Diabetes Mellitus (or Diabetes for short) is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. In Singapore, 1 in 3 people are at risk of developing diabetes mellitus. It is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels (glucose) resulting from the body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly. Diabetes symptoms can be very subtle such as weight loss, increased thirst, increased urination and increased appetite. Diabetes can have severe implications for a person’s health and quality of life, and it is essential to manage the condition effectively. This article aims to provide an overview of diabetes mellitus, its association with hypertension, hyperlipidaemia as well as vaccinations recommended for diabetic patients.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a less common form of diabetes, accounting for approximately 10% of all cases. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections to regulate their glucose levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for approximately 90% of all cases. It is characterized by insulin resistance, which means that the body cannot use insulin effectively to regulate glucose levels. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to hyperglycaemia.
Type 2 diabetes is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet. It can be managed with medication, lifestyle changes, and regular blood glucose monitoring.
Symptoms of diabetes can vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, and slow-healing wounds. People with diabetes may also experience tingling or numbness in their hands or feet, as well as weight loss or gain.
Glucose and HbA1c
Glucose is a type of sugar that is found in food and is the body’s primary source of energy. When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin is released to help transport it into the body’s cells, where it is used for energy production.
HbA1c is a blood test that measures the average level of glucose in the blood over the past three months. It is used to monitor blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and is an essential tool for diabetes management.
Insulin and Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and helps regulate glucose levels in the body. In people with diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes). Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, leading to high blood glucose levels.
The treatment of diabetes depends on the type and severity of the disease. For people with type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are the primary treatment. For people with type 2 diabetes, treatment may include medication, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and regular blood glucose monitoring.
Diabetes and its Association with Hypertension and Hyperlipidaemia
Diabetes is often associated with hypertension or high blood pressure and hyperlipidaemia or high cholesterol. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing these conditions, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential to manage these conditions in people with diabetes through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular monitoring.
Vaccinations for Diabetic Patients
Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of developing infections, which can be severe and even life-threatening. Therefore, it is recommended that diabetic patients receive vaccinations to protect against preventable infections such as influenza, and pneumonia. These vaccinations can help prevent serious complications and hospitalizations.
In conclusion, diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is essential to manage the condition effectively through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular monitoring to prevent the development of complications such as hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. If you experience any symptoms of diabetes, it is essential to speak with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.