Diabetes: How Are These Singaporean Students Preventing It

Diabetes, diabetes, diabetes. Important things have to be repeated thrice. This word sends chills down the spine for many Singaporeans. Despite knowing what it would lead to, we still lead a lifestyle that would eventually end up with having diabetes.

A study done in 2016 shows that from 2010 to 2035, the number Singaporeans contracting prediabetes or diabetes were projected to be more than double, and by 2035,  the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes among Singaporeans aged 21 and above is expected to be one in four.

Well, apparently the Ministry Of Health agrees that diabetes would be a problem, therefore declaring war against diabetes, and still further continuing their efforts to put this fire out.

Well, fear not, aiding the Ministry Of Health in their war against diabetes, a team of four NTU students, have initiated a ” Take A Prediabetest” health campaign.

5 Warning Signs You Might Have Diabetes

Why initiate this campaign? Firstly, we got to understand what is prediabetes.

It is a stage when there is an increase in your blood glucose levels, where it is higher than usual but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Though, it can still lead to diabetes.

According to another study, without making lifestyle changes, 35% of the people with impaired fasting glucose tolerance will develop diabetes over eight years.

Is all hope lost then? Not exactly.

“Prediabetes is the only stage where health interventions can help to return to a normal state. We believe that if more people knew that they are within this ‘warning zone’ and then took action, we can reverse the trend of type 2 diabetes in Singapore.” said Mr Wong Qi Hua( Tim), one of the campaign initiators.

“We hope that this campaign will tell the full story of prediabetes and spread knowledge about this often overlooked condition.” said another Prediabetest member Ms Kimberly Ang.

Prevention is always better than cure, and if we could stop it from happening or reverse the effects of it, why not?  Surprisingly not everyone thinks this way.

The team did a survey involving 102 working adults, from ages 20 to 39, found out that only 19% of them had gone for a diabetes screening within the last three years.

In 2010, 14.4% of the Singaporean adult population aged 18 to 69 were diagnosed with prediabetes as reported in the National Health Survey by the Ministry of Health although more remain undetected.

To raise awareness on prediabetes, the team has partnered with two private clinics to provide 150 free screenings from 22 January to 16 March, for eligible adults aged between 20 to 29.

“Early detection in the prediabetic stage is critical in preventing or delaying the progression of the major complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and nerve injury,” said Dr Lee Chong Han from Trucare Medical Clinic and Surgery

The team has also worked with the Punggol 21 Community Club to further promote this campaign, with the objective of aiming over more than 50,000 Punggol residents through online platforms, and is expecting to get more clinical partners on board in the upcoming weeks.

Mr Khong Kwok Wai, BBM, Chairman, Punggol 21 Community Club Management Committee (CCMC), said, “We are happy to be part of this meaningful campaign that impacts the well-being of Punggol residents as well as the community at large. This initiative also aligns with our grassroots volunteers’ efforts of promoting healthy living among our residents, who are largely made up of young families.”

Want To Avoid Diabetes? Just Spend 5 Measly Bucks

The registration for the health screening is now available on their official campaign website, where eligible individuals will be able to schedule a free fasting blood glucose test, and if further tests or check-ups are required, they will be borne by the individual.

What are you still waiting for? Be it free or not, we should all be responsible for our own body, not taking things for granted, as the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry, and even if you feel fine, you may not be fine. There is no harm in spending a little of your time to do a simple check that could probaby make or break you.

In the nutshell, as prediabetes do not have any symptoms, early detection and awareness of the situation ( especially for young adults) are crucial to stopping diabetes from trending on. If in any case you are diagnosed with prediabetes, you could still avoid going down the route of being diabetic.

Knowledge is power. Power allows you to do great things, well in this instance it will probably save your life. You should start now. The early, the better.