Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which patients have high blood sugar. It is a common condition and affects 8.6% of the population in Singapore.

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Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which patients have high blood sugar. It is a common condition and affects approximately 10% of the population in Singapore, and continues to increase with modern lifestyles. It is an important condition because there are many complications that can occur as a result of diabetes mellitus. These can be divided broadly into those that occur in the short term (the acute complications) and those that occur over a long time (the chronic complications).

There are 2 major types of diabetes mellitus.

You may have heard of "Type 1 diabetes mellitus', which is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This is the less common type and usually occurs in young persons below the age of 35. In this condition, the body is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a gland that is in the abdomen. Insulin is a hormone that controls the use of different fuels for energy. It is especially important because it allows the body to use glucose (simple sugar) instead of fats. When there is no insulin, the body cannot use or store the glucose that comes from food and this causes the blood sugars to become very high. Instead, the body uses fat as a source of fuel giving rise to some of the acute complications of diabetes mellitus.

The most common type of diabetes that affects most Singaporeans is called "Type 2 diabetes mellitus" (adult-onset or non-insulin requiring).  In this type of diabetes, there is no shortage of insulin (at least at the start of the disease). Instead, the cells and tissues of the body are unable to respond to the insulin produced by the pancreas. They have "insulin resistance." (see cartoon below).

This type of diabetes commonly occurs in persons who are overweight and have high blood pressure. There are often other family members who also have the disease.

Normally in the body

 

Type 2 Diabetes

Take the first step towards beating diabetes. If you are between the ages of 18 and 39, find out your risk by taking the Diabetes Risk Assessment.

Continue reading for the symptoms and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.

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Diabetes Mellitus

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