Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic condition that occurs when the body cannot properly regulate
blood sugar levels, leading to high levels of glucose in the blood. It affects millions of people
In the Philippines, the prevalence of Diabetes in 2021 was at 7.1%. It is the 4th
leading cause of death in the country as reported by the Philippine Statics Authority from data
gathered during the 1st half of 2022.
Diabetes if left untreated can lead to complications, which eventually may be disabling or even
The possible complications include heart & blood vessel disease, nerve damage, eye damage that could lead to blindness, hearing impairment, kidney damage, skin infections (bacterial and fungal), and foot complications.
Early detection of diabetes is important to prevent serious health complications that can arise
from the disease.
Here are some ways to detect diabetes early:
- Regular check-ups: It is recommended that adults get a check-up at least once a year. During these check-ups, your doctor can perform tests to check your blood sugar levels and other factors that may indicate the development of diabetes.
- Know your risk factors: Some people are more likely to develop diabetes than others. Risk factors include a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, having high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, and having a history of gestational diabetes. Race or ethnicity may also raise one’s risk of developing type 2
- Blood sugar monitoring: If you have risk factors for diabetes or if your doctor has diagnosed you with prediabetes, your doctor may recommend that you regularly monitor your blood sugar levels. You can do this by using a home glucose meter or by visiting your doctor’s office.
- Know the symptoms: Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can help you detect the disease early. Increased thirst and frequent urination: This is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes. When there is excess glucose in the blood, the kidneys work harder to filter it out, resulting in more urine production, which in turn leads to increased thirst.
The general symptoms of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst (polydipsia)
- Frequent urination (polyuria)
- Increased hunger (polyphagia)
- Feeling tired and weak
- Blurring of vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tingling sensation/burning sensation in the hands or feet.
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Frequent skin and/or vaginal yeast infection
Your doctor may recommend a screening test for diabetes if you have risk factors or if you are experiencing symptoms. The most common screening test is a fasting blood glucose test, which measures your blood sugar levels after fasting for at least eight hours.
There are 3 tests that can be done to measure the blood glucose level namely:
- Fasting blood glucose which is done to see the baseline blood sugar after fasting for at least 8 hours.
- Random blood glucose test which taken anytime.
- HbA1c, also known as glycosylated hemoglobin test. This provides the average blood glucose level over the past 3 months.
- Blood glucose monitoring will depend upon the attending physician’s recommendation. This can be done by the patient themselves at home with the use of a Glucometer.
Blood glucose monitoring will depend upon the attending physician’s recommendation. This can be done by the patient themselves at home with the use of a Glucometer.
It pays to be informed
Early detection of diabetes can help you manage the disease effectively and prevent serious health complications. If you are at risk or are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
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