Diabetes & Why It Matters
Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar, also called glucose, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Glucose from food is transported into your cells by insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. It is possible that your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or that it doesn’t use insulin well. As a result, glucose remains in your blood instead of reaching your cells.
An excessive amount of glucose in the blood can cause health problems over time. While diabetes cannot be cured, you can manage it and stay healthy.
There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production in the body. Insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are attacked and destroyed by your immune system. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, children and young adults are more likely to be diagnosed with it. For people with type 1 diabetes, insulin needs to be taken every day.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body is not able to make or use insulin properly. It is possible to develop type 2 diabetes at any age, including during childhood. However, middle-aged and older people are most likely to suffer from this type of diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2.
During pregnancy, some women develop gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes usually disappears after the baby is born. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your chances of becoming a type 2 diabetic are higher. During pregnancy, diabetes may be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Other types of diabetes
Among the less common types of diabetes are monogenic diabetes, which is inherited, and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.
It is estimated that Singapore may have one million diabetics by 2050. It is estimated that one in two people will develop diabetes by the age of 70; up from one in three today. Currently, 11.3% of adults suffer from the disease, but that percentage will rise to 15% by 2050.
In addition to getting older, people here are also becoming fatter, which increases the risk of diabetes, which in turn increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure.
Researchers from the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health found that obesity and aging will be the two main factors driving Singapore’s diabetes epidemic in the next 40 years.
Next week, we’ll cover the differences between the two common types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, and the symptoms leading to them.