Type 2 Diabetes: prevention starts early

It is common for people to associate diabetes with consuming too much sugar. However, consuming products high in sugar might not necessarily result in diabetes! Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease, whereby a high glucose level is found in the bloodstream. The abnormal blood sugar content will then disrupt the circulatory system, nervous and immune system from properly functioning, and insufficient amounts of insulin will be produced to regulate the blood sugar content.

What are some risk factors?

Although food high in sugar content might not be the direct cause of Type 2 diabetes, consuming too much sugar can result in obesity, which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One should be aware of the following risk factors:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Are 40 years old and above
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose
  • Abnormal blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Type 2 diabetes can happen to anyone around us. By identifying the potential risk factors, one can make changes to their lifestyle now to reduce the risk of having the disease.

Are there any symptoms to identify Type 2 diabetes?

Often, symptoms of diabetes appear mild. Thus, if you observe multiple symptoms, it is safer to consult a doctor or have a health screening done. Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling hungry all the time
  • Increased thirst (even after drinking plenty of water)
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Possible nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling in hands, arms, feet and legs

As mentioned, early detection of diabetes will help to reduce the potential complications of disease such as kidney failure or nerve damage.

Are there some prevention tips?

Yes, consuming healthier food choices and having a balanced diet is one of the many ways to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. For instance, one can balance their diet by following the guide from “My Healthy Plate”. This includes having half a plate of vegetables, one quarter plate of carbohydrates such as brown rice, and the remaining quarter with meat and other proteins. Unfortunately, there is no cure to diabetes currently, but here are some prevention tips you can start adopting to prevent the disease:

  • Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activities daily)
  • Avoid smoking as it leads to slow-healing wounds
  • Avoid heavy drinking as it damages the liver

If you have identified some of the symptoms listed earlier, consider teleconsulting a General Practitioner (GP) with the WhiteCoat app. Click here to find out more about our GP service.