Today, one in nine Singaporeans has diabetes and the total number is expected to grow to 1 million by the year 2050. One main challenge of dealing with this dreaded disease is that it hardly has any clear symptoms in its early stages, and often presents itself in many diverse and surprising ways. Many are unaware that diabetes can also cause a wide array of acute and less commonly talked about complications such as blindness and kidney failure.
In addition, about 10% of pregnant women will suffer from gestational diabetes, which usually affects non-diabetic pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the raging pregnancy hormones that counteract the action of insulin. If the condition is overlooked, it will pose risks to both foetus and mother such as early labour or low blood sugar in the baby. Mother and child also face increased chances of developing diabetes later in life.
It is thus important to do early pregnancy screening and manage gestational diabetes with insulin injections. Despite the gloomy statistics, diabetes can be managed and controlled with early detection, as long as one goes for regular check-ups, remains vigilant and takes the necessary action.