1 in 2 people are unaware that they have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be diagnosed in older people. However, the diagnoses in younger or middle-aged adults are getting common. 

Why does this matter? 

A high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) can cause serious damage to many of our body systems over time. Uncontrolled diabetes is a top leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart attacks and lower-limb amputations.

What is diabetes?  

Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by insufficient insulin produced by the pancreas, or when the insulin is not effectively used by the body. Insulin is a hormone which regulates blood glucose (sugar) levels.

There are 3 main types of diabetes: gestational (during pregnancy), type 1 (childhood-onset) and type 2 – which is the most commonly occurring variant for the majority of people with diabetes, due to excess body weight and lifestyle factors. 

What about pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

If nothing is being done at the pre-diabetes stage to improve your condition, it will develop into type 2 diabetes, putting you at higher risk for stroke and heart disease.

In Singapore, one in three people with diagnosed diabetes are poorly managing their condition.

Ministry of Health, 2019

What happens if I have diabetes?

Diabetes hurt people both at personal and national levels. People with poorly-managed high blood glucose levels can damage their nerves and blood vessels and accelerates the progression of complications.

Besides putting your health at risk due to diabetes’ own progressive nature, having pre-diabetes or diabetes also raise your risks multi-fold to develop high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks. 

Increasing your awareness of symptoms and lifestyle changes can have a significant positive impact in reducing negative effects linked to diabetes.

Prevention is key – take action today!

Developing diabetes or pre-diabetes is highly preventable. Studies show that people who take actions early can prevent or delay diabetes, and even return their blood glucose levels to normal. Here’s what you can do: 

  1. Know your risk – Get screened for diabetes, check your fasting glucose levels
  2. Get into a healthy lifestyle that includes:
    • Healthy eating according to My Healthy Plate
    • Being physically active at least 150 minutes per week
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Stop smoking
    • Cutting alcohol intake
  3. Speak to a dietitian to seek personalised guidance to improve your lifestyle factors and cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Why is this a chronic condition?

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board defines a chronic disease as a medical condition that is generally progressive and can be managed with simple lifestyle changes. High blood glucose or diabetes is one of them.

At MyDoc, we have programmes to help you gain control and take charge of your health. Contact us at support@my-doc.com to find out more.

The content in this publication is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

References

International Diabetes Federation. (2020). Facts and figures. Retrieved from IDF Diabetes Atlas 9th edition: https://www.idf.org/aboutdiabetes/what-is-diabetes/facts-figures.html
Ministry of Health Singapore. (2019). HealthHub. Retrieved from Diabetes in Singapore: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/626/diabetes
Sarwar N, G. P. (2010). Diabetes mellitus, fasting blood glucose concentration, and risk of vascular disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 102 prospective studies. Lancet. Retrieved from Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20609967/
World Health Organization. (2020, June). Diabetes key facts. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

Jacqueline Joose

Jacqueline Joose

Jacqueline is an accredited dietitian (APD, ADS) with Dietitians Australia and Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association. She has worked across a wide range of clinical wards in major hospitals in Australia, as well as in the areas of private nutrition practice, food service management, community and public health nutrition. ​Back in Singapore, Jacqueline has since then ventured into the digital health space as a dietitian, and honed additional health coaching skills in the specialised medical fields of Lifestyle Medicine and Preventive Cardiology. On a personal level, Jacqueline is someone who eats to live - a motto all foodies live by. She doesn’t advise strict dieting or eating boring, tasteless foods to improve health. Jacqueline believes that the best outcomes come through balance, allowing clients to achieve their goals while still enjoying the foods they love. Her favourite part of the job is seeing the “light bulb” switch on when patients make that connection, and the satisfied glow on their faces, brought about by health improvements through diet and lifestyle changes.

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