading

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