Singapore is facing a diabetes tsunami. In year 2004, only 8.2% of Singaporeans age 18-69 was affected. In year 2010, this number has increased at an alarming rate to 11.3% of Singaporeans. This makes Singapore one of the developed countries with the highest incidence of diabetes. In Europe, it is generally around 6 to 9 percent, and worldwide it is 8.5 percent. There are many more out there who are probably unaware and are undiagnosed. The rise of diabetes in Singapore mirrors the rise in obesity from 6.9% in 2004 to 10.8% in 2010. Besides obesity, one of the other biggest risk factor of diabetes is advancing age. For many people out there, it is no longer a question of whether they will get diabetes, but rather when they will get diabetes.
While severe diabetes can have a myriad of symptoms such as thirst and frequent urination, the majority of diabetics can be silent. Without proper screening, many patients with diabetes can go undetected.
Many forms of diabetes exist. Some can be managed with oral tablets. Some require insulin. Some diabetes develops in young patients and adolescent. Some women have diabetes associated with their pregnancy. Diabetes is a chronic illness that can result in multiple serious long-term complications such as blindness, heart attacks, kidney failure, strokes, amputations if not managed well. With proper management, many patients’ diabetes can be well controlled with a marked reduction in the risk of these dreaded complications.
Treatment of diabetes has progressed tremendously in the last few decades. Advanced treatment such as new oral medications and insulin exists today to keep diabetes under control. Technologies such as continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps can be utilized to optimize diabetes treatment.