Knowing Diabetes | SPD - Singapore

Knowing Diabetes

12/10/2018

Image credit: Freepik

Image credit: Freepik

In last year’s National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted diabetes as one of the three long term issues for Singapore. One in nine residents here has diabetes. When looking at residents aged 60 and above, the ratio increases to three in 10.

Diabetes can also lead to complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, blindness and gangrene resulting in amputations. To better combat diabetes, it is important to keep a healthy lifestyle and to be aware of the signs and symptoms so as to seek treatment early.

In this article, we try to explain the two major type of diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2, and suggest some simple lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of having diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes Infographics

Our body produces insulin to move glucose into our cells

Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to produce insulin

Type 2 Diabetes is when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to produce insulin due to a damaged pancreas. Although it is usually more common in children and adolescents, it can occur at any age.

Symptoms that people with Type 1 diabetes experience include:
• Frequent urination
• Extreme fatigue
• Blurry vision
• Cuts or sores do not heal properly
• Feeling very thirsty and drinking a lot of water
• Feeling very hungry
• Unexplained weight loss
• Irritability and mood changes

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the more common type of diabetes that affects Singaporeans. It is when the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body. People with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms that people with Type 2 diabetes experience include:
• Frequent urination
• Extreme fatigue
• Blurry vision
• Cuts or sores do not heal properly
• Feeling very thirsty and drinking a lot of water
• Feeling very hungry
• Numbness and tingling in hands or feet

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is not curable, but it can be controlled through various means such as oral medication to balance blood glucose, insulin injections and regular monitoring and control of blood sugar. More importantly, keeping a healthy lifestyle helps to improve overall health and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Some tips in keeping a healthy lifestyle and preventing diabetes:
• Screen for diabetes for early detection and control
• Adopt a healthy diet. Choose more wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, and reduce intake of oil, fat, salt and sugar.
• Exercise regularly
• Do not smoke
• Limit alcohol intake

It’s never too late to start on staying healthy.

 
References:

National Day Rally: 1 in 9 Singaporeans has diabetes; problem ‘very serious’, says PM Lee, Channel NewsAsia, 13 Oct 2017
How much do you know about diabetes?, Healthhub
Stop and Reverse Pre-diabetes, Healthhub
Can you develop diabetes?, Ministry of Health
Diabetes in Singapore: Stats and Prevention Tips, Singhealth