Diabetes, or the sugar disease, is one of the most common illness in Malaysia. Over 1/3rd of the adult Malaysian population have been diagnosed with diabetes and are on regular treatment for their diabetes.
Malaysia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world in which medication and healthcare is heavily subsidised, making it effortless for any Malaysian to receive healthcare. And one of the most common complaints of a Malaysian is issues with blood sugar.
So here are 5 things that you need to know about diabetes, wether you already have been diagnosed or are worried about it :
- Watch Out For These Symptoms
Diabetes can be insidious, meaning it can creep up on you. Many people do not come to clinics complaining of the symptoms, but are rather diagnosed based on regular checkups. Therefore it is important that you know what to watch out for when it comes to diabetes.
The three main things that you need to observe : increased thirst, increased urination and increased appetite. This is the very basic of diabetic symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms such as non-healing wounds, worsening eyesight, chest pain, numbness over hands and feet are usually indicative of complications to diabetes and need immediate intervention.
- What Is The Process
To diagnose diabetes is not complicated. All it takes is a few check-ups. Usually what the doctor will do is talk to you about your symptoms or your diet and do a normal routine physical exam (like take a look at your hands, listen to your heart and check your reflexes etc.).
From there, they will do a blood test, where you prick the finger with a tony needle. Sometimes you will be asked to fast, sometimes you will be asked to drink sugar water. It all depends on what the doctor is looking for. From there, you may be given more tests like an eye test, heart test and a nerve test. They are non-invasive and are not dangerous.
- Why Diabetes is Dangerous
Untreated diabetes or uncontrolled diabetes can cause detrimental effects to your body. It could lead to complications such as a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and complete loss of sensation over your hands and feet.
These are very risky and fatal complications that are associated with diabetes. That is why so much emphasis is given onto controlling your blood sugar levels and controlling your diabetes.
- Always Go For Your Check-Ups
Check-ups are essential for proper, well-controlled diabetes. Only through check-ups are you able to see the progress of your diabetes, wether it is improving or getting worse. Although check-ups with the doctor at the clinic are important, so is your self-checkup.
Self monitoring your diabetes through taking your own readings of blood sugar is just as important. It gives your encouragement and empowerment to know that you are aware of your body and you are watching over it.
- How To Care For Diabetes
From diet to medications, there are many ways to help treat diabetes. As we all know, maintaining a low sugar diet is essential. Taking your pills or insulin is key. Looking out for warnings signs is important too.
But what people neglect sometimes is the mental strength and resilience to diabetes. Diabetes is a long-term illness that will effect you for years to come. Therefore, you have to develop a positive attitude towards caring for yourself. Although life-long, if treated and controlled well : diabetes will not slow you down, if you don’t allow it to.
Article is written by:
Fatin Najwa binti Daud, is a medical student studying at IMU Malaysia. She is a freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include music, art, sports and travel.
-Photos are taken from google images
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