5 Things You Might Not Know About Diabetes
STORY: Janelle Yong
14 October 2019
Diabetes is sadly becoming increasingly common in Singapore, with 1 in 9 Singaporeans being diagnosed with it. Here are 5 things you should know about this increasingly common health condition.
1. There are 2 types of diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to produce insulin due to an immune disorder affecting the pancreas. This type of diabetes is less common, and is usually incurred genetically and diagnosed in childhood. Living a healthier lifestyle alone will not help to manage it, and people with Type 1 diabetes require regular insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common, and this is the type that people are usually referring to when talking about diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes are able to produce insulin, but their bodies may be resistant to it or unable to produce enough of it. This type of diabetes is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and can be prevented if proper precautions are taken.
2. Diabetes is incurable
Although the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can be mitigated by making changes to your lifestyle and diet, it can only be controlled and not cured once you’re diagnosed with it. Lifestyle changes are essential in managing Type 2 diabetes, and people diagnosed with it may also be prescribed oral medication, insulin injections or both.
3. Diabetes is caused by more than just excessive sweets
While it is true that too much sweet food can contribute to a person developing Type 2 diabetes, it is by no means the only factor to do so. Smoking, excessive stress and a lack of exercise are amongst the other contributing factors that puts one at risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
4. Diabetes is not just for old people
Although people above 40 years of age are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, children and young adults are not exempt from being diagnosed with it as well. And even if you dodge the initial bullet, an unhealthy lifestyle only worsens the risk of eventually developing diabetes once you’re older.
5. You might already have diabetes
Surprise! Not everyone who has Type 2 diabetes experiences the symptoms immediately. In fact, it is possible to go months or even years without noticeable symptoms while the disease wreaks havoc on your system. That’s why it’s advisable to go for regular health check–ups, even if you don’t feel unwell.