Most of us might vaguely know about diabetes but how much do we know about it? As a nineteen-year-old Singaporean, I too would want to know about a disease that is Singapore’s most prominent health crisis at the moment. With racial investigations prevalent, diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high.
Diabetes happens when your body is unable to produce insulin (an important hormone in your body) to help digest the glucose (from the food) you eat for energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not produce or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.
Did you know? You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough to be called diabetes. But this is a fair good warning. Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems.
It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.
Blood tests can show if you have diabetes. One type of test, the A1C, can also check on how you are managing your diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. No matter how old you are, you should also monitor your blood glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.