diabetes complication prevention

Living healthier with Diabetes: Preventing Complications

In 2014, 440,000 Singaporeans above the age of 18 have diabetes. It is a growing epidemic and one of the most common chronic diseases that Singaporeans have due to our diet and sedentary lifestyle. In fact, one in three diabetic patients have poor control in managing their condition. Diabetes requires constant monitoring and control to prevent further complications. Compare the causes and symptoms for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Types of Complications

According to the National Registry of Diseases Office – With uncontrolled Diabetes it can lead to further complications like other chronic diseases:

  • Heart Diseases: 1 in 2 people who suffered from a heart attack is diabetic. Diabetes damages blood vessels and nerves that controls heart functions.over time. Type 2 Diabetes is associated with a 2–4 fold increase in the risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
  • Stroke: 2 in 5 people who suffered from a stroke is diabetic. Diabetes often cause arterial stiffness, inflammation and thickening of the capillaries thus contributing to the increased risks of Ischemic stroke incidence in all age groups.
  • Kidney failure: 2 in 3 kidney failure patients are diabetic. Diabetes Mellitus, a condition characterised by high glucose levels. High levels of glucose can damage the tiny filters in the kidney over time.
  • Eye diseases: Most diabetic patients will develop Retinopathy, which is one of the main causes of blindness in young adults today. Retinopathy happens when the tiny blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to Diabetes. Keep glucose levels low and go for regular eye checkups to prevent Retinopathy.
  • Oral complications: Diabetic patients will have increased chances of gum complications – like inflammation of the gums and tooth loss. Oral thrush can also occur when the gums are inflamed, and with high levels of glucose in saliva.
  • Pregnancy Complications: If you are pregnant and diabetic, you are at a higher risk of problems during delivery. Macrosomia is a condition when the foetus grows too large and mothers with Type I and II Diabetes are at a higher risk of this condition.

5 Quick Tips to Manage Diabetes

elderly diabetes exercising
Adopt a healthier lifestyle with like-minded friends

1. Go for your regular doctor’s appointment and know your condition.

Take control of your condition and know where to make changes in your lifestyle to ensure that you can prevent any further complications.

2. Medications

To control and manage diabetes, it is important to take your medications regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Most medications are orally taken and they help to regulate the blood sugar levels.

3. Live a healthy and active lifestyle

Control your diet – eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of sugar and salt. Ensure that you have at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.

  • Plan your meal times and ensure that it coincides with the time for you to take your medications.
  • Control your diet and eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit your intake of sugar and salt.
  • Ensure that you have at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.

4. Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol will affect your glucose levels and your meal timings. Alcohol drinkers will experience fluctuating sugar levels and may contribute to over-eating if sugar level fluctuates too low. Try to avoid drinking alcohol if you are diabetic.

5. Do not smoke

Smoking will increase complications. The combination of blood sugar and smoking increases the damage to blood vessels feeding our organs. The risks from smoking is well known and not limited to just Diabetes.

There are many other complications to diabetes such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Want to find out how you can manage hypoglycemia and take control of your diabetes? Read our article on “How to Improve your Life as a Diabetic Patient”.  

We also recommend reading Your Guide to Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) and Apps For Diabetics: 5 Aspects To Look Out For.

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